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The 'Christmas cake' of all our tobaccos. A very rich, sweet fully flavoured blend. The main feature is the high proportion of naturally sweet sun-cured tobaccos in the blend - over 40%. Only 30% Virginia leaf, with the rest of the blend coming from burleys and dark-air cured contribute to a strong, but rewarding smoke. The whole blend is cased in maple sugars to further enhance the natural sweetness of the sun cured leaf and then rounded off with a dash of rum.

BrandGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended ByGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured ByGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBurley, Virginia
FlavoringMaple, Rum
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50 grams tin, Bulk
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 13 Users

116 reviews
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Ehrling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ehrling (108)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an old-fashioned tobacco blended in the style of the 19th Century. I have seen this blend compared with spiced Christmas Cake, but just as a cake is more than just flour, sugar and spices, G&H Rum Flake (GHRF) is more than just tobacco, rum and casings. I've been smoking rum flakes from various blending houses for over 30 years, but GHRF is unlike any other rum flake--it is simply unique!

I give this one 3-stars, but I could sometimes easily elevate that rating to 4-stars--so, let's settle on 3.5-stars. It can on occasion be tempting to smoke too much of this (like eating too much Christmas Cake) and so, due to its kaleidoscope of flavors and its strength, you may find yourself approaching sensory overload--it can become almost mind-numbing. I recommend no more than a pipeful a couple of times a week--in this way you can't lose your taste for this tobacco.

I have enjoyed this tobacco in both bulk and tin forms over the years, but I prefer it in the tin as the flavors are better integrated, uniform, consistent and complex. (In bulk form some of the sugar and spice tend to bleed off.)

This is a rich flake that provides a fairly potent nicotine punch. It is not as strong as most of the ropes and twists, but it is one of the stronger flake offerings. Its herbal, floral, sugar, and spice elements (that include a pretty fair touch of black licorice extract or anise) merge with the tobacco flavors to create a mosaic of very interesting flavors. These toppings never overwhelm the tobacco; they act merely to add additional dimension to the smoke. The sugar and spice elements are simply necessary ingredients in the recipe. To my tastes these herbals and spices are not quite as forward and strong as in a few of the other G&H scented varieties, but there is a lot happening. I am always struck by what I can only describe as a distinctly "smooth and creamy" quality in the taste of the's quite different!

I freely admit that I enjoyed this blend from the very first puff, but I didn't fully appreciate how good it was until about the 3rd bowl. It's like that with many of the G&H tobaccos; they don't display everything they have to offer on the very first bowl. This is a very interesting, almost fascinating blend. Rum Flakes, in general, seem to be relatively straightforward and not overly complex--GHRF is the noteworthy exception.

As with most of the G&H flake tobaccos, this one smokes cool!

NOTE: I advise against smoking this in a briar (unless it's a briar reserved for this blend) because the "spice" elements can really leech into the wood and they don't come out easily.

LATE NOTE: This flake has changed over the course of 15 years. First, it's no longer a flake, but a broken flake--no bit deal--but the flavor is "different" somehow. I purchased 25 tins years ago and I recently depleted my reserve. I am completely aware that "aging" can have a significant impact on flavor, but I don't believe that aging explains everything. I don't believe that other G&H scented tobaccos reflect this degree of change. But then I certainly cannot deny that with the passing of another 15 or so years my taste buds haven't undergone some changes of their I undoubtedly don't react to this tobacco in the same way that I once did. I can still easily recommend it even though I don't seem to be quite as drawn to it as I once was.

Pipe Used: Reserved for Meerschaums & Clays

Purchased From: Various

Similar Blends: Other scented G&H blends.

21 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The Virginias are a little earthy with a touch of dark fruit, very mild citrus and a few blades of grass. The toasty, earthy, nutty, light molasses sweet burley plays back up, and also sports a light woodiness. The mildly applies maple sugar is the star topping. The rum is not very detectable. A hint of Lakeland exists. Though the toppings are not strong, they do sublimate the tobaccos a little. The nic-hit is a little past being mild. Won’t bite, and I experienced no harshness or rough edges. Burns a little slow, fairly cool, and clean with a mostly consistent semi-sweet flavor. Requires a few relights, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasant after taste. Is almost an all day smoke for those who are into this kind of product.

18 people found this review helpful.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
Medium to Strong Strong Medium Pleasant

Have been wanting to try this for a while now, and I'm glad I did.

A real old fashioned traditional pipers sweet flake is this. Quite sweet, but very flavourful without impinging on the underlying tobacco taste which is surprisingly firm. It isn't overly floral IMO, less so than some of its other stable mates.

Will be getting more of this to jar, and it will become a staple go to blend that will be ever present on my list of regulars. Probably one of my top 5 without a doubt.

Highly recommended if you're after a traditional sweet flake that has some good nic.

16 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

After reading the reviews and the description, I'm not sure I got the right tobacco.

I found no trace of Lakeland florals, in either the bag aroma or the taste. There was very little sweetness and what little there was burned away before I got 1/3 of the way down the bowl. What remained was a moderately robust flavor that turned ashy. I was expecting considerably more sweetness and that may have biased me against this blend, but I think my expectations were justified based on the previous reviews. I would classify this tobacco as something to try but quite a disappointment to me. Certainly this is no "Christmas Cake". What it is to my tastebuds is a mostly non-descript mish-mash of tobaccos with a casing that was watered down the day my batch was produced.

This seems to have a following so by all means try it if it interests you. I may try it again someday but not anytime soon.

11 people found this review helpful.

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

One of the more interesting blends I've smoked. Starts with a good taste of Lakeland "perfume" which quickly fades to mild. In comes the rum and maple. The rum has a molasses flavor. As the bowl progresses the natural tobacco flavors come through. Mildly nutty Burley and mildly fruity Virginias. Due to the sweetness of the topping I can't tell how much sweetness might be coming from the tobacco. I smoked this in three types of pipe. I brought one of my briars out of retirement, a cob, and a clay I purchased just for this experiment. Here are the results.

1. Briar (Rossi Poker) - This brought out the rum and maple and minimized the natural tobacco flavors. The Lakeland scent started strong and quickly faded to mild.

2. Cob (MM Diplomat Apple) - This brought out the natural tobacco flavors and minimized the rum and maple. As with the briar, the Lakeland scent started strong and quickly faded to mild.

3. Clay (8 inch English tavern cutty) - This really brought out the sweetness with the rum, maple, and Lakeland scent coming through loud and clear. Couldn't believe how sweet it was. The natural tobacco flavors were very much minimized.

This was a fun blend to play with. Overall it's a very good smoke, and this is coming from someone who normally doesn't care much for Lakeland "perfume".

Medium in body and flavor. Flavoring varies from mild to mild to medium depending on the pipe. Since I have to choose one I'll go with the latter. Burns very nicely.

Pipe Used: Rossi Poker, MM Diplomat, Clay Tavern Cutty

Age When Smoked: fresh bulk

Purchased From:

9 people found this review helpful.

CapnStuby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CapnStuby (33)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This tobacco is a flake, so this review assumes that you can smoke flake properly.

When you see this in the tin, wrapped in the plastic baggy, you might be disappointed...but when you pop the tape seal, you're hit with a deep, rich, plummy, rummy smell and you can see the darkness and complexity of the flake slices...a good sign!

When you've packed your pipe properly, be prepared for a cool, rich, deep, complex and varied smoke that gives forth clouds of smoke spiced with LIGHT scents of vanilla and rum, but doesn't bite the tongue or flare up in the pipe. Slow, steady smoking will bring a swirling mix of the casing (rum, vanilla, licorice) to your senses and delight you every minute! It burns down to clean, dry ash and lingers in the nose like a pleasant shot of rum and soft vanilla ice cream. EXCELLENT!

This is a wonderful tobacco and is going into the regular rotation. The people I was around like it, too!

This is nothing but an elegant aromatic with enough tobacco flavor to satisfy anyone, anytime.

HIGHLY recommended!!!

9 people found this review helpful.

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

Rum Flake;

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, Full Body Natural Tobacco Flavor, has a slight Sweet Taste, enjoyable smoke

8 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

Since this review comes on Thanksgiving 2002, I would first like to wish all of my fellow reviewers a safe and fun Thanksgiving weekend. And I thank all of you for making such an interesting & educational website for a pipe and tobacco lover like myself. Enough warm & fuzzy stuff. Following is my review of Rum Flake:

Despite the description of an added casing of "Maple sugars," this flake burns cool, dry and sweet. I loved its power and strength too. If you can't tolerate much nicotine "kick" when you puff, avoid this flake or you'll get cross-eyed in a hurry.

A dash of rum is also included in this tobacco. But frankly, it is hard to detect. The tobacco was much too moist the first time I smoked a bowl. But even then it stayed lit well. After drying, the flavors really became more complex and leaped boldly toward my taste sensors.

This was delightful, and you can bet your turkey & dressing that I'll be purchasing more -- some for now and a few tins for the cellar!

8 people found this review helpful.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Very Pleasant

I got this tobacco, along with Bob's chocolate, Black Irish X rope, and Glengarry flake, as a chance to sample some of Gawith's tobaccos. As you will find if you read my other reviews of these tobaccos, this is the only one that really did it for me. This stuff is simply the best aromatic tobacco that I have ever tried. I can't say enough good stuff about it. While I could recognize that Bob's and Glenngary were of excellent quality, it was the flavoring components that didn't appeal to my personal tastes. Not so with this tobac! The flavor of maple sugar along with sweet Virginia and nutty Burley were perfect. I know that there is supposed to be rum in the mix but it really doesn't seem to be there. I think they should rename it Maple Flake. The casings never cover up the taste of very high quality tobacco in this blend, and all together it alway's makes me think of that elusive, rich, classic tobacco aroma that we all strive to rediscover. The same aroma that we remember smelling when we were kids and we encountered the smell of grandpa smoking his pipe for the first time. This is a cool smoking blend as well with great burning characterisitics. This stuff is classic and I will never be long without some on hand. That being said, if you are looking for a hearty, rich, and tasty aromatic that still delivers great tobacco taste, take this for a spin. Too rich for all day consumption, it will indeed be a treat on Christmas morning!

7 people found this review helpful.

Smokeybear86 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smokeybear86 (14)
Medium to Strong Mild Mild Tolerable

Tin Note: First whiff of this blend I thought of those rum and whiskey filled chocolates in the shape of bottles you usually see around the holidays.

Initial Light: The flake was in cube cut form ( or as square as i can get it) and i packed it rather lightly at first, so i think this is the reason i had a hard time getting it lit. I just kept repeating the false light process and packed it down more until finally I got it going. at first it tasted kind of soapy.

Mid-Smoke: At this point I had to relight the pipe three times and I was getting a little bite due to the heat it was smoking at, so i gave it a few minutes to cool and picked it up again. I don't know whether it was do to the bite i was getting ,but the smoke seemed rather strong for my liking.

Bottom of the Bowl: At this point it was a completely different smoke, it was cooler, the taste and feel was smooth and creamery. However it wasn't enough to sway my feelings on this blend after all it was a good 45min to reach this point.

Room Note: I asked the wife and I got a rolling of the eyes which in my book translates to tolerable but your an idiot.

Dottle: The dottle was impressive, i give this blend credit that it did smoke down to ash with minimal moister in the pipe and no gurgle throughout.

Smoking Duration: 1 Hour yes i went through 1 Hour of this tobacco all in the name of science.

Overall: I will revisit but I don't see myself stocking this up in the cellar.

For the next time i smoke it:

-Pack it tighter -Use a smaller pipe -Try fold and stuff method -15min dry time was sufficient but maybe ill try an hour.

Pipe Used: Trypis Dublin 3/4 Chamber

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: 4noggins

6 people found this review helpful.

Satc001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Satc001 (66)
Mild to Medium Medium Very Mild Very Pleasant

This is actually a pretty good blend, but one I probably won't smoke again. It has a wonderful aroma and nice, albeit mild flavor. It is a bit like a cup of coffee, bitter-sweet with the occasional maple note from the casing enhancing it. Unfortunately, it is simply too mild for me flavor wise and I'll probably go back to my bosun cut plug. This is a good tobacco, just not for me.

Update: It became more bitey and the taste went flat, going to have to down this a star.

6 people found this review helpful.

SeoulSister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SeoulSister (37)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The batch of Rum Flake I have been smoking is pretty old. The light tan flakes are now a much darker shade. In the jar, the smell of rum is strong and sweet. I lightly rubbed out the flakes before packing. The flavor is medium to full. Because of the age, I get a mild sweetness with a bit of Lakeland soapy and floral flavor, but the soapy flavor seems to come in and out through each smoke, but it isn’t constant. Even though I smelled the rum in the jar, I didn’t taste any of it in the pipe. Rum Flake has no bite at all, but I don’t know if that was due to the age of the tobacco. I really enjoyed the sweet floral taste of Rum Flake, but I have grown tired of the soapy flavor and that kind of ruins it for me. I am not saying I would come back to this because I used to really like it, but for now I can only somewhat recommend it.

Age When Smoked: 11 years

5 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Another solid flake from G&H. This one is darker in flavor than Glengarry or Brown Flake No. 2 and the floral notes are a bit more noticeable. The tin note is that of spiced rum, prunes, honey and an ever so slight sweet-hay almost oat-like aroma.

Charring light brings forth a swell of flavors and an underlying floral essence. Throughout the bowl the interplay between the tobacco and Lakeland flavor is perfect. The floral notes seem to come and go, making for slightly more complex aromatic experience than G&H's less perfumey offerings. I don't get much of the rum and maple flavors, but there is an underlying sweetness that supports the tobacco flavors beautifully.

Rum Flake has a very refreshing quality to its flavor. It's fairly full tasting yet smoking it leaves a very light foot print on my palate. So far one of my favorite G&H flakes.

5 people found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (102)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

G&H's Rum Flake sits high on my list of mild or subdued aromatics. Great looking in the tin (or bulk package), Rum Flake arrives as a medium brown, loosely pressed flake. Like most G&H Flakes, it's very easy to work with and versatile enough to allow for several preparations—rubbed out, folded and stuffed, rolled into a plug, etc. Personally, I tend to rub it out because I find that preparation best for releasing the subtle aromatics of the tobacco.

A whole lot of ink has been spilled discussing the flavor profile of this stuff. I think it smells heavenly—a lightly intense mix of rum, raisin, and maple. In the pipe, the maple flavor tends to come to the fore, but the aromatic intensity is sufficiently muted that there are occasions when I forget that I'm smoking an aromatized flake at all. Since I'm also a fan of G&H's Unscented Brown Flake (which may well serve as the tobacco base here), I'm fine with that.

The mildness of the flavoring here really does need stressing, given the name of the tobacco. Smokers looking for either intense rum aromas or intense maple aromas should probably look elsewhere. The maple here is nowhere near as intense as it is in, say, C&D's Autumn Evening, and the rum here is far more subdued that it is in tobaccos like Sutliff's Barbados Plantation or C&D's Blockade Runner. That's all for the best as far as I'm concerned, but others may find Rum Flake to be a misleading title.

As for the complaints about the “Lakeland” scents here: on occasion, I do get a wee hint of something floral, but complaining that this tobacco is heavy in Lakeland scents doesn't strike me as useful. Or true. This is wonderful stuff for smokers who enjoy rich tobacco flavor lightly enhanced with aromatic agents.

5 people found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

How anyone could not like this stuff is beyond me. It's one of the few virginia blends that has such a good taste and fullness that I don't feel the need to be a fast puffer. I think it is an excellent blend! It has a full delicious slightly fruity taste from the very start, and just gets better as you work down the bowl. When I got to the bottom I was tempted to reload and go again. It leaves absolutely no tongue bite, at all, could very well be an all day blend and it left a great taste in my mouth. I had it with dark roast coffee and was in heaven. I will for sure keep this on hand all the time. It may become my go to tobacco. Try it, I highly reccommend!

I am returning to this blend now 6 years later and just finished smoking a tin of this blend. My opinion of this blend has not changed. It is an excellent blend and once again I am enjoying every bowl of it. This time I dried it to an almost crisp moisture level and it made it even better. I am a real fan of this blend. One difference I have noticed is that the flkavoring listed on my current tin differs from the description on this site. My tin says the following "Virginias and Burley with flavors of rum, licorice and vanilla. No mention of maple at all.

5 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (152)
Medium to Strong Medium Very Full Tolerable

Im partial to Gawith Hoggarth tobaccos. Period. I smoke several of them all the time. And this is one I smoke semi regularly. Its very rich, but not cloying in anyway. I dont fully understand some of the negative reviews. Look, I get that GH tobacco is not for everyone, but if its not your thing then ok. But its difficult not to appreciate the institution that Gawith Tobaccos (both houses) are in the pipe smoking world. If gawith goes out of business, god forbid, I might give up pipe smoking (ok, an exaggeration but not by much). Rum Flake isn't the strongest of their blends, and in fact its more like a tad over medium in the nic dept, but flavor wise its strong. The flavor is creamy and spicy both, but the tobacco taste never leaves. And the base note is that air cured Indian leaf they use for most of their blends. Some of their other blends (Ennerdale for instance) do sort of obliterate the tobacco taste, but not RF. I think Rum Flake is among their best IMHO. But its not an everyday smoke. This is very old school, like all GH blends and not for the smoker who likes Danish aromatics or light burley blends. Just don't bother if that is your preference. But Id at least give it a try....start with something like Grasmere maybe, or Best Brown...and move on up to Rum Flake and eventually try Dark Birds Eye and even Bosun Cut plug. You might like them. Then if you are truly out of your mind, try Black Irish Twist or brown bogie. The later two are made for serious hard core hope to die pipe men, or shipwrecked sailors or just crazies. But joking aside, none of their product is ever anything but of the best quality.

Purchased From: 4noggins

Similar Blends: other gawith hoggarth blends. Nothing else..

4 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (129)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I'd personally not label any of the Lakeland's as cloying or syrupy, but this is probably the least soapy of all in that particular range. Even though the Lakeland essence is quite apparent, it is not as much in your face as the other ones. Most people seem to complain these flakes are somewhat rough round the edges, but how a flake is being cased should not be a measure of the level of sophistication or class per se (not withstanding all the Danish blends). The fact these flakes are lightly cased can only mean the stress is being put onto the tobacco itself and not so more onto its aromatic qualities. On the other hand, it seem to evolve quite nicely as you progress with your smoke, going from mild to medium to somewhat full. I can tell the Virginia leaf does not come here on its own, but I am not too sure what other tobaccos might be present in this blend. I guess a Burley tobacco of some sort, probably flue cured, but I cannot tell for sure. Despite the thickness of these flakes, they are both easy to crumble and pack your bowl with. I cannot detect any tongue bite and these flakes seem to be very forgiving and easy to smoke. I have thoroughly enjoyed this tobacco, so I am going to give it 4 stars.

4 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. - Rum Flake.

Quite robust, dark brown, flakes. The rum tastes sweet, with only a little alcoholic piquancy. As well as the rum there's the suggestion of perfume/flowers, which reduces the rating. Rum Flake behaves well in the bowl, giving a bite-free, cool smoke. The nicotine's medium and the room-note's tolerable.

Rum Flake? The slight floral note turns me off. Two stars:

Somewhat recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

4 people found this review helpful.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (90)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Look down one review. I think it's imporrtant to understand the intent behind the use of flavorings in many of Gawith and Hogwarts blends. As I see it they're neither necessarily supposed to reek of nor strongly taste like the flavor...which is there often to 'take the edge off' a very strong blend or enhance and meld with other Lakeland essences which may or may not be present and to varying degrees. In this sense they are condimental...they 'adjust' the flavors. This is especially true with the flavored twists (whisky, rum, maple, etc.). I also find it to be the case with blends like the Lousiana Flake, in which I can taste a faint Lakeland style floral aroma...but little of the touted Perique. But it's there. Rum Flake is perhaps the sweetest flake that G&H makes. It's fantastic, wonderful stuff. But the flaver reviled by the other reviewer is likely that light rum combined with the lignt Lakeland essence. If you like it...well and good. If claim the rum is from China. Sadly, if you don't like this one you likely won't like other forms of G&H the already mentioned Lousiana Flake...or Glengarry...or Brown Flake Unscented. Boy...they sure do make some amazing flakes.

Of course, I'm not saying anyone has to like 'em. We all have different it should be.

4 people found this review helpful.

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

Another nice flake from GH. Rum Flake arrives a bit moist and it does have the soap like smell that GH is known for in many of their blends although not as soapy as others. I don't find that it translates to the flake. Rum Flake is somewhat sweet and I find the rum flavor to not be as strong as some suggest. Its not in the league of other spirits flavored tobacco like Pembroke or Cognac Mixture. The rum adds some of the sweetness. I prefer to rub the tan flake out and smoke it in a smaller bowl. While a decent flake out of the tin, it ages very, very well. The flakes turn very dark in color and while the rum taste diminishes, the sweetness increases. A few years of age on Run Flake and its a four star blend. Rum Flake is a must try for those that love Gawith Hoggarth flakes. Recommended.

4 people found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (129)
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

I bought half an ounce (12.5 grams) of Rum Flake at the suggestion of a friend, who loves it. I see that several previous reviewers have rated it highly, and it may be that I haven't really given it a fair trial; but I have to say that I found it rather a disappointment. I don't hate it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy any more of it.

The pouch aroma is just plain gorgeous; 'Christmas cake' in the manufacturer's blurb is a very apt metaphor. But this is a tobacco that promises a good deal more than it delivers: the aroma doesn't (in my experience so far) carry over into the smoke to any noticeable degree. After the first couple of puffs, there's nothing much to distinguish RF from (say) G & H's Brown Flake; though, thanks to the sugary casing, it's inclined to smoke a bit hot.

RF is all right, and I don't mind recommending it to people who like G & H or SG flakes. It's a pleasant enough smoke if you don't rush it, and not too strong in terms of nicotine content. Nothing to write home about, though.

4 people found this review helpful.

OSR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OSR (78)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If Mac Baren made a 'full' mixture that didn't bite this would be it.

Updated 08/05

I've changed the way I smoke this tobacco. I no longer roll the flake; I cut it up with scissors into small pieces and then further rub it out until it's almost powder. The depth of the flavor is more abundant to me when prepared in this fashion which results in a mellow and even more "round" full smoke. I will also let the flake dry on a plate before cutting and rubbing out vigorously.

Oddly enough, this tobacco has a hint of that "soapy" flavor that one finds in many of these Lakeland style flakes. It's not overwhelming, it's kind of charming. I will be smoking the bowl and all of a sudden I'll get an awareness of that 'taste' and then it's gone.

The tobacco burns slow, cool and dry. The nicotine edge that this tobacco has is just right - it's not over the top like Dark Flake and it's a little less pronounced in nicotine than the Kendal Flake is.

A friend of mine in Florida introduced me to this tobacco. He's a former cigarette smoker and has sworn by this tobacco for several years. Once when we swapped pipes he sent me a sample of this and I laughed at him! No way would I put this foul 'soapy' stuff in my pipe! But being an adventurist (and former cigarette smoker) I decided to try it and was simply amazed.

The sweetness of the maple in the tobacco is like Mac Baren on steriods but not in an aromatic way. Rum Flake smokes all the way down, just like it started - a very steady and heady smoke. No wet smoke, just let the flakes dry out a bit before loading.

A buddy of mine (at the Chicago Pipe Show) filled up a pipe with this. He told me that he (a cigarette smoker) had a problem with blends biting his tongue. After finishing the bowl he came up to tell me that this blend was wonderful - and he bought a couple of 'bricks' of it to take home. He came up to me the next day to thank me for introducing this to him.

I keep this on hand at all times, it's highly underrated but it does have a hint of that soapy flavor that so many abhor.

Unique and Thoroughly Enjoyable!

4 people found this review helpful.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Whether you are a smoker of virginias, va/per, or aromatics, you will probably like this flake. The charactaristic lakeland taste and aroma is nearly absent, definitely unnoticable. What comes through is a fairly sweet, slightly spicy tobacco taste. The strong rum smell present in the tobacco before lighting only just comes through in taste at the beginning of the bowl. After that, it seems simply to add depth to the natural sweetness of the tobacco itself.

I've always been impressed with the quality of G&H, even in their offerings that I didn't particularly care for. There is no denying that the tobacco is of the highest quality. And Rum Flake delivers on this with satisfying taste and aroma all the way to the bottom of the bowl. It will not take the place of my favorite smokes, but is definitely in the lineup for a once a week smoke.

4 people found this review helpful.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (60)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This tobacco is interesting. The flavour of the tobacco is much like that of Samuel Gawiths "Best Brown", but is swetened and spiced by the rum and maple sugars. The blending has been carried out most artfully, though, so that the differing flavours are almost impossible to distinguish, but blend together into a wonderful smoking experience.

It lights and burns easily, and smokes dry, with no bite unless puffed too fiercely. Breath smoking is ideal, and brings out the most subtleties of the smoke, but it is certainly more forgiving than the pure virginia flakes. The flavours are complex and interesting, yet mild and unobtrusive- you can sit and really enjoy it, or just puff away at it while doing something else. The flavours are tobaccoey, in the sense of a lightly stoved virginia, and with a sweetish fullness. The rum taste might appear if you really look for it, if you've been smoking it in the same pipe for a while, but really it just lives in the background, to enhance the taste of the tobacco.

I do not find this to be extremely strong, like St Bruno, but it is by no means a weak tobacco. Neither do I detect any soapiness, this is not a scented flake, as such. It is certainly not an aromatic in the vanilla cavendish sense of the word. Well reccomended to virginia flake lovers, or to people who want to try Lake District tobaccos but dislike the heavily scented ones.


After enjoying this tobacco it became one of the first baccys that I would buy some more of after finishing a packet. While I lived in Preston this became one of my "staples" in a way few other tobaccos have. I enjoy Latakia, I enjoy Perique, and I enjoy the soapy Lakeland flakes too. But all of those are something I like variety in, while Rum Flake seems to just sit in a category of its own as something I can smoke every day without getting bored of. When I moved down South and couldn't find it in the tobacconists I rather forgot about it, but obtained some by mail order last week. It's still as delicious as I remember, I'll be getting more soon!

4 people found this review helpful.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

I don't know how this could be rated only two stars! Absurd! This is one of the best flakes ever! Don't smoke this first if you are planning on trying any other tobacco that day! It is so flavorful it would overwhelm any other smoke that followed. If it has any fault it would be that a small pipefull seems to last forever! Really good stuff! "Non-Flakers" need not apply!

Update 11/26/04:

One of my pipe-buddies new to the game (a former big bucks cigar buyer) says this is as good or better than any of the $10 cigars he used to buy. He is not saying it tastes like a cigar, rather it gives him similar satisfaction.

4 people found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Medium to Strong Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a tobacco I buy in bulk and keep for months, smoking it sparingly over time, perhaps a bowl a week or every two weeks. It is a typical dark, pressed G&H flake with a maple sugar aroma and this carries over into the flavor of the smoke. This is a strong tobacco, and has that pleasant astringent sensation of nicotine on the tongue underneath the tobacco flavors. The combination of the sweet maple and the somewhat bitter, dark pressed flake flavor are unique to this tobacco. There is absolutely no bite. I like the dark pressed, scented Lakeland flakes, and I like this the best of all. If you like a sweet tobacco now and then, but you want the taste of tobacco, this is an excellent choice. Highly recommended. Paddy.

4 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (46)
Medium Medium Medium Unnoticeable

This pipe tobacco has a short story behind it. Where to begin? Several years ago I frequented a popular Cigar and Pipe Store that has and is still around for over 30 years. I do not get to go there as much as I use to but it is a nice place to relax with tables, chairs, couches, coffee maker, etc. and has a huge selection of pipes, tobacco, and cigars. I was in there on my regular Sunday morning, window shopping the pipes in the display case when a nice lady came in with a box of pipe tobacco, one of many I was later to find out. I started talking to her about the large box of pipe tobacco, and learned that her husband had passed away. It was his hobby she said, and I detected some obvious sadness in her voice. This gentleman during his life time had a huge cellar of pipe tobacco unlike anything I have ever seen. She was there to sell the jars and tins of his pipe tobacco to the proprietor of the shop. She offered me a few jars before she handed them over to the shop owner and I graciously and politely accepted a few not really knowing or paying much attention to what I selected and thanked her. Over the next several weeks I also purchased some of this gentleman's pipe tobacco from the store. One of the two jars given to me was 16oz of rum flake that was packed so tight I could not believe how he did it as the flakes were perfectly arranged in the jar and was dated 10/02. This Thanksgiving eve I decided to try this one. 15 years ago this man stored this pipe tobacco and now I am about to use it. Not to sound melodramatic but I feel a little sadness when I smoked this one this evening and could not help but wonder about this man. In an odd way I feel somewhat of a connection to this gentleman who from the way his wife spoke about him really enjoyed his hobby and past time and hopefully wherever he may be he knows I consider this gift a great honor. My collection is not the largest but I know I have more pipe tobacco than I will ever consume in my lifetime. Probably due to the fact there is 'always' a blend out there I have not yet tried. I am 58 and hopefully when I cross over, whoever gets my stash will enjoy and respect it the way I have respected his. Now to the review. It had a great rum/maple smell to it right out of the jar. I loaded it in my Peterson 307 that I normally use for rum/whiskey pipe tobacco, Irish connection I guess. As I fired it up I detected the 'essence' I hear about but it faded quickly and it really smoked good. You can tell by the taste, feel and the way it smokes this is a real quality pipe tobacco. I had two bowls this evening with my coffee and will have some more tomorrow. Not much more I can add other than I am lucky to have it.

Pipe Used: Peterson 307

Age When Smoked: 15 years

Purchased From: Gift

3 people found this review helpful.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (76)
Very Strong Strong Full Extra Strong

Dang, this is sturdy stuff.

The tin note is actually slightly off-putting. The topping is clearly alcohol, but not classy stuff, more like someone's breath who has a hangover. Its kinda rancid, sour, rough alcohol, on top of some very rich and sturdy tobacco.

Sits in a plastic wrapper inside the tin, odd.

Ships damp, and needs some drying out. However, this is a very good smoke. Its like Irish Flake with some aro elements, so there is a very rich VaBur combo at work at the heart of it, deep and dark VaBur with plumes of rich blue smoke, and the alcohol flavour comes through in brutal fashion. It doesn't hide whatsoever.

Its somewhat similar to Sextant without the Lat, the richness is not hard to find, and the furnace brings out a lot of nuance and deep flavour.

I really liked it, however, its also responsible for the first time I was put on Weird Street, and after smoking a massive bowl of this in an XXL Billiard sitting down for almost 90 minutes, I was very green and ill for almost 2 hours, ending up not smoking again for about 2 weeks. The strength of the tobacco, the volume and richness of the smoke, the big and loud alcohol aroma, this is not for the feint hearted and if you are not ready for it it will knock your socks off in brutal fashion.

Big yes, but be cautious.

Pipe Used: XXL Billiard

Similar Blends: GLP Sextant.

3 people found this review helpful.

Mudguts Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mudguts (14)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I actually did not like this blend the first time I tried it, but now I consider it a favorite. It starts off a bit harsh and too floral. Then the foreground Lakeland influence begins to relinquish some of its prominence to the musty perique-like maple and (almost undetectable) rum about ¼ the way down the bowl. (Don’t misunderstand me, I like Lakeland blends, but not when they are too heavily stated.) Pull slowly to enjoy. Stays lit. Sweet spots are treasured and interplay delightfully with the acrid. The harshness progressively transforms to the smooth and creamy. Last third of bowl it becomes more fruit-berry like and the nicotine gets stronger. This smoke can dry your throat out, so have a drink handy. The blend goes through a metamorphosis in taste and PH as you work down the bowl, but the integrity of the tobacco is maintained throughout without the taper off that so many lower quality tobaccos exhibit. If you like the prospect of smoking an aromatic tobacco that is a step up from the typical fare, then this blend with its stoutness of character and medium nicotine should qualify.

Pipe Used: Dublin briar, cob

Age When Smoked: fresh bulk

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

butman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butman (47)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I found this on a second visit to various Lakeland flakes. This burns great, tastes delicious and complex. Enjoyed it in a small briar then a meerschaum and have stayed with that play. Probably one of the best navy-style flakes I have and will continue to enjoy. The rum is subtle and the other flavorings just seem to work well as the tobacco still rules the experience. It does have a goodly amount of nicotine so not too late at night is better.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

While the flavorings are a little too much on the sweet side for me to be part of any rotation, this was a very good 'holiday' smoke. It also smoked (for me at least) a little on the slow side; a little went a bit longer than most other tobaccos, even other flakes. To my surprise, it also smoked fairly cleanly (no goop, despite being sweet).

3 people found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (150)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Unsmoked it has a subtly sweet flavor, if I didn’t know I would not say necessarily rum but it has a sugary quality and a sweet rose petal aroma that complements the earthy and grassy tobacco smell. The flakes are long and thick and I received them almost ready for smoking.

Super tasty polychromatic tobacco with a very mild scent. This is more like smoking a straight sweetened Virginia than a full blown aromatic Lakeland though there is a mild herbal scent that rounds off the edges along with the maple sweetness. And Virginia is not the only tobacco taste here, as I think I can also taste the cake-like Burleys. Leaves a lingering spicy and complex aftertaste. Strength is a solid medium and it smokes cool.

Excellent. Fully recommended in itself but also a nice tobacco to break into the Lakelands.

2 people found this review helpful.

Little Steven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Little Steven (66)
Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Unnoticeable

Lovely smoke this. Lights and burns easily. Excellent quality. Simple flavours.

Tends to the monotonous but you know where you are.

Satisfying any time of the night or day.

Pipe Used: Stanwell billard.

Age When Smoked: Fresh.

Purchased From: Gauntley's of Nottingham.

2 people found this review helpful.

BigNick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigNick (58)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This was a great tobacco. It was complex in flavor and yet simplistic in body. Every smoker could enjoy this. It is an all day smoke. The room note is pleasing to those around, it does not smell like cookies and cream but does not offend. Right out of the tin, it is ready to make any smoker happy. Highly recommend.

Pipe Used: Butz-Choquin Bistro, Millard

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From: Smoking

Similar Blends: Peterson - University Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (180)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Another great blend from GH. It comes a bit moist for some, but nothing a little drying won't cure nicely. A very nice presentation in the tin. Loads, lights and stays lit well. It burns down to an ash easily. The taste and room note are top rate. What more can one want from a bowlful of fine tobacco such as this? Overall, I would definitely recommend this blend to one and all.

2 people found this review helpful.

PipesterJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipesterJim (47)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Isn't it funny how our tastes change? I first sampled this flake a couple of years ago and I really didn't enjoy it very much, but having since developed a penchant for the Lakeland flakes I now find this to be a thoroughly delicious smoke.

Even though I usually don't like blends with more than a hint of burley in them, something about this one keeps me coming back. It's the exception that proves the rule, and I reckon that the composition of different varieties here is pretty much spot on - the richness of the topping compensates for what I usually perceive as a 'dry' and 'dusty' characteristic in burley tobacs.

The flavours on offer here have already been described pretty accurately by other reviewers. Maple dominates, then the soapiness, followed by the licorice/anise spice with the rum flitting in and out.

I like to smoke this roughly rubbed out in a medium sized bowl. Although I find it can be a tiny bit nippy for the first few puffs, it soon settles down and burns very nicely.

When I want to treat myself, I cut a thin coin of Brown Bogie, rub that out with the flake and load them up together. The small amount Brown Bogie just nudges the strength and body of the smoke up by a fraction and makes a subtle contribution to the flavour, rounding it out a little. It's an indulgence I can heartily recommend, as I can Rum Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (227)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I ordered a tin of this for the first time and received it this afternoon. Beautiful tin aroma of maple/vanilla and a touch of rum. I also detected a spicy undertone - perhaps the licorice. The bottom of my tin listed it as Virginias and Burley with flavors of rum, licorice, and vanilla. Medium brown in color with some sugar crystals starting to form on some of the leaf. A very mild soapy smell was also present, but none of the "lady-like" perfumes (thankfully).

It loaded well into a medium billiard, but due to its freshness, it needed many a light to get it - and keep it - going. However, it still was quite a remarkable smoke. I enjoyed it very much. It was pleasantly sweet, but not cloying. Despite the frequent re-lights, it smoked hot and with some bite only if puffed fast (I smoked two bowls back to back it was that good). It did have a soapy taste with lighting that pretty much stayed throughout the smoke. However, all though ever present, the soapy flavor actually was quite tolerable. The other flavorings blended superbly with this mild soapiness, and there was a nice tobacco presence as well. My youngest daughter said the tin aroma smelled like maple syrup. My oldest said the room note was like the caramelized smell of a roasting marshmallow. DGT on this one was spot on. As said, it can smoke hot and bite if pushed, so best to sip at this one.

Overall, I was very surprised with Rum Flake; enough so to add it to my rotation - perhaps once or twice weekly. Definitely better than an American blended aromatic, Rum Flake is a fine example of an expertly blended English aromatic.

UPDATE 3-24-13: My latest tin of RF had virtually no tin note at all - nor while smoking it. I thought it was a problem with the seal, but some RF I have left over from a previous tin is as dry as tinder but yet has a nice tin note and more flavor while smoking - go figure. The fresh one smokes like BB#2 but with a bit more Burley presence. Still good, but disappointed.

2 people found this review helpful.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Probably my favorite gawh, nice n sweet all day smoke with great va taste, this blend is perfect for a introduction blend to gawh, the floral tones are nice and soft. Top broken flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

G & H produce some fine scented flakes...fine that is if you have the taste for them; Rum Flake almost escapes the base notes of their scented flakes. Almost. It has a wonderfully subtle aroma in the tin or box; rich and chocolatey, sweet and alcoholic...and there's wafts of the same tastes when you light up. For me, they seems to dissipate as I work my way through the bowl, becoming less pervasive and more soapy (as others have alluded to); not that that is a problem as I enjoy the Lakeland scented varities G & H produce. I can see however how this tobacco could dissappoint some folk as the early promised taste doesn't quite last. So from an objective point of view, while I still enjoy it very much, I think in a way Rum Flake falls just short of being a great 3 instead of 4 stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

Room Note Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Room Note Professor (44)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Smells of molasses in the tin, with just a hint of anise and maple. Use some imagination and you'll find a drop of rum buried in there somewhere too. The sweet smell in the tin does not fully carry over to the match. The taste is much less sweet, yet full and rich.

Smokers will find the room note pleasant, but for most non-smokers it will be tolerable to okay at best. This tobacco reminded me of a stronger version of Amphora Red, although Amphora has a fresher edge to it as well as a more interesting room note.

Rum Flake is a pleasant smoke for people who desire a medium to strong tobacco flavour mixed with some aromatic qualities. A rich and satisfying smoke. It has a nice kick and I love it for a change of pace from the milder aromatics.

2 people found this review helpful.

Big Nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Nick (74)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I like that description, "Christmas cake" because thats the scense I got upon popping open the tin. Absolutly wonderful fragrance of Rum, brown sugar, licorice and spice jump out of the tin. The flakes themselves glistening with sugars secreting to the surface like a light dusting of snow. Can you taste the drama ? I can. Best of all, it all seemed to transfer into and meld with the smoke perfectly. As an added bonus this is a fairly robust smoke with quality tobaccos. Not your standard mild Cavendish type of aromatic (which I also like). On the other hand its not a knockout type of after midnight power smoke known as Sweet Rum Twist (rope) (I like it too). I would put it in the catagory of "Top shelf afterdinner smoke". Thats when I find it most enjoyable. I've found it to smoke best in flake form, fully dried out to were the flake starts to break up a little when folded and loaded. Then you can take those little pieces that broke off and sprinkle them on top of the bowl for an uber easy lightup. Drying it out is the key for a bite free, powerfull, yet smooth as silk smoking experience.

And to think, I used to believe that life was only about Food, Sex and Breathing.

2 people found this review helpful.

bent-1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bent-1 (36)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

The sweetness was quite present, though I couldn't finish the bowl due to the soapy taste. Probably a quality tobacco, but not one I'd buy. Jaybee & Esoxhunter nailed it precisely. Soapy aftertaste ruined the experience.

2 people found this review helpful.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (115)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

For years I didn't like this stuff, gravitating toward either the more wildly flavored Kendal Flake or toward the darker and stronger G&H tobaccos (CCP), yet always keeping one G&H in my rotation. After all, there are no subsitutes for these kinds of VA based tobaccos (well except for S. Gawith).

But finally I've been won over by this blend's taste, authority, and incredibly bite free smoking characteristics. Not a complex smoke, not so dynamic, but as smooth as is possible, and somewhat sweet. Pretty strong but not in the heavy hitter league. Highly recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (102)
Medium Medium to Strong Full Very Pleasant

Well well, what have we here...a gorgeous English aromatic. I came by 2 ounces of this flake and have rendered it to a wistfull memory in short order. Other reviewers have made mention of the "maple" smell. I concur but I don't taste it. Initial taste is thin, dare I say somewhat cheap, especially when exhaled through the nose. Thankfully, several puffs later the smoke revs up and tastes wonderfull, rich and full. I have been smoking it in a long Canadian, providing a gentle, cool experience. Due to it being cased and sugary, relights can be a tad ashy, but the unpleasant flavors soon diminish. Not an all day smoke but rightly rewarding when in the proper mood and space. As to the mention of "floral" notes, I couldn't detect any. I smoked it alongside half a dozen of the traditional Lakeland mixtures and found it a welcome departure. Enjoy.

2 people found this review helpful.

Deckard Cain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deckard Cain (8)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

No bite. Very rich and sweet. Great Virginia taste. Pleasant and satisfying.

This is a new favorite of mine. Bought it for Christmas, still enjoying it into Feb. Its got a little strength, and a lot of authentic tobacco taste. Many relights for the first 1/3 of bowl. But that doesn't bother me

Pipe Used: Cobs, petersons

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: P&C

1 person found this review helpful.

Luckyluke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Luckyluke (11)
Medium to Strong Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Again this is a winner for me from Gawith & Hoggarth I get this flake in bulk, the smell of it is nice indeed but nothing to write home about other than it has a sweet raisiny/virginia smell with a touch of a special something (maybe rum). This is my breakfast smoke due to its virginias being that of the bready kind with that Maple/Liquorice sprinkled in reminds me of pancakes and maple syrup for some strange reason which i quite enjoy very much. unfortunately this taste does not last, it dissipates quite alot mid bowl but i am still left with a nice virginia taste with the toppings still lingering a bit. I have grown quite fond of this flake and reccommend IF you dont mind tobaccos of the lakeland variety. I cant elaborate on the room note because i can never tell the room note when i am the one smoking my pipe but i would think that its not something like a strong aromatic more of a standard virginia smell.

Pipe Used: Brebbia Sabbiata Billiard

1 person found this review helpful.

Lazarus77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lazarus77 (87)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Another nice flake from Gawith. Cool, dry smoke, no tongue bite, nice rum and maple syrup flavoring living in harmony with natural taste of tobacco. Smooth relaxing smoke. Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Fresh

1 person found this review helpful.

HobgoblinTA96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HobgoblinTA96 (42)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

This review is for both the 50g tin and the 500g box. The only real detectable difference between the two is that the tin is fresher and the box is slightly more aged. This equates to a lighter Lakeland Essence and a fuller tobacco flavor in the box (yes, this baccy is scented ~ if it is not, you have an old batch of bulk). Rum Flake is one of my personal favorites from GH, as this blend is nearly identical to Glengarry Flake (another of my favorites). The primary difference between Rum Flake and Glengarry Flake is the toppings. Rum Flake has a rum and IMHO black treacle topping (I really do not taste the maple), where as Glengarry Flake is Irish Whiskey and Honey. Both RF and GF use the same floral essence. As with GF, the essence in RF blends brilliantly with the top dressing to provide lovely creamy smoke of rum soaked goodness. As a Gawith Hoggarth flake, this blends nicotine might be a shade off putting to some. However, this is a quite excellent blend that is well worth a go.


Pipe Used: Various Billiards in different sizes

Age When Smoked: One Year

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Gawith Hoggarth Glengarry Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Uncle Al Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uncle Al (8)
Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Rum Flake is excellent. This classic can be smoked real moist or drier. I cut into 2 millimetre pieces and break up, not rub out. Next layer, the tobacco pieces rubbed out. Top layer, really small pieces ground to dust to ensure an even light. The slower you smoke it the more flavours and deeper Nic hit. I only purchase in bulk and store in airtight jars. If you’re storing longer term add a little dark rum.

Pipe Used: various medium sized

Purchased From: 4Noggins

1 person found this review helpful.

pinko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pinko (52)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

There is no "essence" in Rum Flake, none of the floral or soapy flavorings that people object to. There is 40% sun cured leaf, and several folks have misidentified that as essence, but it's just Oriental or Balkan tobacco. The other components are 30% Virginia and 30% burleys and dark air cured. There's plenty of strength for a midrange blend, not as overbearing as the twists can be.

From the tin, the rum is strong. It behaves perfectly in the smoke, and the maple sugar casing doesn't burn hot at all. It has a good flavor, rich and satisfying when a lighter blend won't do. The flakes are a little wetter than many G&H ones, but after a little more effort lighting the pipe it burns perfectly.

Rum Flake is what I imagined Navy Flakes were supposed to taste like, stronger, plain tobacco topped moderately with rum. It's worth keeping around.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mawnan Smiff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mawnan Smiff (28)
Strong Medium Full Tolerable

This is one of several new to me tobaccos I ordered recently from the Black Swan. All of them were G&H blends that I had on my want to try list.

Upon opening the plastic wrapper I was surprised at the size of the flakes, a full 6 inches long, a new one on me. Aroma wise I immediately detected the rum flavour but not of the drinking kind, more like the artificial flavouring one would use in baking, not a good sign! I rubbed out the flakes which took some effort due to the chunky nature of the tobacco and let it air for an hour or so.

I loaded up and fired up though this took several attempts likely due to the above mentioned chunkiness. It took a while for things to settle down but once going all was reasonably well. The rum flavour was totally unnoticable during the whole smoke though there was a definite sweetness there, likely the maple. Others have claimed to taste liquourice in this blend, I did not. Also of interest was the lack of the famous 'Lakeland Scent', this being the first G&H offering that I can say this about.

Nicotine content seemed pretty high even for me and I found the smoke on the whole to be a pretty strong one with nutty and earthy flavours being most prominent.

I had a brainwave last night and stuck the remaining tobacco into my coffee grinder and gave it the briefest of blasts. Result! Now I have a tobacco that packs better, lights better and smokes better if slightly stronger than afore.

Not a tongue biter nor a gurgler (yet) but would I buy it again? Quite possibly though not as an everyday smoke, perhaps as a weekly treat or just a change from my usual Condor.

Pipe Used: Dr. McQuade Yorkist bulldog.

Age When Smoked: Fresh.

Purchased From: Black Swan Shoppe (mail order)

Similar Blends: Bob's Choc Flake..

1 person found this review helpful.

Leeboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leeboy (20)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

I got maple and burley, which was pleasant but that's it. This burnt very cool and produced a slow smoke. This left me thinking where is the rum? This is a quality tobacco that would be a good all day smoke however I don't smoke all day. I have 1 to 2 bowls a day so I want something with a little more kick. I think its worth giving it a try as you could love it.

Pipe Used: all sorts

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: smoke king

1 person found this review helpful.

Lew Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lew (4)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant

I'll start by freely admitting that this is my all-time favourite tobacco. I just love the stuff.

I was recommended this one by my local b&m as I was after something with a fairly decent strength, being a cigarette smoker. I told the lady that I quite liked St Bruno and she grabbed the jar of Rum Flake off the shelf and suggested that I might enjoy it, so off I went with 50g of the stuff. When I got home I loaded my pipe and gave it a try. I was hooked by the flavour and aroma, plus it gave me a case of niccups by the end of the bowl so it satisfied the nicotine craving nicely.

Unlike some of the other G&H flakes I don't really notice the Lakeland scent with this one, just a nice "pipey" smell with a bit of sweetness from the rum and maple. I've smoked this fresh and aged 10 years and it's great both ways. I think the flavouring is more noticeable when fresh but it's still there when aged.

While I try other baccies when I get the chance I always come back to this one like an old friend.

PS: For those who try it and hate it, feel free to send your left-overs my way. :D

Pipe Used: Orlik 56071 bent bulldog

Age When Smoked: Fresh bulk/aged 10 years

Purchased From: Branson's, Farnborough UK

1 person found this review helpful.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (106)
Medium to Strong Mild Very Mild Unnoticeable

A very dark flake, with only a trace of rum, which really only appears briefly in the tin/pouch aroma and the initial light. Seems to be available only as a loose tobacco.

The strands are tight and moist (but not as moist as SG's Navy cut). Any flavour there is dies away as you progress the bowl, leaving a harsh, but somewhat mellow aftertaste.

If you are looking for a Rum soaked blend this isn't it. It's pleasant, yes but really not what I thought it was going to be.

Certainly not a tobacco I'd smoke on a regular basis, but well worth buying in small quantities.

Pipe Used: All

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Cgars

Similar Blends: A light SG Navy cut..

1 person found this review helpful.

Henry Mars Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Henry Mars (21)
Medium Medium Full Very Pleasant

I have been lurking around this site for a few years and just now am getting around to writing my first review. I don't know why I selected this blend as my maiden voyage but I did. Normally I prefer Balkan Mixtures ... BS 759 being my all time favorite. Rum Flake is flavorful, not particularly complex with some nicotine kick. You can taste the sugar in this stuff but I really don't detect any rum flavor .. probably just mellows out the tobacco a bit. As with most flakes for the best result do not over pack it and smoke it slowly or it will incinerate your tongue.

It starts out with the typical soapy, floral taste and seems to develop more sweetness as you progress ... I would have liked a little more tobacco flavor and less sugar but hey, it is what it is and it ain't too bad. This stuff will never be part of my regular rotation it is just to sweet but is is well done for what it is and if you like this sort of tobacco it is an excellent offering. Solid 3 -3.5 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (77)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

It might be unfair for me to comment on this brand since I don't have a huge affinity for the Lakeland florals; but I keep thinking that a taste this soapy surely must have some antiseptic value! A quality tobacco for sure, but not for me.


I recently took another run at this tobacco and I'm glad I did. This experience was completely different from my first and I don't know if I got a bad batch or whether my taste buds were slightly off during my first try. The floral taste is definitely present, but it now seems to add rather than detract from the experience. I like the strength and the transition of tastes.....can't wait to order more.

1 person found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (74)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant

The "Christmas Cake" of all our tobaccos. Makes me want to sing carols just thinking about it. The lakeland special essences with just a touch of your Aunt Bertha's drugstore perfume are combined to make a pretty tasty tobacco. Yo definitely get the licorice, which is good for me, in the first half of the bowl. The rum of course is in the subtle background. This is not necessarily a daily smoke for me but one I will smoke from time to time to break up the palate. No goo here, so don't be afraid of it's description. A moderate dose of nicotine is present.

"The first noel..."

1 person found this review helpful.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (75)
Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

I am intrigued with aromatic, flavored tobaccos. The thought of a tobacco and extraneous flavors is an interesting prospect. However, the execution of such blends leaves me with chemical burn, little nicotine spin and gooped up pipes. Hence, my usual flavor-search is relegated to Balkans, English and other Latakia blends.

Enter Rum Flake! A fine tobacco taste with crystalized sweetness and little goopiness. Hell, I've smoked English blends that burned wetter.

Superb, excellent, praiseworthy.

I give this three stars because it is not the pinnacle of my piping experiences. In solely aromatic realms this is a 4star.

Images evoked include an undead santa claus delivering monkey brains to the stockings of anklebiting zombies during winter solstice.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I expected something similar to S.Gawith Navy flake, but this one is a lot different. The rum casing is more present at the nose than at the match, when smoked you taste only tobacco with a light almost soapy flavour. The nicotine punch isn't the strongest I've tried, but it isn't a mild one at all.

1 person found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Gawith and Co. have to be commended again for their ability to blend tobacco that is different than the rest of the pack, and yet "classic" in every respect of the word. With Rum Flake, they have again upped the ante.

Appearance: Beautiful 8-9" long by 1.5" Flakes Medium Brown with light yellow specks here and there.

Aroma: This comes in bulk so there is no tin to open. The flakes smell like raisins, hay, a little floral,perfumy (light though, not as perfumy as BCF)

Packing and Lighting: I found that this smokes better fully rubbed out and in smaller pipes (grp 3-4) Three lights typical.

Initial Flavor: Rich VA with a spiciness that does not burn your tongue. Where is the Rum?

Mid-Bowl:The flavor is rich and sweet, without being cloying. The florals pop in and out more. This is a delicious tobac!

End of bowl: This is where this blend is the most tasty to me. Rich, round, mellow, with the florals more in evidence. When it is over, you are satiated, your pipe is dry, and the ash is powdery grey.

Overall: This is a delicious blend if you appreciate Gawiths Genre of flavoring. The floral flavor is less pronounced than BCF. The tobac burns cool, what more could one ask for?

Rating: since I am still primarily a Balkan smoker I could not rate it higher than "I smoke this on occasion" but in this genre, I give it 4.5 points out of 5, a most excellent smoke, enjoy!

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

G & H has done a great job in preparing this brown flake in ~ 6"x2" bands. I didn't rub them out but still obtained excellent lighting and smoking characteristics. Probably due to the casings, the room aroma received compliments. However, as with other G & H flakes, a soapy taste was present thruout the smoke. In this blend it is not nearly as intense as with their Ennerdale or Scotch Flake, but in my view it is still enough to spoil my pleasure. After some drying due to the high initial moisture content, the soapy influence was reduced. However, I did not detect any rum taste as might be expected from the name. If your looking for a high nicotine, lite soap, tobacco this may be the answer but this blend is too costly for me to purchase and not really enjoy.

1 person found this review helpful.

Navyflake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Navyflake (1)
Strong Extra Strong Overwhelming Tolerable

Very strong rum topping on this tobacco. And while I normally enjoy Navy Flake and Navy cut offerings that have some rum, this was way over the top for me. I attempted four times in four different pipes to sample this tobacco. However I got the very same soapy like taste each and every time. The nose from the can was actually quite good and I really thought this would be a favorite. However, once match met tobacco, I really could not shake the bitter soap taste on my tongue. I used 3 briars and 1 MM cob to test samples. All were regular smokers for me. Sadly, this offering for GH and Company won't be a regular smoke.

Pipe Used: Peterson POY 2016, Cayuga Oiled Briars, MM Cob

Age When Smoked: New from tin

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (66)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

At first, I was disappointed with this blend. I was anticipating "The Christmas Cake Of All Their Tobaccos", as advertised. I bought it because I wanted another wild Lakeland Aromatic, for the rare moments when I crave them.

In fact, the blend is rather moderately scented. Well, it's scented in a pleasant way, but not to the point to advertise it as a "Christmas Cake" when there's an array of much more generously scented options in G&H line.

The tobacco has a pleasant Rum note in the tin. During the first five minutes after the initial lighting, some maple or licorice sweetness can be briefly tasted. That's all what is aromatic about this blend. And then its true face uncovers: abundant Burley-based smoke, strong and full, straight and manly. Really good in its own right but not too much of an aromatic.

Gradually I've come to like this tobacco for what it is and not for what I expected it to be from producer's advertisement. Lightly scented Burley is actually a rare and very pleasant thing. Will definitely order more of it.

Pipe Used: Peterson 80s

Age When Smoked: 2

Nobody has rated this review yet.

aztobaccosavant Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aztobaccosavant (11)
Medium Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

First off let me aver that I am a rum flake collector. It is the manna of all flake baccies. This is aromatic but in bulk much less Lakeland then previously reviewed. It has a heavier rum component then others,say MacBaren. Expertly processed and smooth as well as easy to fold and pack or rub out. The abundance of sun cured in this blend show well in the heavier smoke but not outshine has the VAs. A great old style flake that should be a perfect repast for the rhum flake lover

Pipe Used: Dunhill Group 3 Opera, Bari & Parker

Age When Smoked: 47 weeks

Purchased From: Them there interwebs

Similar Blends: Navy Flake, Rum Flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jimyfafy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jimyfafy (10)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

My constant companion. Hunting,fishing, deck or garage it sits in my pouch always.I love the car note for my drive to work. Even old woman says not too offensive. I smoke it in all pipes. Perfect!edit i,m smoking this with Wayne Gretzkys No99 whisky. Life is good!

Pipe Used: all

Age When Smoked: fresh bag

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Sort of like Black frigate.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pylet2000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pylet2000 (33)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

I really like GH Rum Flake, with one annoyance: the Lakeland perfume thing. Granted, it's not extreme in this blend, but I'd like half as much or maybe even none at all. On the plus side, I've learned that bulk is better than tinned for a slightly less Lakeland experience.

On to the part that keeps me coming back to this blend: The balance of the Virginia, burley, rum and maple sugar is superb. It's a remarkably smooth smoke, cool burning with no tendency to bite. The leaf is top shelf, the flake construction is typical Gawith excellence, the toppings (other than Lakeland) are perfectly balanced, and it's just an excellent smoke every time I go to it. Creamy, almost chewy. Mild to medium nicotine content.

It takes about half to bowl before the Lakeland overwhelms my palate enough that I enjoy the rest of the bowl without thinking "grandma's perfume is gross in tobacco" with every puff.

I guess my key point to make is that despite my disdain for Lakeland "essence", this particular blend is so good otherwise that I often find myself powering through it. I've searched high and low for something else that does what this blend does right, but without the Lakeland thing. After lots of disappointing purchases, I've come to accept that if I want to enjoy all the great things about Rum Flake I'm going to have to learn to live with it's Lakeland additive.

One star removed for the perfume that I dislike, however if that's your thing this is a 4 star blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JimmyH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimmyH (1)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

For a number of years this was my main daily smoke. I began smoking G&H tobaccos at the suggestion of Jim Beard. I had quit smoking unfiltered Camel cigarettes after 36 years, and needed something with plenty of nicotine. So JB recommended Lake District tobaccos and they did fit the bill.

I was a bit surprised to see less than great reviews on G&H Rum Flake, but like double edge razor blades, end users have various preferences. I buy this tobacco in 500 gram packets and roll the flake out as soon as I get it.

I store it in an old ceramic Dunhill tobacco jar and it keeps well in there. As noted above, this was my daily driver, but G.L. Pease Robusto shot it out of the saddle, and though I still smoke the RF, it might only be a bowl or two in a day or two. I'm not good at reviews describing flavors, characteristics. Suffice to say that I highly recommend this tobacco.

Pipe Used: Ashton, Dunhill, Comoy, Barling, others

Age When Smoked: 67

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes dot com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (100)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

For those of you looking for a GH flake with NO Lakeland essence, this is for you. Sweet, but not overly sweet and goopy. Delicious taste and aroma. Nice vitamin N lift. The Christmas cake analogy was correct. YUM!

Pipe Used: Sasieni 4 dot

Age When Smoked: week old.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kaywoodiecanuck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kaywoodiecanuck (14)
Medium Mild to Medium Overwhelming Tolerable

I picked up a tin of this a couple weeks ago, was quite excited to get into it. Alas expectation causes some suffering. I really did not like this one. Tin note had a bit of recoil affect, not rum, but a hangover from rum kind of smell. The cut was interesting. Smoking it was not. Had a bit of a perfume (my wife tried it and claimed it tasted similar to the way "old ladies perfume" smells. I have to agree though I would have simply qualified the taste as perfume or soap? A low rating from me but I am no expert and it may have been a bum tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (69)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

For me a good rum flake is the one from C&D, like the Afterhours That's what I call Rum. It does smell and taste like Rum.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This was an exceptional moist flake that reeked of a sweet/sour topping that didn't even remind me of rum. The flavor mirrored the tin note almost exactly - fruit cake, honey, or even Jolly Ranchers candy. It dried out eventually to an almost rock-hard consistency without losing much of the treacle sweetness. The burning characteristics were oddly good, even if I did get a bit of a bite from it. I've come to appreciate G&H tobaccos in a big way, but the flavor (and bite) here really turned me off.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (110)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The look and smell of the flake was wonderful, once rubbed out and lit, it all went pear shaped. SOAP. Sadly for me, thats the end of the story. I just can't stand soap flavoured tobacco's.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Uruss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uruss (10)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, I heard a lot about this blend and really, most of what I heard was good . so I ordered me a tin of it from an online shop.

I had it sitting on the shelf for about a week or so and today I decided it was time to give it a go.

The smell of the Tobacco when I opened the tin was fantastic, very Rasin like and very pleasant. it comes moist and dries out easily.

The smoke is not as pleasant...I really couldn't find the Vanilla, Rum, or Licorice. It just had a shampoo/soap taste, just really a chore to get through about half the bowl. I couldn't continue smoking it. I know you should give a tin a bowl or two before you judge it but this Tobacco just doesn't do it for me, no matter how many attempts I give it, my opinion won't change.

But, then again, it seems like plenty of people like it. So you might as well pick up a tin, I can only give so much information. It's your own opinion and your own tastes that decide.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Full English Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Full English (31)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I read some favourable reviews of this flake and eventually tracked it down to an online shop in Leeds, England. My first impressions on the nose and visual senses were equally as favourable, and if the smoking experience had followed suit, it would have been a rare beast to boast about.

Out of the packet, this loosely-packed tobacco looks and smells delectable: 6"x1.5" dark, golden-flecked, moist flakes that rub - and dry out - extremely easily. For once, the aroma matches the description faultlessly: I get a good dose of the maple sugars and a nice rum note from what is evidently a tobacco of quality.

However, the smoke itself was, for me, a big a disappointment as was possible. Undoubtedly, this was single-handedly down to the casing, which manifests this taste like lavender soap. And I don't mean merely "soapy"; it's just too strong to ignore as a passing sensation. Furthermore, it follows until the end of the bowl, creating a very one-dimensional and ultimately disappointing smoke.

To give this tobacco its dues, it's better when circulated through the nose, which gives this blend a sweet-cum-petrol aroma, and if you're one of those people who enjoy the smell, whilst filling up the tank of your car, then this might just redeem itself. I tried this in both a regular Peterson and a churchwarden, and received the same experience, even with the later addition of a filter.

I am in no rush to try this again in a hurry and sit on just shy of 50g of this 'Fresh New Hell,' which I would happily trade right now for anything, with anyone living in the UK.

Nobody has rated this review yet.