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Samuel Gawith offers this Christmas blend for a limited time celebrating the 2006 holiday season.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringCinnamon
CutCoarse Cut
PackagingBulk
CountryUK
ProductionNo longer in production
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Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
Strong
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Very Pleasant
2.7
7 reviews
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Big Blue Jazzman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Blue Jazzman (32)
★☆☆☆
Medium Strong Overwhelming Tolerable to Strong

This is a blend that I very much looked forward to smoking during the holiday season. I am a big fan of several of the Gawith blends, and how can you go wrong when you're one of the oldest tobacco blenders out there? Well, this one is wrong, it is bad, in fact it is horrid. I threw mine away after the third attempt to smoke it. A major disappointment.

1 person found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (141)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Tolerable

I hate to disagree with all those who like this blend, but I could find nothing really nice to say about it. It's not that it burned too hot or anything, it just tasted bad, IMHO. Too many conflicting flavors -- I imagine that chewing a half-dozen sticks of different types of incense might give a similar effect. NOT recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Dug Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dug (18)
★★☆☆
Mild Medium to Strong Mild Very Pleasant

[2009 Update:] Over the past three years, this has fallen lower in the pantheon and I recognize it for what it was: A passable aromatic that never climbed back into my rotation after the first go-round.

[2006 Review:]As a general rule, I don't do aromatics, but thought I'd give this blend a try while it was still available. According to the buzz on ASP, this first-ever Christmas Mixture from the folks at Samuel Gawith (available only in bulk) is available only in extremely limited quantities, with a total of 40 pounds released in the US.

In the bag, the shredded tobac is light colored and very fragrant, smelling of mulled (spiced) apple cider. It is slightly moist (though not at all sticky, as some aromatics can be) and packs and lights easily.

For about the first half of the bowl, the flavoring dominates, providing a very nice room note. The scent reminded me of warm apple strudel, with intermittent undertones of apricot, almost pineapple. It is a slightly steamy smoke (I ran a pipe cleaner into my stem twice during the bowl, to remove minor gurgles), but not out-of-bounds for a virginia-based aromatic.

The topping seemed to burn off by about mid-bowl, leaving me with what seemed to be a vaguely sweet, straightforward virginia smoke. It was smooth, and the topping didn't seem to leave my mouth coated with any foul residue, as sometimes happens with lesser aromatics. It burned down to ash and I didn't notice any residual goop in my bowl.

Aromatics never taste as good as they smell, but this one sure smells nice and provides a smooth smoke. So, while it's not going to replace my beloved latakia-laced campfire-in-a-bowl English blends, this was a nice change of pace, with an appealing room note appropriate for the coming Christmas season.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Christmas Mixture 2006 came to me last month from a friend who did not like it. It had been lying with him for some three years in a zip-lock bag. Opening the bag with some apprehension I was very pleasantly surprised. The mostly golden, coarsely cut tobacco was at the perfect moisture level for putting into a pipe. Putting nose to bag, I found a very slight, very subtle nutty and spicy redolence, quite unlike anything else in my experience.

In the pipe it lit willingly, and stayed lit. And here I come to the strange part. The taste was nothing but tobacco, but there was a lovely and subtle aroma of cinnamon in the smoke, which I liked very much. The mixture smoked dry in both senses of the term: there was no gurgle, nor any artificial sweetness.

Of the pound that I got, half has gone up in smoke. I had some thought of saving up the other half for Christmas, but it seems unlikely that I will be able to restrain myself. In my experience age is not kind to aromatics, turning them bitter and acrid. This seems to be a notable exception.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zone Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zone Smoke (199)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Strong Medium Very Pleasant

This is not a tobacco that most people would want to smoke throughout the year. It is a available in very limited quantity in the U.S.

This blend definitely is made for the holidays. The bag aroma is that of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Not overly wet, it does still require some effort to get it lit. Once lit, it burns ok.

The taste is definitely sweet nutmeg and cinnamon. Other spices can be detected but the sweet nutmeg taste is more promounced throughout the bowl. The room note just screams Christmas. Yes, this is the definitive Christmas aromatic for the holidays. Far better than Habana Premium's Egg Nog blend.

As mentioned ealier, availability of this blend in the U.S. is limited. However, if you get the opportunity to try a couple of ounces, it's worth the slightly inflated price.

UPDATE - 09/10/07

I find that a few months of storage does a nice job of mellowing this blend out a bit. Although it still initially has that cinnamon bite, it disappears at about mid bowl. The flavors are still there along with natural tobacco in the background. It remains very flavorful. Upgrading to 4 stars. This really is the definitive Christmas tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

obxemt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
obxemt (26)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is VERY much a Christmas smoke and an enjoyable one at that! My overall impressions are similar to those posted by the others. The room note is almost lovely and smells like an old-timey Christmas shop, sort of a well-integrated blend of spice and evergreen resulting in a pleasently mild-sweet smelling aromatic smoke, though it is not particularly sweet in taste.

To me, in the bag it smells like tea and cinammon, in fact very much like a tea called "Constant Comment" (I think they still make that).

It was a bit steamy and took more than the usual effort to light (not annoyingly so) but the tobacco itself it not especially moist. I am a "frequent puffer" which resulted in some initial bite. I did not notiuce the fruit-like references made by Dug until about halfway through the bowl and they were fleeting.

Grab some if you can, this is a special seasonal blend.

THANKS, DUG!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Talonr1701 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talonr1701 (119)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Strong Medium Very Pleasant

First smoke was in a Bent Meer.

Appearance is mostly blond....Brown Virginias, Bright Virginias, Orientals- maybe some turkish. Open the bad and Freakin Christmas Elves jump out and dance around the room. I had a flash of childhood stockings by the fire, mulled cider...Things baking in the oven.

Packed and char light brought an amazing taste of cinnamin....Allspice, cloves...

Approaching cruising speed to mid-bowl...Pine, Cinnamon, Clove...With a sweet virginia base and a burleyish nutty background.

No hint of bite, and I'm a puffin...Its addictive....the flavors are REALLY pronounced...I'm asking to get bit, and its not happening.....

Passing misbowl and the flavors are settling....Cinnamin and clove taking over....Mouth is like I have a cinnamin toothpick....Not negative...In a fun way...Exhale through nose and its sweet cloves....

Relight...Wonderfull.....Woodsy on relight....Like pine.....

Flavor plays to the bottom...I would put nic strength at med.....Feeling pretty relaxed.... But then I notice what appears to be a goodly portion of chopped elf at the bottom of my bowl.... blechhhhh... I hate chopped elf.

I would give this a 4 out of 4 star rating....For the holidays....Can't see reaching for this in summer....But WOW its good!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.