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A very strong, but very cool smoke is the result of combining in equal proportions only Malawi Dark Fired Leaf and Indian dark air-cured leaf. No additional flavours. You can smell in this tobacco the Smokey flavour of the dark fired leaf derived from its curing process of being hung above smoky fires, and the sweeter, yet still strong 'cigar type' flavour of the dark-air-cured Indian leaf.

BrandGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
PackagingBulk
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Very Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 8 Users

3.2
69 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
32
3 star:
25
2 star:
9
1 star:
3
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TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (25)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a daily smoke for me. The constituents are smokey Malami-grown dark-fired Virginia and Indian air-cured Virginia. Despite what some reviews say, G&H tell me there's no Burley/Kentucky seed tobacco present. Nor (in the unscented version) is there any of the Lakeland scents or topping. I can only assume that the people who say this is scented/flavoured are either reviewing the scented version, were supplied the wrong version by their tobacconist or have been led astray by African and (especially) Indian Virginias resembling but not tasting quite like typical US-grown flue-cured Virginia - the flavour of tobacco is heavily influenced by the climate it's grown in as well as the curing and seed type.

This is an old-fashioned "British Commonwealth" tobacco - strong tasting and very distinctive. It's similar to Irish Flake, but smoother, deeper, less "airy", more focused and I find it less "medicinal" (I've found recent tins of Irish Flake have had a really noticable "cough mixture" nose to them). I can smoke Irish Flake any time of day, but Dark Flake isn't a tobacco I'd go to soon after waking up, if that helps. There's a definite high-quality maduro cigar-like tang but none of the leathery notes of a (Cuban grown) Havana and it has a bit of a sweet edge to it. The Malawi fire-cured adds a smokiness which is quite unlike the thin and flowery Latakias. If it were a coffee it would be a dark roast, strong French-style blend.

As supplied it benefits from a bit of drying time, but not too much. The flakes are quite compressed, but not as much as FVF and are often broken. Rubbing it out results in small chunks of broken up flake rather than a ribbon-style cut. It burns slowly and gains intensity as it goes. I'm quite sensitive to Virginia bite, and don;t have a problem with Dark Flake other than a kind of "hot spot" where the stem deposits the smoke onto my tongue. A pleasant hot spot though, akin to sweet, mild chipotle chillies rather than a painful chemical burn.

G&H really do excel at this kind of unpretentious, straightforward, old-fashioned, intense flake in my opinion and this is for me the best of the best.

5 people found this review helpful.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★☆☆
Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

A darker stoved version of Brown Flake, this stuff is cool and packs a nice bit of nicotene. It does have a taste of the cigar now that others mention it and is certainly too strong for all day consumption. I have to say that I prefer Brown Flake and Its cousin Best Brown #2 to this, although it is still good. Very little Lakeland Floral here as well.

4 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (619)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

They say this is unscented, but I still detect a slight essence of Lakeland in it. There's a minor cigar-ish taste, but it's in the background at best. The burley and Virginias can take center stage at various points of the smoke, not just because this has complexity of tastes, but because what is prominent depends on how you fill your pipe with this mixture. There is an herbal, almost hay note from time to time, too. While this is a filling smoke, I find that smoking it in a medium to large bowl brings out the complexities of the blend better than a small bowl does. It's great with coffee, tastes even better when smoking in cold weather, and never fails to please.

3 people found this review helpful.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
★★★☆
Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Nice.

For those that have had the misfortune to sample Condor Long Cut and have had to put up with that pukesome 'Floral Fairy Liquid' monstrosity of a scent that accompanies it, then I have some news for you.

Dark Flake is a slightly stronger version of the aforementioned maligned gargantuan winged Andes namesake.

Dark savoury VA/BU with (as others have noted) a cigarish after taste. A perfect toke for staving off the hunger pangs as long as you don't mind laying down afterwards. Or a brilliant late night companion with accompanying salami sandwich and 1990's action film, as the latters projections flicker around your darkened living room.

Then tamp the ashes out at 0150hrs and bugger off to bed, passing through the blue savoury haze, fully sated.

Only reason it doesn't score a full house is because it burns my nose hair. Other than that, a perfect replacement (and in bulk) for Irish Flake.

Nice...

3 people found this review helpful.

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

There's something to be said for a tobacco that's 98% nicotine and 2% flavor: Don't bother.

Dark Flake is rope-like in strength and, like the ropes, delivers little in the way of interest in contrast to the nicotine it carries. As I said in my review of GH Dark Birdseye: Slow, gentle puffs are necessary to get the real flavor; otherwise, it can be harsh, harsh, and harsh with a slight cigar-like undertone.... Having a tobacco dictate pace, volume, taste, and other facets of the smoke to this degree is a real turn-off.

If you smoke part of a bowl, set it down for a few hours, and expect to enjoy what's left, be aware that you've set a stew of nicotine on the back burner to simmer. Nasty.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

My sample arrived dry, just a tad short of crisp, in fact. It was easy to load, pack and light. WOW! This stuff is unique. I needed only two or three puffs to be taken back to my Boy Scout days. Puffing reminded me of burning wood and campfires. Not a hint of sweetness here. I also was reminded of cigars -- which I do not normally smoke because I don't care for the flavor.

I can withstand blends packed with nicotine because my favorite blend is Dunhill's Royal Yacht, which is loaded with the stuff. So, this G&H Dark Flake did not give me a buzz. It just plastered my palate with an unpleasant taste that only got stronger as I worked my way painfully down the bowl.

Okay, I admit it. I chucked the final half. I'm a wimp.

2 people found this review helpful.

Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
★★☆☆
Extremely Strong Strong Full Strong

Received this in a sample from Synjeco. My first impressions were that of a basic Va. flake, thin slices that were dark and strong to the nose, certainly a Virginia. This tobacco was tried in my vehicle on the way from work, I thought that a good nicotine buzz would speed up the process, so on I went. A quater bent Peterson Donegal Rhodesian was selected, since I usually smoke on Va's in Peterson's, this seem to be the pipe. Rubbing this flake out was a bit of task, since my hands were on a sterring wheel at 60 miles an hour, on a secondary road at that! The charring process took just a few seconds, probably due to the moisture content, and away we go. A slow burning, deeply rich Virginia, and that is not cased, or at least my palate is suspect. Not so bad, tooling down the road, listening to some Jethro Tull, and WHAM!, it hits me, my head starts a slight spinning move, and that feeling of eating to pizza, indigestion sets in, the whole while I'm puffing away. My inintial reaction was that my tobacco was cut, with something, but the reality set in I realized that this is some potent stuff. I will rate this tobacco high because of the quality of the processing, the flavor, and richness, and quite simply, it surprised me. A hit for those who like a strong nicotine buzz, and for the many lover's of Virginia flake. Well Done!

2 people found this review helpful.

Joshua Sasmor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joshua Sasmor (2)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

I received this tobacco from Richard Kaminski, as he had received it from Tapio Pentikainen, and it has covered two continents to get to me! I'm really looking forward to trying this out.

These flakes are large! I've never smoked anything but a "broken flake" before this, and this is imposing looking. I can only imagine the tin :) Almost all chocolate brown colored and shot through with birdseye of lighter colors. This looks delicious.

Pouch aroma : LSW said "that smells nice" and I strongly agree. Leathery and soft on the nose. I wasn't sure if it smelled tannic like a red wine, but I went back later and smelled again - it did smell like a deep dryish red wine.

Tobacco was dry and yet still supple - the flakes just started to break when I took them out of the bag. I separated one flake and folded it over a couple of times and rubbed it out against my palm. It separated nicely, and was easy to pack into my Aldo Velani bent billiard. This is my only pipe currently dedicated to VA's and I am working on converting three other pipes over. It lit well - raising a crown nicely. A second match and I was thrilled! Deep and dark are the right adjectives. Very cigar-ish overtones, almost like a maduro wrapper. The more I smoke this the more cigarish it feels. Perhaps that's the nico-weenie in me, but I think I need a smaller bowled pipe for this blend :) The AV I chose holds a full flake - almost 6 inches by 1.25 inches of tobacco! There was just a little left over when I rubbed the flake out, so I put it back in the bag. Oops - a little gurgle here - run a cleaner down and it's all better. This makes my nose tingle as I puff.

As I smoke slower with smaller puffs, I notice far more of a campfire smell in the smoke. Very woodsy and pleasant. This will probably be one of my longest smokes as I don't think smoking this quickly will be good for my stomach

There's a tingle in the back of my throat after the first third of the bowl, and I'm pretty sure this is going to have to be DGT'd a few times over the course of the day - but it's very nice.

I got up to change the laundry over (my Sunday task), and I realized how wobbly I was - this is STRONG... If this is the average strength of a flake tobacco, then I'm in for a long smoke. My relight is a little ashy tasting - perhaps a cleaner down the stem - that helps.

About halfway down the bowl, I cannot light through the ash on the top. I decide to dump the ashes, which are pretty mottled grey with a touch of black in them and relight. The nicotine hits hard in my mouth in a strong rush. This is decidedly too strong for me. I'll probably finish this bowl, but I'm not sure that I'll light another. I'm sure that this is a tobacco tasty smoke, but I think it is too much for me. It's good, but it's not quite my thing.

2 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (124)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I used a small pipe for this as a late evening smoke. Let it dry a bit so you don't have to relight and/or puff so hard to keep it lit. The taste is not overshadowed by the strength, like a good Maduro cigar, you get a full bodied flavor of earthy, caramelized tobacco.

For experienced pipe smokers, who are able to smoke according to the tobacco in their pipe. If you don't like to think about your pipe, this flake will frustrate you because of it's strength if puffed too fast.

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (153)
★★★☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Want a strong dark cigar with lots of N in your pipe? Try this! Dark dark dark tobacco flavor and lots of it. Try it in a smaller pipe first!

Pipe Used: briars and a rosewood

Age When Smoked: freshly bought

Purchased From: 4 noggins

1 person found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

While "unscented," this typical Kendal flake is doused with a generous portion of the "Lakeland Essence" for which these blenders are so well known. It does not dominate the smoke, but it is always present. You may want a dedicated pipe for your Lakeland blends to avoid the ghost.

For me, this is a morning smoke with strong coffee, a good book, and a cool summer morning in a chair out back. Mild enough for a morning smoke, Dark Flake is nevertheless strong enough to keep you happy all day. Some tobaccos leave you wanting more. Dark Flake satisfies with just one bowl.

Negatives? It's not as good as Dark Plug. Yes, the Flake rubs out very easily to perfect thin ribbons. But I prefer to chop the plug into little cubes. And the plug has a deeper, darker flavor that never has a chance to fully develop if it is sliced into thin flakes before it is fully matured. But the Dark Plug is impossible to get these days, so I am happy with the Flake.

Of course the wife despises this one, won't let me near her with Dark Flake breath. So I just save it for when I am alone. It is still a four-star blend, even if it is not the Plug, even if it ghosts my pipe, even though my wife hates it.

1 person found this review helpful.

wosbald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wosbald (111)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

In the pouch, this thin-cut, hard-pressed flake exudes a scent of dutch cocoa, woodsmoke, and grassy herbs.

An achingly grandiose mix of fire-cured virginias and dark burleys, this is powerfully spicy and potent. The virginias contribute a certain natural sweetness, though the overall impression, when combined with the herbal bitterness and silky texture of the burley, is not particularly sweet.

Complex in a manner that eschews subtlety, variation, or nuance, Dark Flake Unscented is a prodigious smoke that, while narrowly avoiding stolidity and boorishness, maintains a sort of unrefined sophistication. This was best in narrow gauge chambers.

1 person found this review helpful.

viscountlascelles Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
viscountlascelles (3)
★☆☆☆
Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

I tried this because it got reviews indicating that it was good quality, unflavored and strong but rewarding if not puffed like a locomotive.

I found it to be utterly lacking in depth and interest. It gives a kick, but there is no trick to that. I'd dispose of it in my leaf burner but the neighbors might call the EPA. Any one of us who has tasted the better blends from Sam Gawith or Esoterica would probably find Dark Flake to be rock bottom.

When the taste leaves my mouth in a few days, I hope to get back to my regular rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

Britannia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Britannia (9)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Strong

I much prefer the scented version of this blend. This is OK, but it just didn't ring my bell like its relative does. The blend also turned sourish mid-bowl and that was a little off-putting

Pipe Used: Savinelli Reddit Club Pipe

Age When Smoked: 3 Years

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I ordered the unscented version. What I was sent was labeled unscented. What I smoked was not unscented. Your guess is as good as mine on this one.

I get mellow, mild, smoked Virginia flavor along with the floral Lakeland "perfume". It's medium to full in body. It does have a vague resemblance to a cigar; one that is mild in flavor. I don't much care for this, but it is tolerable to smoke.

Pipe Used: MM Freehand, MM General

Age When Smoked: fresh bulk

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fredkao Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fredkao (11)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Well, I like the GH tobaccoes but this one ... At first I tried Dark Flake, I was hoping to have a new full experience with another GH but it ended after a few puff. Taste harsh! It's a very very strong cigar! But now, it have his place in my cellar. I blend it with any flake I have if I need a nic hit and it work very well; no more harsh or cigar taste, just a full tobacco taste. It's not a lakeland and it don't have any "soapy" taste at all.

Pipe Used: Charatan, Peterson, ...

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Smoke_Ring Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoke_Ring (158)
★★★★
Strong Strong Very Full Strong

Dark Flake Unscented;

Star Rating = 3.75;

Rating Scores - 10 is the Best and 0 is the Worst;

Pouch Note = 10;

Room Note = 9;

Flavor = 10;

Bite = 9;

Burn = 10;

After Taste = 9;

Raw Score = 57;

Rated Percentage = 95%;

Comment = Smooth, Strong Strength, Rich Full Body Natural Tobacco Flavor, this is a Strong but enjoyable smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Phantom55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phantom55 (29)
★★★★
Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

Probably my favorite Lakeland. Very nice strength and burning qualities, with full body, and non biting. The description is a bit misleading though. In Lakeland speak, unscented just means cased, but not topped. It still has the fairly prominent Lakeland floral. It is a bit cigarish, owing to the Indian tobacco component, but I like that. I don't have any problems with this burning to the bottom of the bowl, and I don't dry it. Recommended for those of you who like fairly strong Lakelands.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I will give this four stars, because I can't do otherwise. It is quite a good blend, and not the usual GH fare. It is a bit too much in the "Kentucky Cured" style (though the tobaccos used are Malawi and Indian) to be a frequent smoke for me, though I enjoy the occasional bowl, as I am doing right now. Though it could never be an everydayer for me, I will most certainly buy it again (I have five or six bowls worth left at this point), for the plain and simple reason that I have had great results with it as a blender.

It seems that this is a tobacco I generally prefer not straight up, but in smaller doses. I have blended it mainly with other GH or SG flakes on the untopped side of things, and the best blend I have come up with, after much experimentation as to proportions, is the following:

40% GH Dark Flake U/S, 40% GH Brown Flake U/S, 7.5% GH Kendal Kentucky, 7.5% McClelland Blending Perique, and 5% C&D Pirate Kake (itself being 70% Latakia, and 30% "Turkish and Cavendish-cut Burley," according to C&Ds description).

The high Perique percentage is right up my alley, and the Kendal Kentucky adds some kick as well! The moderator here is that 5% Pirate Kake, really a very mellow Latakia cake, and one can hardly sense the Turkish and Burley in a 70% Latakia blend...

So, I will have to get some more just to make another batch of the above blend, which I think may be my best blend ever, as heady as it sounds. It is indeed pretty strong, yet mellow and not overpowering if taken slowly.

The same thing can be said of Dark Flake U/S itself. I'm slowly sipping this bowl in my quite ugly yet nicely-smoking Brebbia Whitehall (flawed second basket pipe) rusticated billiard, and enjoying it quite a bit. I love this blend, but again, just not an everyday thing.

Some seem to be able to detect those GH Lakeland toppings in this, but I really can't, probably due to my having smoked so much Ennerdale Flake, Kendal's Flake, Glengarry Flake, etc. I may therefore be somewhat jaded to Lakeland toppings, but I can certainly see how certain smokers not as used to such toppings as I am being able to taste them, perhaps simply from this blend having been in the same room as the tobaccos mentioned above! They probably added some sort of topping to this, despite the name "unscented," but I simply cannot sense any flavorings due to the dark-fired style of the flake.

Summing up, it will never be in my regular rotation, but since the occasional bowl is always very nice (especially when I'm in the mood for it, as I seem to be right now), and since at other times I have had such success with it as a blender, I will always keep some on hand, even though I will not be buying it by the pound.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tobacconists Aprentice Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tobacconists Aprentice (20)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was lucky to try this as a friend had but a little left for me to sample which was somewhat dry. I was a bit gloomy at the prospect. However my fears were unfounded and I was pleased with the smoking result.

The Tin-smell was dark and earthy with herbal notes. And it filled and lit well. The smoke was cool and it did not burn very hot. There was next to no tongue bite. The taste was very pleasing rich, full, and natural with a hint of coffe, spice and woodsmoke.

My only gripe with this blend is the rather large moist dottle left behind, rthis however can be dried out and resmoked with remarkably little loss of quailty.

I like this blend and and would recomend it as a fine natural smoke for those who like no topping on thier tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StylesSharpman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StylesSharpman (24)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

After smoking two pounds of this stuff and nothing but. I would like some more. Deep dark & very rich tasting tobac that will never bite you, ever.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Dark flake is great.

I personally smoke a bowl of it everyday. Burns very cool, with a great full smoky/pepper taste to it. The tobacco is also very strong, but not strong enough to ruin the smoke. Just the right amount of kick! Great blend that i would recommend to anyone who enjoys full taste of tobacco's. I would also recommend smoking after having something in your stomache! :)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carlos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlos (18)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable to Strong

This one is awesome. It smells a bit of ground, forest. It smokes VERY VERY easy and also VERY cool. Untitl the end. Tobacco is strong, but I think it's worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Dark Flake has been with me for the duration of my pipe smoking days, a mighty six years. Early on I was given an ounce sample from Ed's Pipe Shop in Santa Monica and it scared the hell out of me, smoking side by side with Orlik's Golden Sliced and Sam Gawith's FVF. Over time it occurred to me that I could smoke the blend as a mixer, rather than straight, though it took a while to convince myself that people wouldn't be ashamed of me for wimping out.

It took some time before I could make my various combinations work, generally employing Dark Flake in small doses to toughen up a blend. In that regard, the blend is indispensable, and extends a sweetness that some of my other favorite mixers lack, Perique and sliced rope. Dark Flake works well with lighter Virginias, and generally I will add some Turkish leaf to a pure Virginia blend, which will dilute the strength, which is corrected by adding a bit of Dark Flake to boost it back up. The flake cut can be difficult to incorporate into ribbons, which makes it necessary to rub out the flakes in a manner that approximates the texture of the native leaf. I always keep a few ounces on hand for this purpose, and rarely I will smoke a straight bowl, preferring lighter Virginias with a higher sugar content.

Given the protracted unavailability of Samuel Gawith blends, G&H makes a perfect counterpart for one seeking that Lakeland fix, and it's a bit of fun to run through the catalog comparing their similar blends. The two companies have that Coke vs. Pepsi rivalry, very similar in many ways with legions of fans on both sides. G&H may be the underdog here, their offerings scrappy and more unconventional, their floral scented flakes offensive to many. I can't complain. Who doesn't like to see a good fight?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I have really enjoyed all the G,H&co flakes I have tried. This is a strong one amongst strong ones (if you'll allow such a paraphrase).

It's character is definitely a dark pressed Virginia with a Kentucky presence. As part of the Dark series(Plug, Flake and Shag) this one is the winner, for me. Easier to deal with than the plug, bolder, sweeter and more interesting than the shag. A slight liquorice taste. A bit cigarish.

A strong, smooth, dry and lovely smoke.

My wife says it smells very continental and I think I know what she means. Quite like a rich espresso.

Will keep some around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PIE-EYED-PIPER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PIE-EYED-PIPER (20)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Pre-lit, the appearance is that of a long dark pressed Virginia flake. The bag was filled with a sweet and smoky aroma. Humidity level was perfect.

Once smoked, a hint of sweetness can be detected with, as several reviewers have pointed out, a cigar-like flavor. However, I find that this is all I can detect which makes for a somewhat one dimensional smoking experience. I must add that I cannot detect any tongue bite which make this a pleasurable smoke.

Despite above description, a word to the wise, this tobacco is no slouch. It is loaded with nicotine and could knock you off your feet (or your stomach) if you are not prepared for it. I would not suggest this for the faint of heart, nor to someone who has not had a good meal. As one reviewer would put it, "treat it with respect."

Though this may sound one dimensional, overall, it is a good smoke. GH&C produces some of the best quality tobacco, and this is most certainly one of them.

I would still RECOMMEND this with a caveat to smoke this after a good meal. Three stars…

Nobody has rated this review yet.

yinyang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yinyang (45)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I picked up a 3-4oz. sample a while back of Dark Flake to perhaps find an economical alternative to a favorite of mine, Irish Flake. While comparisons such as these are likely to fail due to the subjectivity placed upon them, I was still able to find the worthiness of this blend anyways.

Yeah, it's not IF. After several failing bowls smoked confirming this point, I pushed on. It is a strongish blend, no doubt, but not in the same hug the toilet category as Five Bros.,Tambolaka, SG Black Irish XX, etc. I have smoked some big honking bowls of Dark Flake with nary a nicotine palpitation to mention. It can be creamy smooth...but not in a sweet cream or buttery sort of way. I see the word cigarlike used to describe it, and I concur...this may be the most straight forward cigar like blend I've smoked. Overall, an enjoyable bite free experience every light up. I wouldn't call it awesomeness in a bowl, but it's good...at least, good enough to get again. It's just I'm in no rush.

Three serviceable stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Medium Strong

This is a much-appreciated gift. This review will bear re-writing, as I feel it and I are still only barely acquainted after several quiet bowls.

I am not well-versed in Virginias, and have only a small frame of reference.

It is, to begin with, dark-pressed Virginia. And it's strong stuff. It smells sweet and musty in the jar, qualities which softly evolve when a match brings this to life. The natural sweetness is complemented by something dark and earthy. Something in the pressing or the blending imparts surprising flavors, of incense, candle wax. Something about the treatment of the leaf gives a hint of smokiness.

This isn't for the faint of heart or empty of stomach. Treat it with respect, or it will smoke you.

And don't let the mellow flavor fool you.

Interesting, flavorful. Strongly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Having dipped snuff for forty plus years, I would highly recommend this robust, ‘in-your-face' leaf for briar brothers of similar constitution. Yes, for me Dark Flake satisfies with sufficient vitamin 'N' and yields billowy plumes of smoke with an occasional appearance of Virginia creaminess dependent on my current disposition and last meal. For the most part, it's simply a soothing, no nonsense smoke. It's best when aged for at least a year, should you have the discipline. Draw from your store only as much as you may need in a week, dry it, rub it out, and savor it in a dedicated narrow chambered briar.

My palate finds this blend to issue a moderate to full tobacco taste, but admittedly monochromic. On my first light of Dark Flake three years ago I was immediately aware of the Lakeland essence that I found to be ‘interesting'. Now that Dark Flake is in my daily rotation, all of that has disappeared. Only on rare occasion do I taste a wisp of Lakeland and when I do, again I find it to be ‘interesting' and welcomed.

Here's a parfait you may want to try that incorporates the savory Dark Flake, a delightful experience of three equal parts of three robust tobaccos: Dark Birds Eye as the bottom layer, Perique in the middle, and Dark Flake dressing the top. Again, this seems to work best in a narrow chamber. (I drool as I write this) Bon Appétit!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Commoner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Commoner (30)
★★★☆
Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

This is an excellent dark fired flake. Sour and smokey. Comparisons to Peterson's Irish Flake are apt IMO.

Yes there is a whiff of Lakeland. But for the most part it is very slight, notably fades after the initial light, and any remaining essence is welcome to my tastes as it compliments the sourness well.

Of the 2 previous reviews I find Dogwood's more consistent with my thoughts about all G&H blends. All of our tastes vary. And I certainly understand that the whole Lakeland thing isn't for everyone.

But I struggle to understand how one could knock G&H in terms of quality. I've smoked a number of Sam G. and Esoteric blends and find G&G blends to be at least of equal superb quality.

G&H brings the added benefit of actually being available on a regular basis.

Stonehaven is in my mind without peer. But, frankly, I've grown weary of waiting for the stars to align and the whim to strike Sam G. and Esoterica to bless us with their product once in a blue moon.

In any event back on point. Dark Flake is a wonderful dark fired burley and semisweet VA flake. Certainly worthy of a try for any serious smoker.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dogwood Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dogwood (17)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Best quality. I got mine bulk which may be the only way to get this stuff. I love the extra long flake cut of G&H bulk. Somehow the G&H unscented flake still has some light scent to it which is disappointing. It's good stoved black virginia with that dark depth of flavor. I like smoking this at night. It's a very relaxing smoke.

It's stronger than Dark Fragrant. It has a light cigar smoke quality to it.

I don't think you can go wrong with any G&H blend. Their tobacco is the best quality. They have the history and experience to back up their blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
★★★☆
Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

This is Peterson's Irish flakes' little brother...

A no nonsense, full Virginia smoke. Not as creamy or smooth as FVF, but a more in your face kinda deal with a STACK of nicotine. I personally don't get head rushes from vitamin N unless I inhale the smoke, which I try not to do.....I did say try! That said though, I had the prickly 'back of the throat' sensation almost straight away with this blend as the 'N' word made it's presence immediately known..

The similarities between this and Peterson's IF are there though. IF is a grade or two stronger than dark flake, but the taste and burn qualities are similar.

(DF definitely has more moisture than IF when first opened though.)

A good after meal smoke I would suggest..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipesterJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipesterJim (44)
★★★☆
Very Strong Mild Very Full Strong

Mr Beeftip has really said it all in the review below. I think he has put his finger on the fact that the cigar flavour is really dominant in the aftertaste rather than the main smoke.

The only other things I was thinking to include are that, to me, the flavour of this flake falls somewhere between Highland Sliced and Brown Twist, both of which I have also reviewed. When the sweeter notes come through (and they are not present in any great quantity) it is momentarily reminiscent of the twist, then it reverts to being more like Highland Sliced when the mild topping asserts itself. I am thinking that there could be some cloves in there, but I wouldn't want to put money on that!

And yes, it is really strong. I have been smoking stronger tobacs recently in the evenings and am quite happy to work my way through a couple of pipes of Brown Twist without any need to take a break from smoking aside from what comes naturally due to relights etc. I am currently enjoying a bowl of Dark Flake as a mid-afternoon smoke and it is hammering me. Consider yourselves warned!

I think I probably favour Highland Sliced overall, but I prefer the presentation of this one and like the fact that I can purchase in bulk. Also, Highland Sliced is not so easy to come by, especially stateside I believe, so with these factors in mind Dark Flake gets a firm recommendation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beeftip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beeftip (10)
★★★★
Extremely Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Very Strong

If you like simple tobacco with a high dose of nicotine then this is a four-star tobacco. If you favor complexity and subtle, yet discernible flavors, then you'll throw this out after a charring light. This tobacco doesn't pretend to be anything other than plain old strong tobacco. If you're a fancy man, then stay far, far away.

The flavor is one-dimensional. It tastes like tobacco with a subtle hint of something that I can't quite get my head wrapped around. It's sort of sweet and floral but not cloying. Is that the Lakeland essence I've read about? It's supposed to be unscented but there's still something there. Whatever it is, it agrees with my palette.

The room note will get you a divorce.

The aftertaste is strong, similar to a cigar. It will take two meals and a lot of mouthwash to get it out of your mouth. I highly recommend this tobacco if you love waking up wondering if a cat crapped in your mouth while you were sleeping.

The nicotine content is high. I have a huge nicotine tolerance and this still makes my head swim. I'll repeat that in case you're becoming convinced by some reviews that try to down play the nicotine content... it has a high nicotine content and makes my head swim even though I have a high tolerance.

It doesn't take well to relights or heavy puffing/stoking. When you do that, the flavor becomes hot, sour and kind of awful. Fortunately it settles back down pretty quick.

This blend has its place in my rotation when I crave nicotine. For that purpose, I have found nothing better. I often find myself craving the peculiar flavor of this tobacco but resist if I don't have a full stomach or want to kiss my wife in the morning.

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MDP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MDP (37)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Pungent, deep, rich, creamy, smoky, cigar-like, cool and powerful are just some of Dark Flake's attributes. These days, my brow is mainly crowned with wispy laurels from matured Virginias, Perique and Lakeland-style blends. Lakeland by birth, yet without scenting or floral overtones that commonly distract, Dark Flake is a good introduction to the sons' of Kendal tobaccos.

This could take the place of Stonehaven or Germain's Brown Flake for me in a pinch.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (571)
★★★☆
Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

I'm not sure where this falls on the general consensus "strength meter". I found it less strong than Kendal Dark and much preferable. Cigar-like? Well, yes, in a way. It didn't taste much like a cigar but it had the "mouth-feel" of a potent Honduran to me. I tasted some sweetness and a gentle soapy character that wasn't terribly off-putting as I usually find such a flavor. That character lasted the entire bowl for me.

The flake itself is gorgeous! Nice long black flake tobacco. It worked best for me fully rubbed out and at baggie moisture level (no drying), although I can't really say what it's moisture content is like fresh. It came to me at the right moisture level, somewhat dry but nowhere near tinder. Rubbed out, I had no problems with excessive relights.

I will smoke this only occasionally, such as after thanksgiving day dinner. It's excellent for what it is but I generally prefer a little more complexity in my bowl. But if you like a full, robust smoke or you just like to get a buzz from your pipe tobacco, definitely check this out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Excellent stuff! I generally do not like Virginia flakes but this was fantastic! My summation is the following: "1792" minus the Tonquin flavoring. Very cigar like and satisfying. After a meal only type of smoke. Must be experienced while sitting down . 3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (69)
★★★★
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable

In a blind tasting, I would assume this is a "cigar-leaf" blend. It has the depth and nicotine strength the likes of Cornell & Diehl's Billy Budd, without the Latakia. It does have a slightly smoked quality, but completely different than Latakia and certainly not as pronounced. It does not really have the "cigar-leaf" flavours, which a few do enjoy; nonetheless, it does have the "cigar-leaf" depth.

Is this a tobacco with subtle nuances that evolve and delight your palate as you combust your way down? . . . not at all. It's more of a meat and potatoes smoke and the meat might be goat or wild game for that matter.

The nicotine content did not knock me over, it's certainly noticeable but not overpowering. Mind you I smoke a fair bit of the old Billy Budd and switch-hit with cigars too, I maybe a bit of a stalwart. Regardless, I could care less about how much nicotine is in a blend. I am solely concerned with the flavours and combusting qualities. This stuff tastes great and does very well outdoors. Not many tobaccos have the "deep notes" to smoke well outside without losing something. Packing was a breeze and it took a bit longer to light, but who cares it burns cool and goes for a very long time. I generally prefer slices because of their burning qualities and the richness they deliver.

Pack-up and enjoy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quoll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quoll (17)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

I picked some of this up on a whim when I was buying some of my more usual stuff. I am glad I did, but this won't be an all-dayer for me.

The usual big, rough hand-hewn looking flakes from Gawith & Hoggarth. I found this to be just the right moisture level too - probably a credit to the tobacconist. Easy to rub out, fold or whatever you want to do with it. Also an easy one to light and keep going.

Now this is strong stuff. Right from the first draw you are hit with lots of taste, lots of volume and lots of nicotine. It gets stronger from there. Head spin is a real risk, believe me! The flavour is at first cigar-like, but rounded out with some sweetness and body which I would guess is typical of a Virginia & Burley. Maybe there is some Perique in there too? I also pick up some fruitiness - not the typical Lakeland style of St. Bruno, but a nice rounded background giving some interest. A very satisfying smoke.

The closest comparison I can come up with is Peterson's Irish Flake or Gallaher's Irish Cake. This isn't as extreme as those ones though.

An after dinner smoke for me. A bit too in-your-face for the rest of the day - and way too much in the morning! Three stars from me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

late-nitedrydrunk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
late-nitedrydrunk (10)
★★★★
Strong Mild Very Full Pleasant

The one issue I have with this tobacco is that despite how well it rubs out - for the life of me - I can't get it to smoke well in a large bowl pipe. Yeah I know, so I've been told by the flake experts that flake tobaccos are better smoked in smaller pipes. But that doesn't stop me, especially with a beast like this baccy, from trying to appreciate the fullness and strength of this loosely formed flake through an extra large nicotine delivery device.

With that said, a person looking to try Dark Flake for the first time should not be put off by the "strong" ratings of this tobacco. However, do heed some good advice from other reviewers about taking your time with it - as one reviewer stated, "it can nip." Respect for it? Yes. Put off by it? No. It's a tame beast, not a wild one, which starts with hints of perfume and developes a dark, rich, bold flavor with some mild smokiness from the fire cured tobaccos. Finishes with a slight soapiness that gently washes my palate. Also, as with many tobaccos, a person may have to smoke this several times before giving it his or her final verdict. So sit back, relax and give this tame beast the time and respect it deserves. And it'll behave best for you, according to the flake experts, in a pipe within the size category of a Dunhill Group 3.

Update: In my personal opinion, this tobacco smokes best in a pipe with a chamber diameter of about 1.9 cm (.75 in) or less. Bowl height really isn't an issue provided you dump the ash about midway through. However, it does smoke well for me in an old bulldog with a slightly larger diameter at the top.

For what it's worth: I know many smokers would sooner smoke two or more small bowls of the same tobacco (especially flake) in a row opposed to one big bowl all at once. But for me, once I get used to the tobacco in the first pipe along with the development of flavors and complexities only acheived by smoking a tobacco all the way down, upon lighting the second pipe, the flavor and experience isn't quite the same. In other words, the taste of the second pipe doesn't pick up where the first pipe left off. It would be similar to smoking two cigars in a row; even though they might be the same brand, size, etc. the second is still affected by the taste of the first. Anyhow, just a thought.

Final Update: No matter where I stray in the endless world of pipe tobaccos, this is one I always come back to. As a matter of fact, Dark Flake is the first tobacco I run to after a long day or night - even over the other various forms of it (plug, shredded, etc.) If I were given a choice of only one tobacco I could smoke for the rest of my life (boy I wish we could get Revor Plug in the U.S.), Dark Flake would be that tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (33)
★★★☆
Strong Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Gawith and Hoggarth: Dark Flake ---Unscented:

I'm not sure if it is me (body Chemistry ) or the tobacco that I got from two different distributors but I have no problems enjoying this tobacco. I don't get the grand hoopala about the strong taste and nicotine content of this blend. I have had some blends,nost notably aromatic (in the American sense of the term) and one or two English/Balkan give me a bit of a spin head and tongue-wise but this one does not.

This is not some hairy-chested testo-moronic brag just a fact. I recognize that everyone has different tastes and sensitivites to different blends and I respect that and don't doubt their valid opinions.

In so far as I recognize that I do not reccomend this as a starter blend for a newbie and also that it does indeed have a sort of a cigary undertone and some people just can't stand that sort of thing. I wouldn't reccomend it to them either. Personally I like both the strength and all the tastes that this blend provides.

After a little bit of drying and chopping up it loaded well and smoked just fine so no problem there.Burn was mote than acceptable and as far as romm note goes I have no complaints there either. I still maintain that the average pipe smoker really can't get a true smell of the burning tobacco unless he takes a stroll in the open air and returns. I think that this sort of perambulation is more or less a waste of time and being blessed with a very tolerant wife dshe is not bothered by anything I smoke. Hence---no help from me as to room note.

The blend itself is not a light blend and this is stated in the advertisement and descriptions by Gawith and Hoggarth and by most if not all distributors selling it. Keeping this in mind should be enough for a good decision on what and what not to smoke.

As far as flavorings I didn't note much or indeed any. I suspect that Gawith and Hoggarth knew that the tobacco itself was naturally strongly flavored and didn't bother wasting time or scents on this version. Thank you Gawith and Hoggarth for that!

As stated in the intro to this piece I don't see the cause for all this trepedation and reticence about this blend. My best recommendation for those hearty souls that have not tried it is to ask your distributor for a moderate sample and try it. If it turns you off the worst you may expect is a slightly queasy stomach and a little head spin which will pass if you can't smoke it. This is ,of course not a permanent condition. Then again you may come to the conclusion I did---Ain't bad at all.In either case you will have a very definite experience.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Truckin' in the morning!)

Update: For those that find this blend a little too much(nicotene or flavor[cigar or otherwise]) I have a suggestionh. Mix it (you will pdaron the expression) "half nd half" with Medium Virginia Flake from Samuel Gawith (or its aka in tinned form-"Golden Glow")and the resulting mixture is quite smokable and very enjoyable. Packs well. Burns nicely and tastes - as most expect heavier than Medium Flake alone and not as robust as Dark Flake alone. Quite tasty and a remarkably agreeable blend for the evenings or even the mornings. The proportions of course can be adjusted up or down the scale for variations of strength and nicotene punch.

The Piper at the Gates of dawn still truckin' in the morn

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (113)
★★☆☆
Very Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very robust, full-bodied Virginia/Burley flake, with a pronounced cigar flavour mixed in with its Lakeland fruitiness, and a serious nicotine kick. If you want a strong and tasty smoke, it's excellent: cool, slow, consistent; lights easily and stays lit. At certain points during a bowlful, it reminds me a little of St Bruno. There's a room note that is distinctive but not at all unpleasant. Sip it, though, or your head will spin: it's a good deal too strong for me, and I would recommend a small bowl for your first attempt at it. I smoked it in a Peterson 312 and felt distinctly queasy afterwards.

DF has an odd, tough consistency, though - I see another reviewer has called it 'leathery.' This is a small negative. The flakes don't either rub out well or fold well; it also tends to leave a lot of moisture behind. It would probably benefit from a little drying before you smoke it. Aging it would probably calm it down a bit, also, and maybe make the flakes more tractable.

I don't care for it much because I don't like the cigar-type notes and there's too much vitamin N; but DF is an honest and worthwhile baccy if you like a thoroughly masculine, 'outdoor' sort of smoke. Somewhat recommended, then. Not for the beginner, though; and beware of the ghost. Also, don't let it dry out; too dry and it smokes very hot; also, the cigar-type flavour becomes very prominent.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Monopod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Monopod (23)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

If anyone, like me, has been searching to find a cigar taste in a pipe-tobacco, this may be for you.The description all but put me off. I would have said that anything but a mild tobacco would have me wretching like a schoolboy-behind-the-bike-sheds. Thank goodness I was wrong. I've tried a few tobaccos in my quest for Nirvana, and I have to admit to giving, or sometimes throwing some away. Like it's little brother "Ennerdale", keep a pipe just for this "one" and you will be handsomely rewarded. There are just as many variations in cigar taste as in other tobaccos, but this comes nearest to my ideal.Zero tongue-bite, zero afterburn, less tooth-stain, clean your teeth with impunity from the "burn-fairy." White ash, clean pipe,burns to nothing. Lights easily, burns very controllably. And the taste and side-stream ? mouth full of flavour, smell in my office ? to die for.And if anyone tried to part me from this tobacco ? definitely to kill for......... I don't launch into print easily, but to find this "Gem" at the age of 61 ? Surely I'm either re-born or I've died in the night and St.Peter offered me his baccy-pouch for a fill. Or Lucifer ...... what the H...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jocose Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jocose (12)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

I hate it when I see constant 4 star reviews here at Tobacco-opinions, and Im guilty of it myself, so far, but this fine Tobacco IMHO deserves no less than 4 stars.

This is a nice strong, dark colored flake of Dark-Fired Virginia's and Burley, available in bulk. At first light the intense, smoky and almost cigar like flavor hits the palate like a ton of bricks and then gently yields to what some might interpret as a hint of a floral or a soapy taste. These gentle herbal flavors, I believe, come from the actual curing process as described in the "tin description" at the top of the page.

The Virginia leaf used is grown in Africa, and is potent in every sense of the word, IE, flavor and nicotine, its most definitely not for the uninitiated or the nico-wimps. It burns slow and never bites the tongue and wont give any harshness.

A great old fashioned flake! :)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Update, addendum, whatever. I recently broke this out again after it was sealed up for about two years. Time took the sharpness off the floral character of this tobacco, and really mellowed it out, at least the flavor and aroma. The nicotine strength has not abated, however, and it is still a very stout smoke. This is a very good tobacco, and will satisfy even the most ravenous of nicotine cravings. Smoke it after a very big meal; flavor is strong enough to stand up to a good scotch or strong ale. Truly a first class smoke.

*[original review] My head is still ringing three days later. I roll my own cigarettes using Drum tobacco, sometimes without filters. And this stuff was strong by my standards. Not that it isn't good, I just don't care for this kind of tobacco strength in a pipe.

The flakes are leathery in consistency, and take a little effort to fully rub out. There is no scent to the flakes, but I tasted a distinct and obtrusive soapiness that was only present as a perfumy scent with Glengarry flakes. About halfway through the bowl, the soapy taste hadn't settled down at all. Undaunted, I finished it down to the ash. This stuff smokes really very well. It never got hot, didn't bite, and I never had to relight it after getting it going. But that soapy taste, and it was rather harsh, just got in the way of the tobacco.

I tried it again a few days later, and no change. Very high quality tabac, with a weird taste. I think that what goes on is that the brain, being so very unfamiliar with whatever this is that has crept into the tobacco during processing, is mistranslating the taste as "soap!". I persevered with the Glengarry flakes, and was rewarded with one of the coolest, most pleasant smokes I had ever had. But, this is just really stout tobacco, and my brain is still telling my tongue that it's soap.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

eichenlaub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
eichenlaub (13)
★★★★
Extremely Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great tobacco. It is true that even the unscented version has some of the lakeland taste to it but I did not find it to be overwhelming and the Virginia used is quite tasty. Also this satisfies a nicotine craving in a hurry. All in all one of my favorites.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Black Seamus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Seamus (56)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Flavor, flavor, FLAVOR! Dark, rich and delicious.

Wow, this is a great flake. I agree that it is like a ramped-up version of Stonehaven. Sweet and spicy from the first light, there may be the barest whisper of Perique in this blend, along with Virginias and Burley tobacs.

I'm of the fold-n-stuff school when it comes to flakes, but I find that Dark Flake has to be rubbed out. Otherwise you'll be re-lighting throughout the bowl.

As with any flake, it must be dried out. The flavor is rich enough that you won't have to worry about tongue bite much, (though it can nip)because this blend begs for a slow, contemplative smoke.

I don't get much of the nuttiness that others have mentioned, and I also don't get much of the floral essence that G&H blends are famous for. The sweet and spicy flavor of the tobac develops nicely as the bowl burns down, even though there's not a great deal of complexity.

The ash is very fine and powdery, and so I usually end up dumping it at about the half-way point to enhance the burn.

Do heed the warning about nicotine, though it's not any stronger than ropes or Irish Flake.

Those folks that enjoy Blackwoods Flake, Full Virginia Flake, Dark Star and the afore-mentioned Stonehaven will find themselves right at home.

Lovers of bold Balkans and English blends will find this a great change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bighitter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bighitter (37)
★★★☆
Very Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable

wow, the reviews here are all over the place, if weighed toward the recommended side. I guess you're just gonna have to try it. I love it, on my second 4 oz. It's the things you read of here, smokey, nutty, but if smoked carefully, there's definitely some sweetness as well. Not like a grassy Virginia sweet, but a dark chocolate kind of bittersweet, not that it has a chocolate flavor. The "soapiness" of lakeland blends is really sort of herbal and floral, and it's present in this one. If you like full, smokey blends, this is worth a try. Not the kind of smokey of full latakia blends, but it's there nonetheless.

update: This tobacco is very heavy in body and flavor. If you're into that, I'm sure you will like this tobacco, but for most it will not be an everyday smoke. Since I wrote the first review, I've put a few ounces into storage as I just couldn't take the heaviness anymore.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
★★★★
Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Irishlefty and Tomobedlam pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one.

There's a family resemblance between this and Dark Birdseye, but this smells and tastes less cloying, darker and sharper in flavour. Kind of strong slightly bitter chocolate.

The way I deal with this tobacco is to rub out a couple of flakes and fill as many pipes as it'll do then put them on one side to let the tobacco dry out a bit. Here in England, I tend to have a few pipes full of Dark Flake sitting in a bowl next to my PC so some might be a few days there before I smoke them.

They light easily and smoke comfortably...I like them in briars and meerschaums pretty much equally...I have an old meerschaum lined Lovat shaped briar that deals with Dark Flake beautifully. It's a clean smoke from top to bottom with really no dottle or gurgle; gives me a satisfying but by no means excessive amount of Vitamin N and I often smoke three or four pipefuls an evening, one straight after the last.

I read the comments about Nicoblasting but personally I don't find this anything more than a medium strength tobacco. For me 1792 tends to give me the sweats and occasionally a Rope will. This never has.

Dark Flake is a clean tasting, strong and very satisfying old fashioned stoved Burley/Virginia tobacco: it outclasses most of it's competitors and I find that the quality is always steady.

Most highly recommended.

Addendum...

This is the one I keep coming back to. I look up and there in front of me, on the shelf next to the PC, is a 500 gramme box of Dark Flake Unscented along with a few packets of Revor Plug...the world is good:-)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

wow, this IS strong tobacco. for a predominantly virginia and balkan smoker like me, it is quite overwhelming.

actually, imo, a tobacco like this is nearly impossible to smoke on its own. i see it more like an ingredient that will spice up a blend, as in st. bruno. still, judged for its quality per se, it's top notch. loaded with not only nicotine, but also flavour, its characteristic smoky/perfumy taste so typical of first class dark fired, can't be beaten.

i might even get hold of a small - a very small, really - pipe to smoke this excellent tobacco pure.

highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Irishlefty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Irishlefty (19)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I smoke a lot of English & Balkan blends and love the taste but most leave me yearning for nicotine. Not this one. It is exactly what I wanted, very heavy in nicotine yet not a bite or burn in a bowlful.

I got stuck in a rut and didn't try new blends for years but I'm sure glad I shook loose of the mud and dust and started trying more of the selection thats out there.

This rubs out easily, packs well, lights and stays lit. Don't know about the room smell - my cats don't complain but I don't hang out with that many Humans to be able to comment.

Dark Flake has become a 'must have' for me. I use it by itself, I mix it with many other blends that I like the taste of but want to add a bit more nicotine.

If you don't like nicotine, you probably won't get along with this but if you are a 'reformed' cigarette smoker or a cigar smoker and want a satisfying pipe tobacco, Dark Flake might just be for you!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Smooth and creamy, yes indeed. Spicy, too. This is the strongest tobacco I know of. Beats the ropes, Royal Yacht, Haddo's and 1792 by more than a just little. At first light, the nicotine tickle could be, for some, harsh. Tobacco flavor by the truckload. In fact I can see why some say this is unsmokable. It's a kick in the teeth if you're not ready for it.

But, once this gets going, it's pure tobacco delight. Lots of dark fired smoke and spice, along with some nutty sweetness (provided it's correctly packed, if not, it's a chore to keep lit). Overall a satisfying, invigorating smoke.

On the downside, if I let this go out and don't relight right away, it IS unsmokable. DGT is not an option here. (I'm too busy for that, anyway) Great stuff. Let there be smoke!

I've noticed some online sources list this as 'same as brown flake but stoved longer for strength'. Call me wrong, but that ain't this. If you think: this=FVF where Brown Flake=Best Brown Flake, you'll be sadly disappointed.

p.s. If you've got a heart condition, steer clear of this one, it's a thumper.

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Nick O'Teen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick O'Teen (90)
★★★★
Very Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable

Much less busy than it's sibling scented version, Dark Flake is a very satisfying smoke. Strong, yet creamy smooth, with delicious tobacco flavor.

I still taste some of that nancy boy perfume that G&H seems to adore but never-the-less highly recommend this one to lovers of strong, full tasting tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (74)
★★★★
Extremely Strong Very Mild Extra Full Very Pleasant

I ordered a sampler of various ropes, flakes and other GH blends and I was initially repulsed and fascinated with many of their strengths. The ropes I find hard to keep lit. These flakes burn perfectly. After a month this batch of tobaccos has been growing on me like a brushfire in a field of dry grass.

I loaded my first bowl in a meerschaum and fired her up. She rode my Extreme, intensifying flavor gave way to a complexity unlike I've ever noticed before. Halfway through the bowl I notice my meershaum has several distinguishable millimeters of browning. Holy hell, I now know what to smoke to bake the meerschaums!!

Fantastico.

Images evoked include a nihilistic optimist visiting an undead dermatologist only to happily find out that the beauty mark on his face is, indeed, a benign tumor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

anixi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
anixi (17)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Strong, but managable. Spicy at the back of the throat, a little less than S.G. 1792 Flake. Stronger than 1792, with less tangy flavor. Burn was spotty, as I did smoke it straight out of the container. I suspect that it could benefit from some sort of drying, for those of you without ADD (I've no patience for some of this voodoo). Overall a very good experience in any size bowl. I do believe it would shine as DGT'ed, as does a lot of VA flakes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

An exceptional tobacco, really full and tasty, one of the best Virginia around. It is best smoked if you rub it and leave it dry a little. Even better if you use a small pipe. Although similar in taste to the Samuel Gawith Black XX twist, this one maintains a clear own personality. The taste is smoky, almost cigarish, "dark" and complex, all this with a really comfortable behaviour throughout the bowl; the smoke is easy, cool and dry, really effortless. Really you can't say anything bad about this tobacco, even the price is convenient. Highly recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I am a big fan of Gawith Hoggarth tobaccos, but I have always been reluctant to try Dark Flake due to its reputation for strength. I like strong tobacco, but this one seems to be described as strong by everyone, even cigarette and cigar smokers.

I filled this beautiful dark flake in my newly acquired GBD apple from the sixties. It's about a Group 2, so it seems perfect for this type of tobacco. I folded a small flake and stuffed it in the bowl. It lit easily. The flavor is a little spicy and strong with a dark-fired flavor like Conniston and Bosun Cut Plugs, but it lacks their traditional British flavorings. In fact, I don't taste any soapy or floral flavors. This bowl required a few re-lights, not due to its burning qualities, but by distractions. Re-lights were easy and flavorful. I would also describe the flavor as smooth - no harshness at all, even at the bottom of the bowl.

Based on one bowl, I'd describe this as a superb tobacco and completely satisfying. I'll pick up a couple of ounces the next time I see my tobacconist and report back. My only complaint is it may be just a little too high in nicotine. I felt a slight queasiness in my stomach at the end of the bowl. I'm sure one could develop a tolerance to it over time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

calavera Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
calavera (26)
★★☆☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I loaded up a bowl in the Kirsten esquire at the wedding of a friend. Put flame to it and breathed it to life. Whoah! I came to pipes from Cuban cigars, Ashton VSG's and various other "strong" cigars. They didn't even phase me. This stuff, however, seemed very rough. I did not want to spend the rest of the dance puking in the woods, so I dumped the bowl. It is now 2 years later, and I have not been brave enough to try it again. Now that it is spring, I will brave another bowl on the deck when I am not afraid to spend the rest of the day puking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

A wonderfully strong, stout flake from this fine company. It yields a straight-forward, in your face smoke. One is always aware of it's presence. Care needs to be given to the rate of draw or one might need assistence in getting out of his,(or her), armchair. Although mono in taste, my main attraction is the smoothness and somewhat peppery, cigar-like notes. This is the type of flake that gets my brain humming like an overhead powerline. Not for the faint-of-heart or newbie pipster.

**12/23/2011 This flake is in my regular rotation now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Satc001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Satc001 (64)
★★☆☆
Extremely Strong Mild Extra Full Strong

This is a very strong tobacco. I enjoy strong english blends and very full bodied cigars but this is very strong even to me. It does have some nice perfume notes and woodsy taste if smoked slowly however. I would suggest a small bowled pipe smoked extremely slow. Do not buy this if you are not ready for an extremely strong tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★☆☆
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

This reminds me much of Dark Birdseye in both flavor and strength. In fact, I'll venture to say that this is probably a flake version of that venerable blend. This is a straight forward tobacco tasting blend with just a touch of the famous "Lakeland" scent probably due to its environ while being made. It is a very high quality blend, but is just too potent for this piper. It smokes cool with plenty of flavor (no tongue-bite). This would probably be a good blend for someone trying to kick the cigarette habit and/or who likes cigars. Enjoy...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tomobedlam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tomobedlam (13)
★★★★
Very Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

So I have this pipe that I got off Ebay for like $10, a Peterson Killarney straight pipe that has a little chip out of it, which I don't care about at all, because rather than being the sort to collect beautiful pipes(which is a perfectly decent pasttime, don't get me wrong), I tend to just smoke them and don't care too much what they look like. This one had soured though, to the point where it was well nigh unsmokable. I say well nigh, because if there was nothing else around I'd smoke it, and have. So I wished to sort out the sourness and have noted the salt/alcohol treatment posted on various sites, and have had it in mind to give it a shot with this thing. The problem is that I don't have any Everclear, don't drink alcohol, and really don't want to go buy a whole bottle of the stuff just for a couple eyedroppers worth. I mean, what am I going to do with the rest, make a Molotov cocktail? Well, the only two things in my house that contain alcohol turned out to be mouthwash, and vanilla extract. Neither of these options seemed particularly wise to me so I put it off for awhile. The other day though I threw caution to the wind and used the Vanilla, because the worst that could happen is that I'd ruin the pipe, and well, no big loss.

Ok, so now onto the Dark Flake. This is my mainstay smoke, I only have a pipe or two a day, usually at night, and this is my regular. It has a full, agreeable flavor, packs a nicotine wallop, and doesn't burn my tongue. Thats really all I ask for in my tobacco, these flakes come in bulk, have that Lakeland essence, whatever it is, and are just a decent smoke, nothing fancy, just a workaday, time tested leaf.

I decided that the dark flake would be a good thing to test the vanilla/salted pipe with, since it has a straigtforward flavor that I'm quite familiar with, and any deviation or sourness or vanilla blast would register immediately and overwhelm any wishful thinking, etc. I lit up with some trepidation, fully expecting a salty-vanilla-nightmare. You know what? It worked! Not even a slight whiff of either vanilla, salt or the tire-fire toxins that inhabited it previous to the treatment, just pure Dark flake. I swear to you, its like a new pipe. Now, I'm not going to be responsible if you try this with your $2000 pipe and it tastes like an ice cream cone here on out, but if you have an old junker that needs refreshing, give it a shot, what the heck?

I highly recommend this blend to anyone who wants a basic proletarian smoke with a nicotine punch. Maybe not if you have a demanding, complex palate though. Which is also a fine thing to have, it's just not everybody.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NapaWineLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NapaWineLover (66)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

Just for clarity - I'm rating the Dark Flake (Unscented) I didn't see that description in the listing so forgive me if I've erred.

This tobacco has a number of things that I like. First off it has a dried floral taste up front during the char light that I enjoy very much. Herbal in fact. The smokiness of the aged stock that I purchased this from is subtle and it represents IMO a unique style of tobacco that I know of very few in the genre. I will enjoy discovering others. I like to rub this tobacco out instead of smoking it in flakes as I do others.

The aroma is very pleasant to me and so far to any nearby when I've smoked among the unenlightened. It's my selection on weekend mornings with the second home brewed triple latte.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★☆
Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

I am a big fan of this companies' tobaccos especially their flakes. So far of the many I have tried, this is my least favorite. It is a quality flake and if other tobaccos always leave you wanting, give this one a go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dizzy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dizzy (13)
★★★★
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable to Strong

At first, this tobacco seemed harsh and bland. If you react this way too, just give it time. I found myself returning to this blend more than I would have expected considering my initial reaction--perhaps because of the nicotine. But I also learned to appreciate it more as I smoked it more. The harshness is still noticable in the first few puffs, but quickly mellows into a dark, creamy, no-frills smoke. A simple and unabashed nicotine-laden smoke. Ex- or current cig smokers wanted. Nico-wimps need not apply.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fourshephards Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fourshephards (51)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Strong

When I asked the fellow behind the counter about this dark and forboding looking flake, he told me that it was an "austere smoke". When I think of the word "austere", my first grade teacher comes to mind - scowling, tight lipped and serious. I gave it a try anyway.

Dark flake, as far as I can tell, has no flavoring nor floral agents. This has the kick of 1792 flake sans the tonquin. This is rich, dark and not sweet. My son says it smells like a fine cigar mixed with old socks but the palate-filling rich smoke is almost intoxicating when smoked in the chill of an early evening. Dark flake satisfies in the same way that dark chocolate would satisfy my wife.

Dark Flake is austere, but not in the scowling first-grade teacher sort of way. It starts off rather sharply but settles down into a spicy and rich smoking experience. Smoked slowly, Dark Flake is a rich and rewarding experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PT (4)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

Lights easily, has loads of nicotine, extra full taste (almost peppery after first half), no tongue bite. Must be smoked preferably in small bowls. Not for inhalers, unless you have lungs made of iron, not for new pipe smokers unles you already smoke stout cigars or cigarettes. Also not for those who enjoy only delicate tasting tobaccos, this will bland your taste for a while. Although I enjoy stout blends, I cannot smoke it every day, may be one bowl a week.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

A small fine cut flake, very dark with some lighter flashes. The aroma is sharp, with a smokey tang, and reminds me of Dark Birdeye (I wonder why?). The slices are so thin, that when rubbed out, it is almost a shag. It lights easily (when rubbed out). yielding a very full flavored smoke, almost cigarish in character. There is definitely a major fire cured component here. The flavor is monochromatic, but has enough character to keep my interest. I find it burns slowly enough, even when fully rubbed, but will not burn worth a darn when rolled and stuffed (which I usually prefer with a flake). Compared to DBE, (which I think is more Burley than Virginia), this seeems to have more Virginia. Both types are grown in the Malawi and Mysore regions, but Virginia is usually flue cured. Burley is more often air, or fire cured. It burns to a clean gray ash, paler than the ash from DBE. This is a change of pace tobacco for me, not an all day experience. For the newbie, too much nicotine.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I keep a stash of the G&H and Samuel Gawith dark tobaccos on hand next to my big chair. I usually smoke Dark Flake in the late afternoon with a Guinness or in the evening with a cup of black coffee. It is a treat to look forward to an evening that starts out with Dark Flake and then moves on to Dark Birdseye, Sliced Brown Twist, Sliced Black Twist, and then finishes up with SG 1792. As a variation you can substitute some of the G&H dark scented flakes. Dark Flake rubs out easily into almost shag form which is the way I like to pack it. It lights easily and burns beautifully. The smoke is mild with no bite. It does have a flavor that resembles that of a dark maduro wrapper, but the smoking experience is definitely that of a pipe tobacco rather than a cigar. The tobacco flavor is relentlessly intense. I believe it has been treated with a light, neutral sweetener which gives the smoke a bitter sweet quality. Dark Flake also provides a nicotine kick that you can feel on the tongue. Because of the strong flavor, it is necessary for me to clear my palate regularly. This is not an all day smoke or one that I smoke every day. But once or twice a week, it is a treat. Highly recommended for those who occasionally like a trip to the dark side. Paddy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.