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A blend of Virginias, pressed and aged to give an ebony appearance before cutting into 3" strips. A full strength smoke.

BrandGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
PackagingBulk
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium, Medium
Flavoring
Extremely Mild, Mild
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

3.8
8 reviews
Reviews
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PipesterJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipesterJim (47)
★★★★
Strong Mild Full Pleasant

Gawith and Hogwarts don't exactly flood the market with new offerings on a regular basis. In the 6 or 7 years that I have been smoking a pipe their line up of flakes, plugs and twists has remained pretty much unaltered. Of course, you could argue that since the blends in their range are almost universally excellent (I might even say archetypal) they don't need to pump out new product all the time in order to retain market share.

How nice then, that when GH&Co do finally decide to grace us with a new flake, they absolutely knock it out of the park.

Westmorland Slices are in a similar wheel house to Irish Flake, Irish Slices, Highland Sliced, Old Dark Fired and other blends of that ilk. Not quite in the same ultra-heavyweight league as GH&Co's own Dark Flake, but still a sturdy smoke for fans of proper, traditional British style flakes.

For such a dark flake there is a pleasant, tangy VA presence, but this is well balanced with the fire-cured constituent and there could well be a bit of the air-cured Indian leaf that GH&Co frequently utilises as well, which gives that robust, cigar-like aroma when dominant.

There is also some lakeland essence in here, but it isn't too offensive and it is more soapy than overtly floral. It is unlikely to offend any but the most ardent haters. It's been a while since I smoked any GH&Co Coniston Cut Plug (in fact, that is what I had in mind to order when I saw this was available) but I would guess that this falls somewhere between the unscented version of CCP and the aforementioned Dark Flake in terms of all round strength and robustness.

I'm a huge GH&Co fanboy, but this is a great smoke with plenty of character. Far from being superfluous, it's another great addition to their already superb roster of traditional English style flakes. Nice one GH&Co...you've done it again!

Edit: I have just seen that my fellow reviewers don't rate this as particularly heavy in the nicotine department. Maybe my tolerance isn't what I thought it was. Maybe I just expected it to be stong and so that is what I experienced, but it seems pretty robust to me! My daily driver is Brown Irish and some blends leave me a little unsatisfied in the N department, but not this one. YMMV.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Tortuga Billiard and Cobs

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: mysmokingshop

Similar Blends: Irish Slices, Highland Sliced, Irish Flake.

6 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1472)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Gawith Hoggarth-Westorland Slices. This is badged as "Broken Flake" however don't expect it to be almost like ribbons as some broken flakes can be. Actually there are quite a few large pieces that could still use a rub or you could fold and stuff. The only smell that emanates is a full Virginia one and on the 'not so positive' side it's too damp. The tobacco isn't as bright as I would have expected a straight Virginia to be. If you want Orlik Golden Sliced colour you will be a little disheartened! After some airing (only a morning) it lights with excellent ease and the flavour is absolutely great! I think the simplest way to depict the taste is as being a kind of smoky, grassy one. Don't misunderstand me, it's not reminiscent of Latakia but it has a delicate addition of smokiness to it giving a fuller flavour. The nicotine isn't too much, it's not unrecognizable but I don't find my head spinning from it. Right from the beginning the burn is brilliant. It doesn't need much maintenance with the flame, it just burns steady and even. I find the room note very appealing from this as it has the standard Virginia fragrance but also a nutty characteristic to it. Another positive with the note is although it's a substantial aroma the room isn't engulfed in a huge volume of smoke! I don't want to just throw four stars around but this is definitely one of those blends! Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Falcon

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: My Smoking Shop

4 people found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (149)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Strong

This bulk is very particular and it is very interesting from the side of the taste. I think it is the only straight Virginia fire–cured (for example, Samuel Gawith Brown N°4 is composed of Virginia and Kentucky). For this reason this tobacco is less sweet compared with traditional straight Virginia but you can taste earthy undertones and a real tobacco flavor. If you want to try a straight Virginia fire cured this is the best and you’ll find an excellent quality. Unfortunately, here too (in this Gawith, Hoggarth bulk), you can perceive the same flavoring you can detect in “Best Brown # 2”, the earmark of this brand. So we have to admit there is a mild flavoring in it and this feature slightly changes the taste. It is, nevertheless, a good end result. In my personal system rating (from 1 to 10) my score is 8 and three stars.

3 people found this review helpful.

Phil Theharp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phil Theharp (14)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Bravo G&H! As I have, I think, previously noted I rarely opt for loose tobaccos. However, having just finished a tin of Peterson's Irish Flake I asked my local retailer what unperfumed flakes she had and this was offered. I was cautious; the only other G&H flake I have tried is Ennerdale - and you all know about that - so bought only 1/4oz. But I will buy more when next I visit. It comes as a broken flake with an acceptable degree of moisture. I found once lit it required almost no re-lighting and burned slow and cool. My all day choices being English mixtures I can find straight Virginias to be a little bland but WS has a nice blend of grassiness and unexpected pepperiness. One suspects G&H have not been able to resist adding a hint of flavouring. The smoke is juicy without being too fruity. I had intended to eke out my small supply until I was able to restock with tinned brands but found it went in short order. WS is not quite distinctive enough to merit full marks but it comfortably gets 3 stars from me and I will be purchasing a more practical quantity at my next visit.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tobacconist

Purchased From: Derby

Similar Blends: Irish Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

Little Steven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Little Steven (54)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When fresh this is a fine smoke. Rich, dusky virginias, hints of honey that tease one to slow down for more. At first glance this is a working mans baccy. But there's a coy refinement. Perhaps a gents bit of rough. If you dry it too much it transforms into a second rate Dark Flake Aromatic.

Purchased From: Mysmokingshop

2 people found this review helpful.

DeathMetal.org Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeathMetal.org (101)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

For those who like Full Virginia Flake, this is a treat: a mixture of densely pressed Virginias with a hint of smoke, resulting in a honey/molasses flavor instead of the grain and agave flavor of yellow Virginias. The dreaded Lakeland essence is present here with power but the dark flake half of the flavor helps swallow it up. The result is an easy-burning, cool smoking tobacco of "ready rubbed" consistency that makes a pleasing smoke while working.

Thanks to PipesMagazine Forums member "mawnansmiff" for this sample.

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake, Peterson - Irish Flake, Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. - Conniston Plug.

1 person found this review helpful.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (85)
★★★★
Very Strong Very Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

OooooWeeee this is some darn good stuff! Strong too. I was gifted this from a forum buddy that lives across the pond and he sent it to me as a 'mystery tobacco' which was very cool of him because it let me taste the blend without any preconceived notions and I was not influenced by the branding of the product. When I was ready to guess what the blend was I was 99% sure it was Samuel Gawith's Lakeland Dark as the cut and look of it are almost identical. Now that I've had more time with both I can pick apart the differences but they have a lot of similarities as well. The biggest difference is Westmorland Slices has slight top dressing that I can only describe as somewhat floral similar to what you would imagine from the Lake District tobacco blends but not quite a Lakeland per say. It's a very dark Virginia blend with plenty of nicotine. My fiend says it is the closest thing that he has tasted to Bracken Flake but I have not tried that one so I can not personally speak to that. I find that interesting though as I've also heard folks say that Lakeland Dark is similar to Bracken Flake so it appears there are similarities between the three of these blends and I can almost guarantee that if you like one of those three you will like this one as well. I wish this was available to us in the States but alas it is not. I need to somehow obtain pounds of this stuff, so here's so hoping.

Absolutely Essential

Thanks Simon!

Pipe Used: St. Regis, Rattray's

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Lakeland Dark, Samuel Gawith - Bracken Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

doktorstamp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doktorstamp (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a tobacco I took a chance on, and I am exceedingly pleased that I did. It has become a staple of my rotation. A pleasant, slightly tangy taste, oodles of rich creamy smoke, rubs out easily, readily takes a light, in fact more acquiescence could not be asked of a tobacco. Wholeheartedly recommended. G & H have a winner here

Pipe Used: Peterson Kilarney #68

Age When Smoked: Fresh

1 person found this review helpful.