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Iwan Ries

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Genuine Perique is added to an already delicious and flavoursome blend of fine bright Virginias to give St. James the light peppery characteristic enjoyed by so many pipe smokers. Medium strength.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy PipesAndCigars
Iwan Ries
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 17 Users

3.4
110 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
62
3 star:
32
2 star:
11
1 star:
5
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TCody Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TCody (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Fortunately, I have lived long enough to remember the old Cope's Escudo. Unfortunately, old guys compare all VaPers to that mythic and unobtainable blend. I will try to review St. James Flake on its own merits.

Like all S. Gawith blends, the tobacco and the preparation are first rate.

Even with two hours of drying, it was hard to light. Once lit, it burned slowly and with little fuss. Neither the pipe bowl, nor the smoke, became hot.

In my opinion, most VaPers have so little perique, that is is hard to find. This blend has just the right amount; much more, and it would have been too much. The perique became even more prominent in the second half of the bowl, but in a pleasant way.

This is a "must try" for those who want a smoke that features the perique.

Pipe Used: Ben Wade, Author Shape, Size 3

Age When Smoked: New Tin

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake with Perique..

6 people found this review helpful.

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

I'm still new to Pipe smoking, so right now I aim for tobacco that is sweet and pleasant on a surface level. After going through my initial batch of 14 different blends (wide variety) I've finally done a second bowl of St. James flake, and it was every bit as satisfying as the first.

It does need to be dried out, left overnight as a flake but probably less rubbed out (haven't tried). The flavour is just fantastic, sweet but definitely not overbearing, best with slow puffing, a little spice every once in a while, and it leaves an indescribable pleasant taste in my mouth for hours after the smoke.

I didn't get any "tongue bite" specifically, but by now I've learned to keep the stem away from the tip of my tongue and moving around regularly. I don't think it's big on Nicotine but I would probably have to smoke three bowls in a row to find out (basically all day, which doesn't actually sound like a bad idea at this point).

2014-7-25: Three months and about 30 blends later this is still my favourite tobacco.

Pipe Used: Vauen Churchwarden

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

5 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (298)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I notoriously have a low tolerance for Perique. I like its taste, but in high doses it makes my head spin. I was somewhat fearing for the worst here, considering SG's reputation for stout virginia flakes and the presence of Perique... and yet, I was wrong.

This is a medium-strength tobacco, maybe even lighter than medium, and Perique is very sparingly applied. So sparingly that even I can say that a little more would have been much appreciated!

The result is a bit underwhelming: it's similar to Best Brown Flake... but not as interesting, juicy and rich. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it: even if the flakes come a bit moist and gummy out of the tin, they rub out splendidly and burn regularly. No tonguebite, a very even and relaxing experience. On quality of the product I would be tempted to give a "Recommended" rating... The problem is that I have several much more interesting flakes at hand (Rattray's Marlin Flake, Ashton's Old London, SG's own Brown Flake), and this one doesn't offer anything more... and actually something less in terms of complexity, richness, interesting development. And hey, if you call it St James Flake, I expect to taste Perique a bit more: in this department, the McClelland similarly named flake is a much more interesting example.

So... a good but not great tobacco, with absolutely no faults at all except that there are so many better choices around. But this tin was a pleasant experience that I certainly won't complain about.

4 people found this review helpful.

feedsasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
feedsasquatch (19)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

St. James Flake seems to be Full Virginia Flake with some Perique added. As my first virginia/perique blend, I didn't quite know what to expect. I didn't find the perique to be very strong, noticeable, but not strong. For me, it wasn't strong enough to justify smoking something other than FVF. The virginia's in SJF are just as good in quality as the one's in FVF though...

Like my tin of FVF, SJF needed to be dried for 12-24 hours before smoking, because it was rather wet out of the tin. I also had better luck smoking it by fully rubbing it out.

EDIT After opening the tin I set some aside to for around 9 months. It's a much more enjoyable blend now.

4 people found this review helpful.

bigblends Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigblends (46)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This kind of tobacco is what Gawith does best. If Gawith's marvelous Balkan Flake were my all-day English, St. James Flake would most certainly be my all-day Virginia/Perique blend.

Quality in presentation, appearance, processing, leaf ... all vintage Gawith. The flavor is bold without becoming obnoxious, and the mouthfeel is solid without distracting from the flavor. You know you're smoking, and you know you're smoking something wonderful.

The Virginia portion of this blend strikes me as a combination of the mixture used in Full Virginia Flake and the mixture used in Best Brown Flake or Kendal Plug. This is one savory tobacco.

St. James Flake is an easy, pleasant smoke. Highly recommended.

4 people found this review helpful.

mdnyc71 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mdnyc71 (22)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

I smoke one pipe each day and I have a fairly limited window of time to do so (90 to 120 minutes between putting the kids to bed and hitting the hay myself). It's important to me that a tobacco smokes well right out of the tin. Unfortunately, St James Flake doesn't quite fit the bill.

I'd like this one a lot more if it weren't so much work. As noted in so many other reviews the tobacco is very moist . I must say that I'm not big on drying tobacco. I find moist tobaccos more flavorful and complex. However, smoking this one right out of the tin is simply not an option - it requires significant drying time before it packs correctly and stays lit. The few times I got the moisture just right, it was a good smoke that reminds me very much of McC's St. James Woods (which I also find "high maintenance". It's a good combination of sweet and spicy with a medium nicotine level.

Overall, a good tobacco but not the right one for me. If you enjoy VaPers and have the time, patience and experience to dry this to the correct moisture, you will enjoy St. James Flake.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Similar Blends: McClelland - St. James Woods (Personal Reserve).

3 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (59)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Somewhere perhaps, there are old master codgers who have worked out how to prepare this tobacco, and which pipe to smoke it in, in order to have a trouble free smoke. I am not one of them.

The thin loose flakes are very moist, greasy in fact, and cannot be rubbed out properly by hand. Used in this form I had to battle to keep the bowl alight, to ensure adequate draught, and, consequently, to get any reasonable volume of smoke going. In this form however, whereby the tobacco was barely alight, it was possible to get a good 'look' at its flavour profile. Accordingly, this might be a legitimate way to smoke this tobacco. I found it very frustrating, and in desperation, resorted to cutting the flakes against the grain to produce a sort of small cube cut. Gravity fed into the bowl it cut my relights down to 3 and when going properly, produced some lovely, creamy smoke.

This is essentially a matured Virginia flake in the British old school style. It has some nice lemon overtones, kicked off I think by some bergamot in the casing, and underpinned by a creamy licorice undertone.

The perique marries well with these Virginias and presents as a spicy pepperiness and an effervescence on the tongue. Retrohaling further reveals the smokiness of the perique.

This is a very different take on the VaPer to something like Dunhill Navy Rolls, the latter being very clean and elegant. SJF is darker and less refined, more working class if I might say so. That isn't a bad thing at all, but personally I would prefer this as a straight Virginia without the casing, and I honestly think the perique is wasted here. Having said that this is a valuable survivor in the British Flakes genre and anyone disappointed by weakling Virginias or overcased Lakeland type entries will find a place for this tobacco.

3 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (566)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

SJF is one of the great Virginia-Perique blends in my opinion, right up there with Escudo and McConnell Scottish Cake. There are still a bunch of VaPers that I haven't tried yet, so I can't state definitively where it fits in the overall scheme of things.

I agree with what some other reviewers have already posted, that the flakes need drying and some resting time after opening the tin. My latest batch was a 250g box, which I put into jars and waited a few weeks before smoking.

There is plenty of perique in SJF for me. In fact, sometimes it's a bit more perique than I'm in the mood for and I rub out a flake or two of SJF with a flake of Best Brown, mix it all together and let it dry out some before packing. It works for me, your mileage may vary of course.

Lit gently and smoked slowly, this can be a wonderfully sweet tobacco with the enticing peppery spice that VaPer fans love. I get a sweet flavor that reminds me of honey and figs. However, if you rush it SJF can turn on you quickly with a shocking bitter harshness. Not to worry though, I just set the pipe down, let it cool for a while, relight gently, and it comes back around to being a beautiful smoke again.

SJF is a fine smoke in most of my briars and absolutely sublime in a certain old "Regd. No." Stanwell from the late 1960s. But there are a couple of pipes that I don't dare smoke it in. They just don't get along. Harsh and nasty. Seems to work better in medium and smaller bowls.

I typically enjoy the first 2/3 bowl of SJF a lot more than the last 1/3 if that information helps you at all.

As much as I'd like to give SJF 4 stars because it really is one of my favorites, SJF's fussiness--the drying, the resting, the necessity to smoke it thoughtfully, its refusal to get along with some pipes--merits a slight downgrade.

Pipe Used: various briars

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: ST-Group - Escudo Navy De Luxe.

3 people found this review helpful.

Slow Triathlete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Triathlete (48)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

One thing that I must mention about Gawith?s flakes is that I love how they basically fall apart when you take them out of the tin. Now I?ve never mastered the art of folding and stuffing flakes so I always break them up to some degree. Gawith?s flakes seem to be thinner than a lot of flakes and broken flakes (McClelland) and are really, really easy to rub out and pull apart. Because they are thinner, they also seem to dry out a lot faster before smoking them whereas a lot of the other brands take forever!! Another great plus in my book.

As a lover of Gawith?s Full Virginia Flake (FVF), I knew that they had the Virginia blending down to a science but I was curious as to their knowledge of throwing Perique into the mix. Here is how this blend is described:

A sumptuous blend of Virginias and Perique, this big, bold British style flake incorporates a generous proportion of St. James Parish, LA perique.

The tin aroma was typical fruity and spicy, maybe more on the spicy side, which is what I would expect from the description of this VaPer. The Virginia aroma is very reminiscent of FVF and I suspect that they might use a Virginia blend very similar to it. I took out a tin of FVF and gave them both the ?sniff? test and they the Virginias were almost identical.

As stated above, I took a couple of flakes out of the tin and gently rubbed them out and let them dry for about 30 minutes before I loaded up the bowl. It was very easy to light and had a white ash right off of the bat. This blend burns extremely clean, just like FVF. During the smoke, the Perique dances along with the Virginias almost as if to a beat. It comes to the front then goes to the back and so on and so on. It was a great experience!!

Now I am going to go against what most people on tobaccoreviews.com have stated about this blend. A lot of people on here have stated that the Perique quantity in this blend is way over the top and that there is a high level of nicotine in this blend. I did not find either of these statements true for any of the bowls that I smoked of this. And I have smoked two tins so far. While the Perique is noticeable in this blend it does not come to the front and punch you in the face with its strength like other blends (Kajun Kake, Night Train, etc). Also, there is nicotine in here but not anymore than I have experienced in other blends.

This blend is very tasty to me and the price when buying in bulk really can?t be beat. Taste-wise, I enjoyed this more than Escudo. The reason is that the two types of tobacco (Virginia and Perique) seemed to be blended together with more consistency than Escudo. I have smoked Escudo where I almost didn?t have any Perique until I hit the bottom and then it came on too strong. St. James Flake is not like this. The Perique chimes in as if on cue every time. It?s a wonderful blend and will be a staple in my rotation and cellar from now on

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I somewhat recommend this blend to Va/Per lovers among us. It is a cautious recommendation because the Perique in this blend is absolutely over the top for me and judging from the previous reviews, may be a bit much for the average Va/Per lovers among us. Still, for those who love a Perique kick in the teeth, this is going to be worshipped.

As is the case with most all SG Virginia blends, the leaf is top-shelf and the presentation (in this case, flakes) is quite nicely done. The pendulum leans to the right in both strength and taste.

3 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (138)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I had a healthy amount of this sent to me by a forum member who disliked the blend. This particular person does not like Perique in large quantities. This blend is a little heavy on the perique which suits my tastes well. I find this blend a lot like Fillmore by GL Pease in that regard.

The Virginia is sweet, but can be overwhelmed by the Perique at times. I do like this blend and will likely reorder, but I don't think it rises to four stars as I would prefer to smoke Fillmore or even, Dunhill's Elizabethan to this blend. I think the latter two have much better balance between the Virginia and the Perique.

This blend is definitely not for the beginner or someone seeking a Vaper for the first time.

Purchased From: gift from friend

Similar Blends: GL Pease Fillmore, Dunhill Elizabethan.

2 people found this review helpful.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (30)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Being predominantly Latakia blends smoker, I wouldn't go in depth judging this tobacco. I've smoked it somewhat wet, since it comes extremely wet from the tin like all Sam Gawith tobaccos. One time I've put it on a hot plate to heat it and dry it quickly. It resulted in losing a fair amount of it's flavour. Anyway, rubbing it spreading it across the table and letting it dry for 20-30 minutes before smoking does the job. Has to be packed loosely however, and in a narrow bowl pipe. Virginias used are dark, and whoever mentioned that it's Full Virginia Flake with some Perique added, might be just right. Perique adds some sour spiciness, but also mellows the VA and the result is pretty balanced smoke. Maybe too balanced, but that's ok. I've smoked it on cold winter days, and somehow it didn't fit well. This blend would be excellent for the summer. It is fresh, despite the heavy dark virginias. A very good VA/Per, reminds a bit of Three Nuns, but has that recognizable specific Sam Gawith note. Highly Recommended from me.

Pipe Used: Meerschaums morta and briars

Age When Smoked: Few months

Purchased From: Tel Aviv, Israel

2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (621)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the best VaPers I've ever smoked. Nice, very light fruit/raisin/plum note with some pepper and natural sweet Virginia taste, and a hint of chocolate if you are looking for it. And no Lakeland essence to mess it up! It does need some drying time, but if you dry it completely, you lose a little of the flavor. I cut it in very small, almost cube size, mixed in a few short, slim strips. It does require some relighting, but who cares? This isn't a contest to see how few matches you use. This is a contest that your taste buds wins out on every time you smoke it. A consistent flavor from top to bottom; well worth the price and the time it takes to get a hold of it.

By the way, I really don't understand why people who dislike flake tobacco bother to smoke this kind of blend and then trash it - and all other flake tobaccos - for being what it is. Forget the people who complain about that; this tobacco is worth a little effort. And if it isn't, smoke something else. But you'll be missing out if you do.

2 people found this review helpful.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

If you're into VaPers, you definitely should try this one. Rich mature red Virginias combined with a good amount of Perique for a full taste, robust smoke. High on the Perique side, SJF is not too bitter nor too sweet, a nice balance for those who enjoy Virginias and VaPers.

2 people found this review helpful.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I can ditto most of the comments already made of those who highly recommended this blend. If you like blends with Perique you should enjoy this flake. There is no question that SG produces the finest flakes available. St James Flake reminds me of Knoxville Cigar Company's Laurel Flake, which is made by Gawith, one of my favorite smokes; I am tempted to believe they are the same blend.

Based on one of the reviews below I smoked this without rubbing it out, drying it for 30 minutes prior to lighting, and smoking it in a #4 size pipe. Rather than tamping I've found loosening the surface with a pick between lights facilitates smoking.

All-in-all, a nice flake.

August 19,2008 update: This tobacco ages nicely. With age, more mellow and sweet.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

SJS desperately calls out for balance in an otherwise quality blend. I hope aging brings out the sweetness that could counter the overly assertive Perique pepper-power. I like Best Brown Flake better without the capsicum. Despite the Perique dominating this blend, the flavor is medium with a little extra. I will reseal the flakes to mature for a few years and see what happens, but there is nothing to recommend here presently, given the VAPER classics and neo-classics readily available. Also, the room note will not make you any friends. Escudo, Fillmore, St. James Woods are just superior choices for me.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

When I was still a pipe newbie I bought one tin of this. I didnt like it and now I understand why. This is a very complicated tobacco, that takes a more experienced smoker to appreciate it. First of all, for me it has just the right strenght in a pipe tobacco. And the taste is delicious. It is like a spicy meal. Blowing away from the nose is particulary very tasty. Might be the most complicated tobacco I have ever tasted.

Negatives: It is not easy to rub it to a nice ribbon like shape. I will try cutting it next time. Also it does not get lit easily but when it is, it goes all the way.

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: savinelli punto oro

Age When Smoked: new tin

1 person found this review helpful.

H Gillman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
H Gillman (32)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Yet another fine flake from SG. Sweet and subtle tin note. Nice beige flakes with brown streaks. Crystalline formations along the lines. I was lucky to find a sealed aged tin. I think the aging must make this a smooth smoker. I hand rubbed the entire tin to relieve moisture and find it a one light smoke after gravity feeding, charring, tamping and lighting. The top third of the bowl is rather nice with a mild sweetness and a wonderful aroma. Mid bowl is a bit better but the bottom third is where I find this flake to comes alive. Sipping, rolling round my tongue and exhaling through my nose lets me get the most from this flake. There is a lot to be said about these flakes that are flavoured through aging rather than chemicals. Smooth. Moderately mellow and a genuine joy to smoke. Recommended

Pipe Used: Peterson's/ Missouri Meerschaums et al

Age When Smoked: 5 years sealed

1 person found this review helpful.

Coltrain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Coltrain (8)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I am by no means a Va/Per fanatic. In fact, I tend to avoid them as they can often disappoint (that said there are many great Va/Per tobaccos out there). St. James Flake however is one I would definitely spend my money on repeatedly.

Opening the tin you are greeted with a well balanced looking flake. Not too dark virginias but with noticeable perique spread throughout. It smells pleasant enough. The sweet grassy virginias are offset by the perique leaving you with a nice tobacco aroma. Not pungent like a strong english and not sweet like a sticky aromatic. Just pleasant tobacco.

On first light you are hit with a mouth full of spicy perique (at least I am) which quickly fades and becomes balanced by the virginias. That said the perique in this blend is more at the forefront of any other Va/Per tobacco available today. Original three nuns territory (not meaning to offend any die hard three nuns fans). It doesn't have the kick of the original three nuns but there's enough Vitamin N in this blend to make ya feel it.

Overall, this is a nice spicy blend that I personally feel is a pleasant change from most other current Va/Per blends out there. Deserves a 3 out of 4 but no more.

Pipe Used: Peterson Killarney Red 150

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: GQ Tobaccos

1 person found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (74)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I'll reiterate the observation of other reviewers that the flakes, upon opening the tin, were, as Cragganmore put it, "a big, wet ball of tobacco".

I've smoked it over the course of several months at various levels of moisture, from damp to bone dry to re-moistened, and my experience with it largely echoes Cragganmore's (my fav scotch, btw).

It's a quality flake once it's dry enough to smoke. It's not a bad VaPer, but it doesn't hold a candle to Escudo's shimmering flavorscape: those few bowls that worked for me remained relatively monochromatic. I find it better than McC's St. James Woods, but still far from a truly worthwhile VaPer like, say, Solani's flavorful and interesting 633, or the magnificent Escudo.

Worth trying for the VaPer enthusiast to see if this one rings their bell (as it evidently does for many of our peers), but not recommended for those wanting to discover the unique flavorscape of VaPers for the first time. Maybe, like Cragganmore and perhaps other recent reviewers, I caught a bad batch... But I won't be buying it again.

Update 09/27/13: I just found the tin buried under a few others, forgotten but not discarded. I was in the mood for a VaPer, so I figured... why not? It's now brittle and bone dry. Maybe it's my imagination, but it seems like there's a lot more sugar crystals coating the flakes than I remember. Maybe it's the flake, or maybe it's my mood, or the relative humidity... I don't know, but now it's tasting like a quality flake, really quite lovely in fact, a good balance between sweet and peppery, right in the alto range. I'd up it from 2 to 3 stars, but I'd need to have a few more bowls like the last one. I may purchase it again someday to try to solve the mystery of why I like it all of a sudden, but I'm not in any hurry to.

1 person found this review helpful.

Cragganmore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cragganmore (6)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Normally I have high threshold when it comes to accepting sloppy presentations from Samuel Gawith and it's because I know that there is great quality in the product.

However... I've only had one tin of St. James Flake before this review and I will not be having another. Ever. When I purchase flake tobacco I expect flakes. This was delivered as a big, wet ball of tobacco. I had to let it age for a few months (which I normally do after a first curious sampling) and even then I couldn't get the pre-smoke preparation down. I'd either dry it too much (resulting in total perique-dominance) or too little (resulting in a soaky, wet and annoying smoke). Admitedly I had a few really terrific sessions with this but they were not the norm by any means. The level of perique would vary greatly which even caused me to discard a few bowls, something that I would normally never do.

I'm hoping I just caught a bad batch, which is why I won't rate it below 'somewhat recommended'. I expected more though...

Beardnote: spiced up virginia, fairly sniffworthy

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipenutt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipenutt (2)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable

I can't say much about what comes in tin's but the 2 ounce bulk came very wet and even after 24 hours of drying it was like leather or beef jerky. Would not rub out properly and require many relights. Much more hassle then it's worth for a flavor that was too mild for me. I won't waste my time or money buying it again.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (219)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Strong

Updated: I just smoked and compared St. James Flake to Dunbar, both are outstanding VaPers. The bulk SJF comes in a long one piece flake that is way too wet to smoke. I broke the flake into one inch pieces, rubbed it out and allowed it to dry for 4hours before I stuffed it into a cob ( I like VaPers from a cob). The Virginias were sweet, slow burning and without bite. The Perique was prominent but behind the Virginias, Dunbar, the Perique was also behind the the Virginias. Both are excellent. I think I would give the edge to the SJF for smoothness but for overall cost ( see my review of Dunbar), availability and ease of loading to Dunbar. So Dunbar is my go to Vaper while SJF will be my contemplating Vaper.Both are Sweeter than Escudo which has nothing to be ashamed of and has more complexity.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I had intended reviewing this tobacco some time ago, but now will have to suffice. As other reviewers have noted, the contents in the tin are soaking wet, and take some time in drying. If I smoke this blend too wet it bites more than is worth the effort to keep it lit. After a few days drying, everything calms down to a tolerable degree, and I have found that nearly dried out is the best way for me to enjoy SJF. Unlike others, I don't detect a huge Perique kick; just a noticeable tickle in the nose and in the room note, after smoking. There is a casing agent of some sort here, too, but it is ephemeral, and soon recedes after lighting. I must say that sniffing the bowl of one's pipe, loaded with SJF, just after it has gone out, is a marvelous experience. I smell figs, prunes, caramel, and strong coffee. The taste, is, in a word, luxurious. This is a rich blend, albeit restrained. It isn't going to win over those whose prefer a lightning bolt virginia/perique smoking experience, a la Escudo or 633. No, SJF occupies a slightly different place in a tobacco niche where choices abound. 2015 is my gold standard for such blends, and SJF will not unseat it, but it is an excellent choice of an evening when you can partake with the attention that it deserves. Dry it, rub it out (or roll it up/break it apart), and enjoy.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Virginia and Perique the two soul mates in tobacco blending join together once again in St. James Flake. And what a relationship it turned out to be in the beautiful blend. Some have commented on it's closeness to the "King of VaPer" the esteemed Escudo. I too have to agree with that comparison and when this mixture is dried to nearing brittle but not too close it shines like the rising sun on the wake of an Atlantic sea. Deep, powerful, stewing in plum, raisin, and fig delivering always a truly remarkable experience. A companion for each of us with unconditional loyalty. Three cheers for SJF!!!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Ho-hum....yes, let's see what we've got here. Initially it seems to have everything I usually look for in a tobacco (high grade virginia; in this case properly aged, and perique). Nice body, nice (tin) aroma, and delivers a good nicotine hit. Obviously hand crafted, nice presentation. Yet smoking it is kind of odd. It strikes me as a little bit blunt (perhaps that's the "big and bold British" side of it). And I too detect that "minty" taste that has been suggested earlier when going on the final third of a bowl. Very odd, indeed.

All in all it's not bad, but it's nothing special either. I had somehow expected something more out of it. Perhaps that minty confectionary thing it has going on is an aquired taste.

I'm afraid I won't be in any particular rush to get more tins of this blend. Which bothers me a little, I want to like S.G, small blending houses are almost extinct these days, but somehow all their blends I've tried so far has been a little of a let-down. But if I know myself right, that won't stop me from checking out their other offerings.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rodrigo de Xerez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rodrigo de Xerez (16)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

First I have to state is I am not a big fan of flakes (you know: all this rubbing or unfolding job is quite boring for me... and I have noticed many many times that flakes normally offer less bowls per tin)

Of course, some flakes give you delicious undertones and overtones... but just prefer good mixtures on ribbon cut. I preferred them 25 years ago, and I still do prefer.

St.James Flake is a decent combination of Virginia and Perique. Good taste, a little bit peppery... and nothing more.

I am not especially fond of Perique, so this is not a regular for me. Just a change of pace. With Perique, I prefer the style of Artisan`s Blend (because the other components are strong and tasty enough)

So finally, I think this can be recommended for fans of VAPers in the mild to medium side.

Rdx score: 85.90 (I regularly smoke tobaccos over 90)

1 person found this review helpful.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Do you like a perique kick? Here you go!

Not a daily smoke but it is in may favorites list.

As usual, like the other many SG flakes, needs to be aired well enough and rubbed how you like. Even if the perique addition is high, the nice natural virginia sweetness of high quality SG flakes is considerable here. The only thing you have to do is to smoke this stuff when you are relaxed and with attention. The play of the perique and virginia is awesome.

And please do not offer this tobacco to a beginner!

1 person found this review helpful.

Korndog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Korndog (16)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco has a very nice tin aroma. Dark fruits and a surprising note reminiscent of Junior Mints (an American confection). The smoke is very easy on the tongue and can be puffed a bit more than other VA's I smoke. the Perique is well balanced and quite complimentary. This blend can be smoked a bit wetter than FVF with a good burn. The dark fruits carry over to the taste making this a good smoke when you feel like something sweet and spicy. I would pair this with a small batch bourbon.

KD

1 person found this review helpful.

Slimstem Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slimstem (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

I realize my taste sensations may not be those of the average briar enthusiast.

However, S.Gs St James is in my sort of humble opinion like the Milky Way of VAPERS.

It has this really delicious caramel flavor derived completely from the tobaccos and not some artificial topping.

Others have compared it to Escudo (good luck finding that anywhere nowadays) and I would agree with most of those comparisons. Escudo: 10, St James: 8.

When all is said and done, and youve laid down your hard or easily earned money, you wont regret your purchase of this quality tobacco. I bought 4ozs as a trial, and will be receiving a pound in a few days. I really like it.

1 person found this review helpful.

Tyro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tyro (10)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

This is a budget Escudo! The taste is very similar... not quite equal to Escudo perfection but its bulk price point carries it over the top. Highly recommended to VAPER lovers and crazed hording fanatics!

1 person found this review helpful.

haredawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
haredawg (46)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

In a fit of paranoia, paroxysms of fed fear, I bought a buttload of tobacco to cellar in the beginning of March. I don?t know why exactly, the pipe tobacco tax is going up maybe a buck fifty a pound, sure it?s hundred and some percent increase, but still? Anyhow, among the tins I bought to cellar, I picked up four ounces of St. James Flake in bulk, in a large part because of the reviews on here. The positive ones. Funny thing that, I ignore the negative ones when I?m planning on getting a tobacco anyhow.

This came very moist in the bag, long dark thin flakes, with a strong peppery perique scent. I rubbed one flake out just to make it dry quicker, when they are a bit drier I?ll probably try just folding a flake into a pipe. I eyeballed the flake and figured it would fill my Castello billiard, in between a Dunhill group four and five, perfectly. Even if I was wrong I wouldn?t admit it, but it was a real good guess, one flake is about a pinch more than a group 4. It still took the better part of an hour to dry enough to smoke.

Once dried it was an impressive smoke, assertive, flavorful, tasty. It?s a little heavier with perique than most factory blends out there, except when I?ve added perique to a Virginian I like I can?t remember having smoked a VA/Per as Per heavy. That?s not saying much, I?ve smoked maybe ten factory made Va/Per. In this blend it works well. Though I haven?t had a Gawith blend I didn?t like, I don?t consider their regular Virginians as real high end, or not in the same class as say Rattrays or Reiners. This is a perfect blend for them, a great balance between the Virginians and the perique bringing out the full flavor of both. Am considering ordering another pound before it shoots up another buck and a half (it?s a weak excuse, but any excuse to stock up on good tobacco is a good one).

Maybe it?s a bad idea to review a tobacco after just one bowl but I think of first impressions as the best. So far I haven?t needed to go back and edit a review, my opinion remaining pretty static, although, honestly, I haven?t tasted some of the Dunhill blends I?ve reviewed since they switched from Murrays to Orlik for the American export.

Four stars for St James flake, a heavier perique VA/Per, good solid, bold smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

kg0mz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kg0mz (54)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a review of the bulk flake. It has all been said before. One of my top three favorite VApers...Escudo, St. James, Dunbar.

07/27/09 UPDATE: I am revising some of my reviews. I have given out more 4 star ratings than anything else. That practice is probably not helping. So, I am reducing SJF to 3 stars, not because I like it less than I did before, but because I am limiting 4 stars to fewer than 25% of all my reviews. One day I may use the 4 star rating to designate my top five.

08/22/09 UPDATE: I found a pipe last month that is especially suited for smoking VApers. I have rotated several blends in this pipe, and for me bulk St. James Flake aged a year stands above the rest. I think it contains superior Virginias that are sweeter and present a greater range. The perique is tastier and more pronounced. Some VApers are near unidimensional in comparison. This is my King-O-VApers. Thus, it goes back to 4 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (571)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Hmmm... there's perique in here? Where? Oh, there it is! Or is it? Hmmm....

I find this to more than pass muster as a virginia blend, where it fails as a VaPer, IMHO. The perique is "overwhelmingly subtle" to coin a phrase. I prefer a little more kick to my VaPer blends. Quite frankly, if I didn't know there was perique in this blend, I'd have mistaken it for a Lakeland-style top note that is very faint. Escudo, Davidoff Flake Medallions and the various McClelland blends such as St James Woods and #2015 still rule, as I can taste more of that incredible perique spiciness. This one is good but just lacks that spice kick.

1 person found this review helpful.

birdseye Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
birdseye (15)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

One of the older blends that I miss is the original Escudo but I have to admit that SG's St. James Flake is as good, if not better. It is, however, smoother without that Escudo "zest" and never seems to bite. The distinctive perique taste and flavor becomes more apparent as the smoke goes on, but doesn't dominate. St. James is particularly enjoyable when alternated with pipefuls of good English and/or Balkan blends. If there is a better va/perique blend out there somewhere, I would love to hear about it. Right now, it is definitely my favorite in this category.

1 person found this review helpful.

LeGunnCat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LeGunnCat (18)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Unnoticeable

This is an excellent blend. I have found that smoking it in my Big Ben nose warmer with a 9mm filter suits it nicely, and allows me to smoke a bit more vigorously.

My blend was dry and I crushed it in a tobacco crusher. This creates a lot of edges which burns very well. I gravity fed the bowl slightly tamping it down. Lighting it was a breeze. The blend burned cool. Would work as an all day smoke.

Perique being my favorite spicing tobac, I found this to be a nicely blended mix. I can't say that it was too strong like other reviewers experienced.

It's a bit difficult for me to compare this to other vaper blends. More mild than Escudo and Solani 633, having with an identity of it's own. Who would expect less from S. Gawith and company?

Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

The perique is the predominant note to me. Not a bad thing if you are in the mood for a smoke that has a bit of a sweet side. A very nice PerVa that has a permanent presence in my cellar and rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

DBCooper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DBCooper (9)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Full Tolerable

No need to add anything to the many fine reviews on this blend. Taste is a very personal issue and for me SJF is an excellent smoke. I rank it right up with Escudo Navy Deluxe. If you enjoy Vapers, this one is certainly worth a try.

1 person found this review helpful.

Hermit 78 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hermit 78 (33)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The virginia is temperamental and high-maintenance. The perique is abundant and powerful. This is a man's smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

JazzSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JazzSmoke (37)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

This is very cool smoking Virginia/Perique mixture. I let the tobacco dry considerably and fold the flakes in half to load the pipe. Va/Per mixture with a softness that I enjoy. I finished a tin in one week, and bought several more. There are other great blends in this style but I really do enjoy this one for it's smoothness, and the quality of the tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Although many have said that the perique in this is a bit overwhelming, I didn't notice it, I would consider this just about one notch up from BBF as far as flavour goes, this is a nice easy going "no brainer" flake, great when your working and don't want to be distracted so much that you go and tell the world and / or your boss, just where in their anatomy they can go and stick their problems while you enjoy. But just enough to keep you interested so that you realise your not smoking this for the vitamin N content.

Yes, this too is going into rotation, another SG winner.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Based on the tin I had, I found St. James a rather misbalanced smoke. Sometimes it had a round, full, spicy taste, and sometimes it was bland and steamy - not depending on the pipe or packing method. More experiments could help me work my way through to enjoying St. James flake, but I'd better look for something else. Three Nuns for example is definitely a winner compared to St. James.

1 person found this review helpful.

jmrtsus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jmrtsus (10)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Like C&D Kajun Kake this tobacco is a VA/Perique blend. I like them both but find that the SG flake version is much milder and easier on my throat. The taste is somewhat sweet and spicy without screaming out "I have casings."

St. James Parish is close to my home town of New Orleans and the only place Perique tobacco is grown. Like other things in Louisiana is has a bold and spicy flavor. In this tobacco the Perique is there but not so over powering as to hide the Virgina taste. The flakes help keep it burning cool and slow. Rubbing this one out does not improve the smoke, leave it in flake form, just fold and pack it.

Like all the SG tobaccos I have tried I like it, maybe I'll try an SG product I don't like soon but not this one.....

1 person found this review helpful.

Smokey the Werewolf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smokey the Werewolf (3)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This is one great tobacco! Not for everyone, I'm sure, but for me, this is wonderful stuff.

Samuel Gawith's flakes are, as a group, among my very favorite tobaccos. They are no-messing-around, straight-forward, full-flavored good ol' tobacco. I love a good straight Virginia, and to me there's no better Virginia than SG's Full Virginia Flake. The Virginia in St James Flake is very similar to FVF and to Best Brown Flake (which are actually the same tobacco, the only difference being the length of time they are steamed and pressed). So you take the best Virginia in the world and add a generous helping of perique from St James Parish, Louisiana, and St James Flake is what you end up with.

I'm a self-proclaimed Freak for Perique, loving blends like Butera's Kingfisher, Dan's Limerick, Cornell & Diehl's Kajun Kake & Haddo's Delight (which is a little more nuanced and less straight-forward than I usually prefer my tobaccos), and the highly-esteemed Escudo (though to me, it could actually use a little more perique). Not McClelland's St James Woods, though, because it smells/tastes like McClelland ketchup.

Well, if you like perique, this blend delivers. Perique is used skillfully and successfully as a condiment tobacco in all manner of blends, but if you want to try the simple, frank VA/Per experience, this is what it's supposed to taste like. St James Flake, to me, is the quintessential Virginia/perique flake. The perique is not as overwhelming to me as it is in Kajun Kake, but it definitely is the primary flavor in this blend. It's spicy, musty, tangy, wonderful stuff that delivers a good healthy dose of "Vitamin N." So, if you're an inexperienced smoker or overly sensitive to the effects of nicotine, this is one I'd smoke with caution. It's not an all-out nic-bomb, but it is strong.

I give it 4 stars because of how excellent it is, not necessarily as a recommendation, because this much perique or this much strength in a tobacco is not going to be for everyone.

1 person found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (73)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

For many years my primary daily smoke was Black Parrot. First the German production which was delightful and then the McClelland version which was decent. Six months ago I bought a tin of SGSJF, filled a bowl and said no not really to my liking. The perique was a bit overdone for me.

I tossed the tin aside and did not touch it again until a few nights ago. It had mellowed and was most enjoyable. The perique is still a bit sharper than I like but overall this is a very well made tobacco. VaPer fans should definitely give it a whirl.

Ben is so right, give it that six months!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Great combo but, it takes awhile to get use too it. The WOW factor

1 person found this review helpful.

Ben Rich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ben Rich (34)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If you allow this to age six months or more in its sealed tin, it becomes sublime, an excellent VA/PER. I have found that it is also necessary to allow the flakes at least 20 minutes drying time before loading your pipe; I don't roll out this tobacco but simply fold and stuff the flakes whole into the bowl. I smoke St. James Flake in smaller bowls (size 3 to small 4) and it seems to really shine in Peterson system pipes - as if the Peterson pipes and this blend were made for each other. No bite at all, small sips and very very sweet full virginia flavor with the spice of perique - this tobacco is worth taking your time with for better enjoyment. My wife does not care for the room note, particularly on light-up, but once the pipe is fully lit, the note settles down and so does my wife. Nicotine rarely affects me (except high doses make me sleepy) and this tobacco merely relaxes me; so I suspect this has a substantial amount of nicotine per bowl.

1 person found this review helpful.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I agree with Talonr1701: Take FVF and add about 25% perique and this is it! Not as great as FVF but a good, strong, peppery and bite-free smoke though!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

an incredible tobacco. upon opening the tin, there isn't that much aroma, but discreet as it is, it is very promising: raisins, figs, and of course: good straight first class tobacco. i don't think i've smelled a tin aroma this beautiful since i was a small boy and was allowed to sniff my anglophile grandaddy's tobaccos.

and indeed, it is all i expected it to be: slightly sweet with notes of figs; zesty; rich. not as diverse as dunhill's de luxe navy rolls, but a much more pure tobacco, as far as i can judge; very much akin to gallaher's escudo, though without the brighter notes of that worthy tobacco. it is a wonderful after-dinner smoke, relaxing and fulfilling. burns all the way to the bottom with a straight taste all through, leaving dry fine ash. it's been a long time since i last enjoyed a pipe of tobacco this much. pure bliss for three quarters of an hour.

i'll have to order a load of this, as one never knows when fate will strike and close down yet another english tobacco manufacturer. and though i see it as very close to perfection now, i believe some storing won't hurt it.

1 person found this review helpful.

Talonr1701 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talonr1701 (119)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This one is for the perique nuts...(Like myself)- Take FVF and add about 25% perique and this is it. You say this is a simplistic description? Well its accurate. A fantastic Virginia and my favorite spice....thats a receipe for something wonderful..... Warning though..Perique is strong, and the taste is steady from begining to end. I love it, but three stars as you gotta love perique like me to enjoy it. Use caution....

1 person found this review helpful.

gho Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gho (8)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This review is for the bulk version. Very nice, medium dark-brown, leathery virginia - perique flakes, which show the sparkle of tiny little crystals if held in the sunlight. Can burn down consistently to a pepper and salt ash. Smoking characteristics depend on packing and smoking style. Rubbing out the flake and smoking at a relaxed pace works best for me.

Rich, tasty and spicy aroma with sweet undertones. Hmm, undertones is an understatement. It can get pretty sweet at times and I get the impression of flavours like anise, liquorice and honey. I am wondering, how it would go along with a glas of anise liqueur.

The perique presents itself tingly, peppery and nicely, without being overwhelming, or obtrusive. High in nicotine. Soothing and very satisfying. No tongue bite, no gurgle.

In my opinion a honest and delicious smoke, if you like sweet virginia-perique flakes and know how to smoke them. The smoke get's harsh and bitter easily, if you are in a hurry, so it has a somehow educating effect on me. It says: "Slow down, relax, enjoy!"

This flake definately is something to be savoured.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (138)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Traditional Gawith style flake packing. I smoked a full tin in an old, small Charatan. Just one or at most two bowls a day.

Bold is right. This baby has more LA perique or tastes like it does, than most Va./Perique blends. More than say Stokkebye's Navy Flake, C&D's Kajun Kake, Escudo, Wessex's Folded Flake, Solani's two flakes, etc. Not a bad thing, but a warning. You must adore real Perique to like this one.

Still not as potent as C&D's Exclusive (whoa baby -- I can only smoke the pressed/ extra Va. cut version of that one) or as strong as original Three Nuns could be. Three Nuns strength was in both the Perique and full virginias. SJ Flake is not sweet like Escudo or Three Nuns. Just different. Like S' Navy Flake on steroids.

Maybe as dark and spicy as Butera's Kingfisher, but that one is subdued with cool burley. Just Virginias in SJ Flake.

However, the high quality virginias and pressing subdue the Perique just enough to make the experience worthwhile. You don't taste their woody toastiness like in Full Virginia Flake by Gawith, but they do form a nice base.

I had to let it dry out for a few days to have a more mellow smoke. I found fully rubbed best. It started out a little bitter and took a few bowls to be more rounded in my pipe. Not hot, but somewhat spicy. Little or no bite if puffed slowly. Someone new or occasional to perique would say my description is too mild or the taste is more on the bitter than sour side.

Enough. Either you'll like it or you won't. A bold but true gesture by Gawith whom I beleive has never ventured in the Perique realm before. If you care for Perique, this is for you and at least it won't get you. Weaker of heart, who knows? Perique is not for the meek.

1 person found this review helpful.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (133)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a nice little blend from SG. The Virginia is in the forefront with the perique taking a definite second fiddle position. There does seem to be enough of it to make this blend one of the better ones out there. It may not be on the same level as those of old, but I cannot compare them since they were long gone by the time I got into this most relaxing of hobbies. Upon opening the tin, you will definitely need to dry this out for some time. Trying to light up right off is a bit of a challenge. Once fire has taken hold, it is a very enjoyable blend. It smokes down to a nice ash and has a decent nicotine hit to it. Recommended whenever you can get your hands on some.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (211)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Sam Gawith St James Flake . I love most Sam Gawith Tobaccos and this does not let me down ! The only negative point is that it could use a little extra drying period to help the rub , but with a little tenacity the rubbing is completed ! The light also requires a little hard work due to the moistness but once lit the hard work more than pays off ! The smoke does not bite and offers a really eminent flavour of mainly Virginia with a sublime Perique touch to it . The Nicotine content I find to be good in strength , but that is more subjective ! Room note is quite standard of Virginia/Perique but still very pleasing . More than worth a try !

Pipe Used: Mr Brog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (64)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Perique? Where is the perique? this is a best brown flake, quite wet, point. The perique was probably forgotten. If you like FVF, and best brown flake, try this one too, it is as good as the others. But not much different!

Pipe Used: lubinsky

Age When Smoked: unknown

Similar Blends: Best Brown Flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (566)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The reviews with four stars says it all.

FVF + Best Brown + Perique

IMO there ar round about 8-9 % perique contained.

I use the flake not pur, since there is a plug too.

The Flake i use for mix with GH Brown Flake and/or SG Balkan Flake.

Its so good to combine. Look at GLP AMERICAN Stonehendge

Recommanded pur 3 Stars

In mix as above mentioned four Stars

Age When Smoked: 1 - 3

Similar Blends: St. James Plug.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Gave this one a few tries because of the reviews it has received and also because I like perique. Actually, I purchased a new Caminetto business billiard for this tobacco alone because I was certain I'd love it. Nope. I give up.

The smoke is just terrible. Flat pepper that's dense and heavy mixed with moldy moss. Typically, I try to get through the whole tin when trying something new. However, only half of this tin was burned and the other half just hit the trash can with a thud.

At the last third of this bowl I said to myself "Why? What's the point?" There's no sense in trying so hard to make this work for me.

If this was all there was to smoke out there, I'd have to quit. It's just that bad.

This one is thrashed and trashed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I really like this vaper rubbed out, just fine tobaccos with great flavor.Stocked up on this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (566)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Mild 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. For this flake I really did not like the flavor profile...some odd casing I can't put my finger on.

Smoke in peace, brothers and sisters of the leaf.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (566)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I must say I am not a fan of this VA/PER. On a different topic, SG tobaccos have started to seriously annoy me because of the high level of dampness of their products.

Aging their tins is difficult because of the rust that will develop in the inside of the tin, due to the too high a level of humidity.

Preparing them and smoking them requires patience, compromise and various strategies I came to realize I do not want to possess. A tobacco should not be so extreneous an effort to prepare.

Also, despite this tin being roughly 3 years old (a gift from an acquaintance that was marked "2010") this flake was still too damp and, despite over an hour of drying, bites.

There are too many good offerings out there that do not require specials skills and deliver an awsome, satisfying smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

joeljcj2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joeljcj2 (8)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

bright clean vaper--enough perique to sharpen it just a bit---to semiquote an earlier reviewer--like a touch of tobasco in a bbq sauce. not very sweet, not so much lakeland--- far less floral than any of the other sg's or gawith-hogarth's. i find when sg flavors, they really flavor, but st james has none of that. it seems pure va mix, with that light tweak of perique. just a pure, rich tobacco taste. heavy enough to be my last pipe of the night favorite.--butit does become hard to find periodically.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Might be my favorite VA/Per at the moment. I have to confess, however, that I do mix a little granulated Perique in when prepping a bowl of this already tasty smoke. I like the extra tangy flavor and slight additional boost. Sort of like extra BBQ sauce on an already fine rack of beef ribs.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Another nice SG blend. Tin presentation is very nice, flakes are a little moist but with a little drying it smokes beautifully. Another SG blend that I will keep on hand, and one that seems to be more available then FVF.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Abadakus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Abadakus (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I, personally, would describe this blend as a mixture of dark Virginias, a tiny pinch of Perique and "a generous proportion" of sugar. Once you find a right way to treat the flakes of uneven thickness, it'll burn quite well and steadily. Tastes somehow smoother and much sweeter than most VaPers I've tried, but still is a nice and satisfying smoke. 100% worth it's price!

Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Wet in the tin. I take out 2 flakes, and nuke them for about 6-8 seconds. Rub them out and get to it.

This Perique shows a nice spice that is well balanced with the Va. Straight forward tobacco flavor, smooth all the way down. This blend does require several relights, but it could just be me. One of my top favorite flakes from SG. I've only smoked a tin of this, so my 3 star may change to a 4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ap (56)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A sweet Vaper with just enough Perique to give you a nice spice smoke!! Delicious

Nobody has rated this review yet.

donmartinthree Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donmartinthree (18)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this tobacco for the first time about a year ago when I was in cologne and opened it straight out of the store, just to have a look and smell and I was so anxious to get back home to smoke it for the first time after that...

the smell out of the tin is very fruity, but dark, a lot like stewed plums and even a little bit chocolatey. it's definitely a heavily sweet-ish smell, but not like candy. savory-type sweetness, if you understand what I mean. Delicious. rich and dark...

Packing this is a challenge, as some flakes are extremely thick and also pretty moist, as with all SG flakes. I gave up on fold & stuff with this one. it tastes perfect as a very chunky ready rubbed. so you have a lot of little flake scraps and hardly any strands. more like broken flake, I guess. pack it loosely, light, tanp, relight, tamp, relight and off you go.

the flavors are like the smell... fruity, heavy, sweet, peppery, creamy...rich and dark. it's delicious! and after the tin is opened, it definitely develops over time. I had mine open for about half a year before I smoked it again and it was so much better. still very moist, but the flavors intensified and it became even smoother. the smoke feels like you could chew it in your mouth, that's how creamy this is.

I love it and never want to not have it again!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dnietosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dnietosi (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

First,this is my first real Va/Per. Compared to other flakes this really need some drying unless you want to be lighting and relighting and annoyed.

But it can also be good as it will last longer once you open the thin and it will also "change" with the time.

When you light it you definitely get some of the sweetness of the Virginias (good ones and dark ones) some fruity flavor/raisins but soon enough you get the peppery flavor of the perique. You might like it you might hate it, nothing to do with the tobacco being good or bad. I used to smoke cigars and this seems to me very close to smoke a cigar mixed with some very good Virginia.

After a few relights it burnt all the way to the bottom of the bowl with no dottle just white thin ash.

Now the key, this thing got better through the bowl and made me sad to finish it. Have the feeling it is gonna get better and better as it dries to become a supreme smoke.

However, this is not the stuff i will smoke everyday. Keep that in mind.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheJayBee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheJayBee (55)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my second Va/Per tobacco I try, the first one being also a flake from gawith and hoggarth (Louisiana Flake).

I honestly don't know which one I prefer... The smell from the tin is of strong fruity purée, with some notes of pot pourri which is amazing.

In the beginning, this one was more difficult to smoke as it was a bit wetter. I had to relight it a few more times.

However, this flake smokes much more neutrally and I just love it. It is strong, and really excellent, I think it has more perique than the G&H Louisiana flake. It has more body and character. Will definitely buy both again.

The smoke is thick and creamy, the taste is full and exquisite. No special aroma detected, maybe a hint of fig jam? I will maybe get more of a taste with the meer.

I just know it is a really excellent tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (25)
★☆☆☆
Medium Strong Mild Pleasant

I bought a couple of tins of this as I generally like Virginia/perique blends, and it seems to get generally good reviews.

On opening, both tins were stacked with various sizes and thicknesses of sopping, wringing, dripping wet flakes. The interior of one tin was actually rusting from the moisture.

After closing the tins and leaving them for a month the tobacco was still dripping wet, so I left the lid off one tin for four days. I do not exagerate.

After four days drying, I reckoned the top couple of flakes were just about dry enough to take a light, so I tried rubbing one out. It didn't so much rub out as break apart into brittle chunks.

I stuffed it into a cob and applied a light, and kept trying until it caught. My first though was "nice, mild Virginia, but not much perique. No bite at all though - that's good".

About 1/4 of the way down the bowl the sugar started. Sweet, sticky, clinging sugar. And the more I smoked, the more the sugar came flowing out of the stem, like smoking vapourised candy floss. By 3/4 of a bowl my mouth felt so sticky I needed to rinse it out, so I tried a mouthful of diet Coke. The Coke tasted sour and bitter compared to the tobacco.

I gave up in disgust and emptied the bowl into the ashtray. The next day, the cob's cake was full of sugar crystals, the ash in the bowl looked like charcoal and smelled strongly of caramel and the dottle could be snapped like bits of toffee.

I hate throwing tobacco away at UK prices, but both tins went in the bin. As, a week later, did the cob. Nothing I tried could begin to exorcise the sugary ghost.

I may have had a couple of bad tins - going by the rest of the reviews I guess I did. But the poor standard of these tins makes me wonder about SG's quality control.

So, based on my experience, my advice is to avoid unless you like taking chances - and don't try St James in a pipe you don't mind throwing away.

There's no aromatic flavouring in this tobacco by the way - I've marked the flavouring as "strong" because of the overwhelming sugary casing.

Quick update:

In plug form, this is supplied much, much drier and with a better texture, plus you can slice/whatever it as you like. St James plug is absolutely superb.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briar Tongue Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Tongue (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Description: The tin description is spot-on: A sumptuous blend of Virginias and Perique, this big, bold British style flake incorporates a generous proportion of St. James Parish.

First impressions: Like most SG blends, the tin label is simple and unpretentious. This is indicative of a quality pipe-tobacco blend, which should be judged by the contents and not by the branding. It has a picture of someone, whom I presume to be Samuel Gawith himself. This gives the tin a nice old-fashioned feel. Upon opening the tin, the aroma of matured Virginia and generous portion of Perique reveals an unmistakable depth of a quality flake tobacco. Unfolding the paper reveals beautifully presented tobacco with an almost motly-crue of leaf variation in the flakes. Due to the high-demand of this blend and drying time constraints, the flakes where on the moist side. This is a problem which can easily be solved though. I allowed a few days drying time until it was almost crispy. I received a good tip from my friend and fellow pipe-reviewer, Mo. After drying out the tobacco, place it back in the tin and allow for two-weeks "settling" time. I haven't tried this with SJF myself, but can take it with good authority from Mo. I'm not a big fan of the fold & stuff method as it is a recipe for inconsistent smokes. I rub it out completely and use the air-pocket method which appears to be working well for me. Upon first light I knew that I was going to enjoy this blend. The sweetish fullness from the Virginia and spicy strength from the Perique checks all tick-boxes in terms of what I classify a good VAPER to be. The burning qualities of this blend is excellent, requiring few relights common with many flake tobaccos. The remainder of the bowl was consistently good with not too much complexity. You don't have to concentrate too hard to enjoy this blend.

Last impressions: SJF has grown on me as I progressed through the tin. Due to the fullness & strength this blend offers, I have had consistently good smokes in various pipes/times of day/mood etc. This blend will age well and allow for some complexity to develop. St James Flake will have a permanent spot in my rotation. My second favorite VAPER after the king, Escudo.

Similar blends: I'm a bit hesitant to list similar blends as I haven't tried them all (I'm not pipestud:-). But I can say it reminds me of McClelland's St James Woods, although this is far better due to the strength & consistency. If you enjoy great vapers like Escudo, I think there's a good chance you'll enjoy SJF.

Final Notes: SG doesn't label the year of production, so I'm not sure how old this tin is. I presume its very young and I will update my review after I have aged this blend.

TBR rating: 4/4

Personal rating: 4/5 - For now I'm reserving one star to see how well this blend ages.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Badbrude Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Badbrude (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

VaPer's have been in my rotation for many years. My standard had been McClelland's MC2015 bulk, which has a wonderful sweet and sour taste with an OK room note. Esoterica's Dorchester has the best room note of any VaPer I've smoked but burns too hot due to its cut. St James has taken over as my favorite, both with excellent taste and room note. SG has the perfect balance of Virginias and Perique. The tobacco is a bit moist so some drying is recommended.

I agree with the other reviewers' opinion about the tobacco aroma and room note. If no like VaPer's try this one. The only problem is availability in the States from time to time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mo (79)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This blends resembles FVF when looking at it. Tin presentation was typical Gawith, it looks like someone packed the flakes into the tin with his feet.

That being said, although tin presentation is lacking, this was a really really good smoke. It was very wet in the tin so i would recommend some airing before smoking.

The taste was creamy with the unmistakable kiss of Perique. Really good stuff. I rubbed out some flakes, did the fold and stuff method and there was some variation but not much.

It really differs from what one would normally expect from a Virginia/Perique blend. The tobaccos are heavily stoved and the flakes are very dark in colour.

Its very good but not great. YMMV.

For South African Pipers, Gawith blends are available from Sturks in Cape Town.

Mo, South Africa.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (67)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

For the Va/Per lovers, which I am quickly becoming, this is a superb flake. For the longest time anything with perique was a turnoff for me. Now, as my tastes have become more refined, I find a smattering of perique to be very relaxing. I don't have a lot of knowledge on Va/Pers generally, but I think this has got to be what they're all about. I like this nearly as much as FVF, although different.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (45)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Sooo tasty, I'm having real hard time pacing myself with this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (153)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Very Full Tolerable

Certainly not a typical VaPer (at least compared to those I've had before). Dark, in color and in flavor, and of course it needed some drying and even then was not easy to get lit. Once going, however, this was a cool smoking, slow experience -- certainly made to be sipped and not smoked hard. I can see the comparison to FVF -- as if FVF had been smoothed out with the addition of a touch of perique (and only a touch -- I think you'd have to be very sensitive to perique to find this had too much).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (566)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a joint review of full virginia and St. James flakes as I find them very similar. These flakes are between a traditional sweet and dried prune-y flake like old gowrie and a pungent beef jerky-ish kendal/lakeland rope. Fans of many styles of tobacco will likely enjoy this, including orlik golden smokers, heavy latakia blend smokers, kendal/lakeland smokers, and cigar smokers. It has more complexity and nicotine and a thicker body than a typical va flake like old gowrie but not so much as to turn off many smokers who can not handle higher nicotine tobaccos like irish flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Due to the limited availability of SG blends, this review is based on two four year old tins. As a result the dark flakes are covered with sugar crystals! I generally like VaPers well aged and that have that signature sweet, raison/fig like aroma. I lean toward the sweeter VaPers as a rule. St. James, while sweet doesn't taste as sweet as aged Solani 633 or aged Escudo. With that said, St James has a depth of flavor that is really, really good. I have described some of my favorite English blends as having“richness” to the smoke and now I have found a VaPer that has earned that distinction. Complex, deep and rich with full flavor and a wonderful balance between the Virginia and Perique tobaccos, St. James is a winner. Like most of the SG flakes, it arrives too moist and needs dry time. I fully rub it out as I find it tastes best that way. I also favor a smaller bowl, like a group three or smaller with this blend. Well done and highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

latakiaowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
latakiaowl (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Now this is probably one of the best tobaccos I have ever smoked in my "career".........been looking for ages for a perfect Virginia and this is the one. Never smoked VAs before because I couldn't find THE Virginia i was looking for. They were always either too sweet or too tangy , biting my tongue and disappointing from the first half of the bowl onward.I always called it the Tutan-Klan curse. Like the Clan tobacco my father used to smoke, they smelled good and tasted bad. (Couldn't ever explain how a great pouch aroma and room note and a nasty taste could come from the same tobacco). Anyway, SJF is a natural, dark-pressed flake which is entirely satisfying and higly recommended by me. It contains Lousiana Perique too which is a fine touch. I admit I did not realize the presence of Perique until half-bowl, when first I caught the distinctive peppery sting of Perique coming out of the folds of this rich and sweet Virginia. But I appreciated it. ( If my taste buds are still alive and kicking, there's no trace of Latakia in this blend, like some reviewer has hinted). It comes a little too wet for my taste but I guess thos at Gawith's will like to sell moisture at tobacco price, won't they? Absolutely to be rubbed in my opinion ( and laid to rest for a while if possible) , the twist-and-go option will cost you three boxes of matches at least. A tobacco good from breakfast to noon, I simply love it! (Too bad here in Italy it's pricey).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JackSparrow Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JackSparrow (14)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Sweet sweet VAs, peppery PE: the magic formula…..and SG gives it a touch of perfection! Flakes are brown, moist, with very sweet aroma: figs, nuts, oak wood, honey. No flavoring added. Like all SG you have to let it dry out for a couple of hours before smoking; I rub the flakes and then let them dry. Lighting is very easy and the flakes burns dry and slow. The more you go through the bowl, the more you can enjoy the sweetness and the roundness of this fantastic blend. This is the sweetest of SG VA flakes, more than BBF and FVF. PE stays in the backyard, I cannot taste its usual stronger peppery notes, but it completes the mixture and adds a good taste to VAs. All Lakeland scent comes out of the bowl, with a very cool satisfying smoke. No flavors added, only fantastic top quality tobacco taste, with a medium load of vitamin N. This is an all day smoke, good to start the day after a plenty breakfast, great for your afternoon, and relaxing after dinner. I think no one can never be disappointed with this blend. Absolutely at the top!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Like Scheherazade, this tobacco has 1001 tales to tell. It seems that it's never the same twice.

I don't know why it's so variable: Perhaps it's the complexity and unpredictability of the perique, perhaps it's that the flakes vary from graphene-like monolayers to chunky slabs, perhaps SamuelG's QA department like a few too many lunchtime pints, perhaps it's how much drying time you've given these moist flakes or perhaps it's down to the alignment of planets when you light up.

I don't mean to imply that it's variable from good to bad - just that the way in which it's good is unpredictable.

As with all SamG flakes, a little drying time helps bring out the best (and stops it being flame retardant).

I suppose some adjectives would be helpful here. Sour, yeasty, salty, bready, malty, floral, sweet and (nearly) always brilliant.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Slow Draw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Draw (26)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This review is of a three year old tin of St. James flake. SG flakes commonly have sugar crystals on them, and this tin looked like a stack of very thinly sliced powdered brownies! And of course, the SG flakes are always quite moist. I smoked this tobacco in various states of hydration. From quite soggy, to dried over night brittle. As I expected, smoking this tobac on the dryer side, provided an easier burn and thus better control of flavor. When on the moist end of hydration, I have to rub this flake up a bit more than usual because it is quite dense and difficult to get burning.

Being a huge fan of FullVirginiaFlake, I expected a bit more of that deep buttery sweetness in SJF. Nevertheless, I was not disappointed. The Perique is amazing at times, providing a distinct pepper note, and a ghostly jam flavor. The signature Lakeland flavor seems more subdued or perhaps hidden in this blend. It all adds up to a delicious creamy smoke that is simple and wonderful, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

I found a good range in flavor in SJF depending on moisture level. My girl at first hated the smell (smoke moist), but as I smoke it dryer, and very slowly, she actually loves the smell!

I will be purchasing more for the cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Very dark brown tasty virginia spiced up with perique. I didn't need to smoke many bowls of this tobacco for it to become one of my all time favourites. Creamy and tasty and no tongue bite. The flakes aren't evenly cut, so some are thicker and some thinner. I don't mind since I rub them.

St. James Flake in bulk is dryer than tinned so you get more tobacco by weight for the money.

The reviewer SomkeQuest had latakia in his tobacco, but that was a mix up or contamination, and only one batch was affected.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Patrick ValBlanc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Patrick ValBlanc (6)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

On opening the tin a strong sweet smell hit me and I was rather worried the smoke would be a nauseatingly sweet one, my anxiety however proved to be entirely needless. The charring light brings a woodsy and peperry taste which is quickly balanced out by the sweeter malty notes which diminish in strenght the more the smoke progresses. Its taste is nice and full with the higher concentration of perique for a VaPer dancing on the tongue througout without being overpowering. It also leaves a persistant creamy aftertaste on the palate which is quite pleasant. This smokes surprisingly dry considering how wet it is in the tin and it's one of the coolest smokes I've had.

The only reasons I can't give this four stars are these: It packs more of a nicotine punch than I like which restrics me to smoking it in small bowled pipes, but if you're more inclined to vitamin N than I am, this can well be an asset to SJF. My main qualm with it lies with its lack of ease of packing, the flakes are uneven and tight, rendering fold and stuff impractical, and though it doesn't let itself get rubbed out as readily as other falke I've had, I find that rubbing it out to a ribbon like form works best.

Excellet leaf, and a must try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeliner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeliner (12)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Immediately after lighting makes a malty sweet, wide, with slightly tart undertones of Perique. With increasing duration of smoking something harsher, darker flavor notes come to light, making the tobacco interesting and independent. The SJF has its layers of flavor to the end without in any way to be unpleasant. The taste is most likely to be compared with the FV-Flake. Maybe a little drinkable with a slightly sour note of the background Perique.

A highlight of Kendal for Virginia lovers. Those who find pleasure in natural, dark-pressed flakes should try this tobacco in any case. For me, a great addition to FV-Flake and Sam's Flake from the same manufacturer.

In short, for me both thumbs up

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Love very top quality Virginias with a good helping of rich Perique?

Love St. James Flake.

As always with SG this is very wet in the tin and the flakes are all of varying thickness. I find both of these things mildly irritating but the sheer quality of the smoke more than makes up for it.

To my taste buds, this seems like FVF with perique, which (to my taste buds) makes it an improvement on FVF. I don't detect any of the Lakeland florals here (but I'm not perticularly put off by them anyway) just a full, naturally sweet, rich tobacco flavour.

P.S. I think the reviewer below me must have got the wrong tobacco sent in his latest package. There is certainly no Latakia in this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I purchased several pounds of this tobacco in bulk a few months ago, thinking it was the same tobacco that I purchased in cans in 2009. This is not the same tobacco; my new purchase has Latakia instead of Perique. Although this is a very high quality tobacco, smooth with a hint of sweetness, I cannot smoke it because I don't like the taste of Latakia. This tobacco is superb for fans of Latakia but not for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (205)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Halfway through a tin I bought half a year ago, I now feel ready to review.

As with all Samual Gawith flakes, this one comes in slices of varied thickness and is rather wet at first. The tin aroma is nice, pretty typical of a VA/Per, but nothing exceptional, really. Sweet and bready.

Fold-twist-sink does not work for me with this blend; I need to rub it out pretty thoroughly. Smoked that way, it's a good, solid VA/Per flake that has enough vitamin N to satisfy me. Not one for the beginner, though.

St. James Flake needs to be smoked slowly and needs good maintenance; that way it will burn down to a mottled ash and give good flavour, room note and enough of a Nic kick towards the end to make it interesting. I have had better and far more affordable VA/Per flakes though, so I cannot give a full rating here.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I rubbed this blend out thoroughly, so the review is based on smoking it in this consistency. It burned smoothly, with just a slight peppery flavor. It's strength is relaxed, as if it was held in reserve a bit, an effect that may be partly due to its being rubbed out.

The nic quotient is medium strong to me; it doesn't wake you up right away but it does hit you later down the end of the bowl. The flavor, however, is not overwhelming. In its rubbed consistency I found it subtle and with no discernible roughness. It's not a Shouter, more of a Pipe Whisperer. I had few relights, even without too much airing out, and it burned down to the heel with no wetness or bitterness.

I got the impression that it will take me some time to fully appreciate the nuances of this deceptively unobtrusive blend. The perique is predominant but not tyrannical, as it is expertly blended with the virginias. Yet the nic, a component to which I've grown sensitive, did catch up with me a bit towards the end. It will never be an all day smoke, but that's just me. I liked it fine and I plan to continue to explore it out in the future. Three and a half out of four *.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Pipesmith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Pipesmith (6)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is some good stuff. I had smoked most of my first tin and loved it. The remains must have sat for over a year in my closet before I discovered it again with only three thin flakes left - and as brittle as Melba toast. I ground it into a range of sizes (some kinda big), and viola! Still as good as I remember!

Typical VA rules apply when smoking, but sip it along and the flavors are fantastic. Interestingly, I do pick up the faintest trace of soap in these last few dried pieces. Sounds weird, but it fits just fine.

I highly recommend this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

SJF is most probably the FVF plus the generous help of my beloved Perique.

When talking about SG it's always of top notch tobacco components, that's out of any discussion.

But, to be frank, I expected a bit more from this. At the end of the only tin I've got from abroad (but SJF will be soon available here in Italy, and again at very top premium price…) I realize that my problem with SG's flakes is how hardly compressed they are. I just like softer flakes. As a matter of fact the fold & stuff method results pretty impossible, this thing is fireproof. So I cut the flakes in small dices, and that works fine. One size 4 bowl lasts a hours or more.

Regarding flavour, it's as natural as one expects from the purest VaPer. No trace of any chemical flavouring. No soap, no flowers. Just tobacco flavour. The Perique adds a deeper dimension to FVF – some of FVF's tender notes going lost – without so much pepper.

SJF is one of the coolest & driest smoke ever.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gkontos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gkontos (3)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Just the right amount of Perique makes this sweet virginia blend an excellent choice. A perfect blend, my alternative to FVF.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

umm_bacon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
umm_bacon (12)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

For all intensive purposes, every other review that I have done up to this date has been with blinders on. While I have enjoyed tobaccos that are especially strong, I have not fully appreciated more mellow blends. I have been trying my hand at various VaPers lately, and I am very happy with the results. After waiting months for St. James Flake to become available online (albeit for a total of a day or two), I was able to order 6 tins. Boy am I glad that I did. I have nothing new to say, other than get some when you can.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Beautiful blend. Humidity is on the higher side out of the tin so it requires some drying. Typical SG flake, I prefer to smoke after rubbing out. Tobacco is based on excellent virginia leaf, something between FVF and best brown. The taste as well as strength are however supported by a good dose of perique. To me this is a fair, natural baccy with complex taste. I can only recommend it to everybody.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

An excellent flake VAPer. Combines the lovely flavor of FVF or similar with high quality perique in a nice ratio. Really outstanding. I have not smoked much of this (yet) but the first few bowls reminded me of my reaction when I first tried Scottish Cake... lots of different nuances as the bowl burns down, too.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

shihan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
shihan (22)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A very traditional full English flake. The perique melds perfectly with the virginias to give it a spicy, rich flavor. It burns slow and cool. .A solid choice for anyone wanting to try a va/per flake

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nurse_Maduro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nurse_Maduro (27)
★★★☆
Very Mild Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Light and mellow, smooth and creamy. St. James Flake is a great way to start the day, and may just replace my beloved E.M.P. (R.I.P.). I use the patented Fold n' Stuff method, and it lights and burns very easily (make sure it's good and dry first, however).

I don't find it to be a particularly strong 'baccy; I've experienced no kick from it, but that's fine with me. Despite being comprised of several different tobaccos, this is not a complex blend. All of the flavors play nicely together, making this just a simple, but rich, smoke. Recommended if you're in the mood for a softer VaPer, one that just settles on your tongue instead of stomping on it (don't be fooled however; it will bite hard if drawn from too quickly).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (48)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

my first couple smokes of st. james flake made me assume this is just a typical va/per, it reminded me a lot of solani 633.. However, after about a month of drying in the tin this stuff is amazing. It is a lot more tangy now and there are hints of dried fruit.. I think it is maybe a shade better than the 633 which I also liked a lot. So top marks, I would just recommend some drying time in the tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (100)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

It took me a while to warm up to this fine flake, despite my love of all things VaPer. My tin was opened about 6 months ago and now has all of about 1 bowl remaining. But it's only been with the last few bowls that I've come to value this flake.

The dark colored flake is exceedingly moist in the tin and needs at least an hour's drying time before smoking. Aromas on opening are in some respects familiarly VaPerish—a sweet grassiness from the mature Virginias overlaid with slightly sour, fig and date smells from the Perique. I also find a not altogether pleasant tomato leaf quality to St. James Flake which is most present in the tin and at first light.

St. James Flake rubs out easily, but also smokes nicely rolled into a plug or folded and stuffed. The burn is generally cool (assuming proper drying), smoke is copious, strength is modest, and the flavors of grass and dried fruit are very pleasant, though rather quiet. For the first several bowls, I found this too bland, but lately I find its subtle flavors genuinely appealing.

This is not likely to displace my preferred VaPers—all of which tend to greater flavor intensity—but I don't at all regret that I have a few more tins squirreled away.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the first VaPer I've tried, and it has become a real favorite of mine. There is a nice mild sweetness that persists throughout the smoke, and subtle fruity nuances that come and go. If not for the fact that the nicotine content of this one bowls me over a bit, I'd smoke it all the time.

I came to this tobacco fairly inexperienced in the world of pipe tobaccos - aromatics were generally too cloying, while I didn't particularly care for the smokey latakia in most English blends. This packs a lot of intriguing flavor without being too much of anything.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipe_organist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipe_organist (14)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is pretty much the first "pure" VAPER I've tried.

I purchased this tin at the Columbus show, and cracked it open right away to smell it and see what it looked like. The flakes are long and semi-broken rather than in discrete, individual slices as I've found in other tins. This didn't surprise me, as SG's Balkan Flake is very similar. The pieces had the whitish cast of sugar on them, which made my briar bretheren drool! (Again, the Balkan Flake had the same sugar mottling on it). In the tin, however, I detected a strong smell of damp straw, and not much else. It was suggested that I put the tin up for a month or so to let nature take its course, so I left the tin alone for about a month and a half, closed but not sealed.

Upon returning to the tin, I found that the green straw smell had dissipated, leaving a fairly straightforward Virginia aroma.

I loaded it into a pipe fully-rubbed. I used a fairly large-bowl pipe, which is what I smoke most of my blends in. This may have been a mistake. I say that because while the flavor was very good, I quickly found out that the nicotine delivered a "POW! right in the kisser!" punch that had me sweating rather quickly. I had to put the bowl down and reapproach it several times.

The flavor is mild, but I still enjoyed the complexity of the various VAPER flavors with each puff.

Given the nicotine punch it packs, it may be a bit too much for me, but it's a good 'baccy that VAPER fans and nicotine hounds should favor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice. I'm a perique fan, and this has plenty. Not a huge amount. Got that tickle in my sinuses from it, though. The Virginias are as good as one might expect from Gawith.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Sweet natural virginias, with a nice amount of perique (not overwhelming) make this blend a must have to perique fans. The perique comes and goes, giving space to taste all the glorious sweetness of the virginias, making it very interesting and not boring at all. Perique is not really my favorite leaf, thus the 2 stars... Looking forward to taste it aged.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

One of my favorites from Samuell Gawith, this is not an everyday smoke for me simply because it lacks the nic kick I like but this i certainly a frequent and very enjoyable smoke. The Virginias are very sweet and the Perique adds a wonderful peppery kick. It is also much less oily than FVF, though I assume it is the same Virginias with just a small amount of Perique added. Still it seems much lighter on the tongue.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dedalus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dedalus (6)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

Sometimes I can't decide if I should smoke a bowl of St James Flake or Rattray's Marlin Flake...or maybe I should write that I sometimes I can't decide which I should smoke first.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

My kilogram of St James Flake in bulk arrived after four inter-continental journeys. It was very dry in the pouch, the flakes having lost all pliability and having become brittle. I rehydrated some gently by leaving a damp napkin over a quantity of tobacco overnight. In all I have gone through about 250 grams, half after rehydration and half in the dry state.

Either way there was practically no pouch aroma. On putting light to the bowl there was a magnificent burst of flavour and smoke. The virginias are the stars of the show here, with perique used truly as a condimental tobacco. But what a condiment! Like saffron or coriander in certain cuisines, it leaves its unmistakable stamp. As a result the mixture is deep tasting, and deeply satisfying. Like all Gawith flakes I have tried this burns cool, and burns steadily without need of frequent relights. I tend to pack flakes somewhat densely, and on one memorable occasion a medium sized bowl lasted more than three hours. I am fortunate in having a family partial to pipe smoke - though detesting cigar and cigarette smoke - and the room note was liked.

A splendid addition to the repertoire, recomended to all for a serious trial.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quick_nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quick_nick (27)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

I had slightly higher expectations for SJF than what I got when i smoked it. That being said it was a very satisfying smoke. Not being a fan of FVF I was curious to see what this blend was going to be like. I've had about a year of age on this tin and when I opened it I was greeted with an extremely sweet smell. In fact I almost thought there is a it of a topping on this flake. The flakes had developed some nice sugar crystals and I figured I was in for a great smoke. I decided to rub the flake out and let dry a bit, after about 90 minutes it was still overly moist so I decided that I will deal with it moist. I get alot of the same notes as FVF but the perique adds just a smidgen of another dimension. I really wish there was a bit more perique as the Virginia dominates this blend with the spice only dancing in and out.

I think this would be a great first smoke and a fantastic way to start the day but for an evening smoke it leaves me wanting. I don't usually talk about fruit and all that junk but there is defintely some fruity undertones taking place from the Virginia. I think there is defintely some better VaPer's out there and the lover of a strong Va Per may forego this one.

Edit: I upped it a star I heard from other that the smoke quality ranges from flake to flake, my first few smokes weren't that good but then i got some really good ones so I think 3 stars is fair for inconsistency.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Nothing really special or fantastic with this Va/Per flake, this is a classic and standard Virginia smoke, without any good or bad surprise, ALOT of perique.

There is much better Va/Per available from other makers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ajaj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ajaj (69)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

Very much a kin to FVF or Best Brown. In fact, I believe the base virginias are from them with a nice amount of perique added. I can never have enough perique and almost wish that St. James Flake had a touch more! Oh well, I took care of that courtesy of McClelland's blending line. This tobac seems to tastes better when its dried out somewhat and that wonderful dried grass and hay wafts past the nose. Ranks up there with FVF and BBF.

aj

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

These nicely cut flakes are thinner than others from Gawith and that and the high moisture content resulted in difficulty obtaining uniform packing since I prefer not to rub out my flakes. Multiple relights were ofter needed and moisture/bitterness developed @ the bottom of the bowl. This seemed to be independent of the pipe size and design. Although I enjoyed the taste and strength, other VA/Periques are much easier to smoke and are therefore favored.

Nobody has rated this review yet.