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The original Squadron Leader blend, brought back for the 2008 Chicago Pipe show and now offered as an exclusive 2000-tin limited edition here at SPC, this is the classic English blend you know and love, with the addition of the truffle of condiment tobaccos: Perique.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutMixture
Packaging50 gr Tin
CountryUK
ProductionNo longer in production
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
3.3
10 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (810)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Nice big fat ribbons of mostly tan with flecks of black thrown in. The perique was quite noticeable in the tin aroma, as were the other components. This is tin #368/2000. Not sure that's at all meaningful but as I also collect limited edition music software, the number is always listed. Don't know if it means much there, either!

Smoking a few bowls of this made me run back to not only my stash of aged SL, but also to pick up a few tins of fresh SL. I enjoyed this blend, but I do not recognize it as SL with the addition of perique. This shows me that simply adding a condimental tobacco to an already established mixture can yield unpredictable results. In this version, the latakia was more subdued, the Virginias a hair more prominent and sweeter and the orientals almost MIA, at least from a "hey there's the oriental" perspective - they didn't call any attention to themselves. The perique provided some pepper and spice and the whole concoction had an excellent nutty flavor underneath. This seemed both a hair sweeter and quite a bit spicier but also a different blend altogether. I found that interesting. They both were Gawithian, if you will, but seemed like different blends altogether. SL alone is no longer in contention for my rotation but I enjoy its pure English nature (heavier latakia and Virginia, very mild oriental) on occasion. This one should be very similar plus perique but the perique apparently changed the face of the original. This isn't worse - it's just different. I'm not sure if that was intentional but I'm guessing it wasn't. Try this if you want to try a "new" SG English blend containing perique. I liked it very much!

6 people found this review helpful.

Brass Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brass (5)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is essentially the same one I posted in the tobacco review forum at pipesmagazine.com, written 5/13/2015.

I'm currently smoking a bowl of SLAP (Squadron Leader And Perique - acronym coined somewhat ironically by buroak). I ordered 15 tins, partially because I thought they would be good barter chips. Also, I like SL very much and the blend recipe sounded appetizing. I also got caught up in the piranha feeding frenzy. Also, I'm impulsive and OCD.

I smoked a bowl of Squadron Leader standard, e.g. SL sans Perique, before trying the new blend. Squadron Leader was lighter than I remembered but probably just relative to the heaver balkan and Latakia blends I've been smoking of recent. But still it was a very fine smoke.

After the bowl of Squadron Leader, I ate some Ledo's pizza with sausage and jalapeno wheels washed down with a Coke, to refresh my palate. So much for my healthy diet aspirations. After giving my palate a rest, I loaded a bowl of SLAP into the same Savinelli 316 LS Porto Cervo pot I had used for the Squadron Leader.

Holy Smoke! My hopes were more than met. If I had smoked them blind, I wouldn't have known the two blends were related The perique balances out the Latakia. I would go so far to say that the Lat recedes to a background bass note. It is a sweet, silky smooth, thick smoke that tickles the nostrils pleasantly. the blend burns well but could possibly benefit from a little drying. There was zero tongue bite and to my nose, it left a neutral if not nice room note.

Before smoking SLAP, I had offered to trade tins of it for Balkan Sobranie. I now think I was impetuous and regret the solicitation. I may have to give up two tins as a matter of courtesy to those who responded but will not give up any more. I can only imagine how fabulous these will be after aging for a few years. I wouldn't trade my SLAP for equal weight in Penzance and would hesitate before trading for Stonehaven.

I'm cellaring these with my other special tobaccos and will dip into the stash solely for special occasions. If I can discipline myself, I'll crack maybe a tin a year, perhaps around Christmas.

Just one note. If you like bold, in your face blends, this is not for you. It is mild bodied and flavorful but not powerful.

I do hope that our friends at SmokingPipes will consider re-issuing this blend so that others may experience this sublime tobacco. Perhaps if we tender this request POLITELY and persistently, they will honor our wishes. And it is OK if they want to make a buck. They aren't a charity organization. Besides, I want my friends to prosper. If they do release more, they can mark me down for another 15 tins. But they did publicly state it was limited edition, so I understand perfectly if they decide they have to wait a year or more before make a similar offer.

I have many favorite blends. I like none better than SLAP. I have finally found a pipe blend equal to the finest Dominican cigars. If SLAP becomes commonly available, it would be in my weekly rotation.

I'll post another note after I finish the tin.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 316 KS Punto Cervo

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: SmokingPipes.com

Similar Blends: H&H Magnum Opus.

5 people found this review helpful.

sentientchimp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sentientchimp (4)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I got a tin of this when Smoking Pipes brought the blend back for a limited run of 2000 tins in May 2015. To me, the taste is something between original Squadron Leader and Dunhill Nightcap, probably due to the presence of Perique. Some of the mild floral note that I have detected in SL previously is present, but it is very mild and the taste is largely that of a good English with a Latakia flavor that is very balanced and a Perique flavor to finish that is pleasant and multi-dimensional. Very moist out of the tin. I'll be curious to see how it smokes once it has dried out a bit. Very good, especially if you like a more Lat-balanced English. The only thing that keeps it from being a 4-star smoke for me is the light-ish nicotine content compared to something like Nightcap.

Pipe Used: Fikri Baki gourd Calabash

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Dunhill Nightcap.

5 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2040)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The grassy, moderately citrusy Virginia is the base that the other components play off. The smoky, woody sweet Cyprian latakia is a vital, complimentary addition. The Turkish provides a very light spice, some wood and dryness in the background. The spicy, raisiny, figgy perique plays on a little higher level than the Turkish. The nic-hit is just shy of being in the center of mild to medium. The strength and taste levels sit squarely on medium. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a deep, consistent flavor from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs an average number of relights. Has a very pleasant sweet and spicy after taste. Can be an all day smoke. Obviously, this is Squadron Leader with perique, and is a more complex, richer, mildly fuller version.

4 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (161)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Still nutty like the original SL, but the Perique drives it up a notch in body. Occasionally peppery, but not enough to undermine the purity of this English Oriental. Seems aged and well behaved now and no need to cellar but extra time still may improve it some.

recommend for English Oriental smokers. Wish I knew the % of perique and I could blend & age this up myself.

Pipe Used: Old Dunhill 120, old Arlington

Age When Smoked: new tin

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Squadron leader, old 1776 Tavern.

4 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I was eager to try this one and am glad that I did. I have always enjoyed the easy, subtle pleasures of this long time classic. The Oriental and Latakia components bring out the best in the quality and special Gawith processing of the Virginia leaf. The added pinch of pure 100% Louisiana Perique puts a little more strength in the blend without changing the overall presentation much. Absolutely an enhancement well worth putting in your pipe.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (113)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

SL is my favourite Latakia/Oriental base tobacco there is in the market now as we speak. As I have already reviewed it, I am not going to describe the tin note, flavouring, etc., but just to mention what I find different. Some reviewers seem to be saying the perique is not quite apparent, and even though I might agree with it, it does flare up every now and again adding both depth and a citrusy/zesty dimension to it. For a change of pace it is certainly interesting, but I'd leave SL as it is. Would I recommend it? Yes of course, but I think you will only be able to tell the difference if you are already familiar with SL original.

2 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (464)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I jumped at the opportunity to buy three tins of this limited edition release and just recently finished the first tin. My reasons were two part. The first is that I absolutely love Squadron Leader, so I was interested in how this iteration would compare. The second is that I am a sucker for good marketing and limited edition tins are never a bad thing to have in the cellar.

As for the tobacco inside the green tin, I was let down. This is not too surprising as Squadron Leader itself is firmly rooted in my top ten tobaccos, so the odds that this would jump up to join it were pretty low to begin with. I did start to like it more as the tobacco started to dry than when it was just opened.

This taste very little like squadron leader. The change wrought from the perique is overtly apparent, yet it is far from a perique powerhouse. The blend does not really feel much stronger from a standpoint of nicotine. The primary problem with this blend is the addition of the perique kind of covers up or changes everything that I like about the standard squadron leader. There is almost a compost type element to the smoke that just doesn't do much for me.

Don't get me wrong, I did not despise the blend, but I just find that it is inferior to the white tin standard SL. As for rating this blend, that is also difficult. As only 2000 were made and I can attest that now there are less, it goes without saying that if you can pick up a tin for around $10 or the cost of a standard tin, then I highly recommend it from an investment standpoint; however, don't buy into the hype and spend a lot of money on this as it is not really worth it.

I am leaving this one at two stars as there are just too many other tobaccos that I would prefer over this. But I will say that this is a unique blend as there is nothing that I really can compare it to. I do not doubt that some people will love this blend as we all have varying tastes.

2 people found this review helpful.

JuanOrez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JuanOrez (13)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased several tins of this very limited release and just finished my first tin. SOLID. Smokey, full and delicious. I am very satisfied after each bowl and almost instantly crave another. This stuff deserves a full re-release. My guess is, this was a test run and smokingpipes will make a deal with the folks at Sam Gawith to get this blend to the masses(I hope). As a previous poster said, this stuff is going to be wonderful with a year or two age on it.

Since I have so little, I too will probably only smoke this on special occasions. Here's to hoping for a mass production of this delicious leaf!

Pipe Used: Cobb and Boswell Rhodesian

Age When Smoked: New tin

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Mass produced Squadron Leader but with a pinch of perique..

1 person found this review helpful.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (58)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

According to Samuel Gawith, this green labelled Special Edition is exactly the same mixture like the regular SQL, with an addition of Perique. Since only 2000 tins were produced, I could not put hands on this Special Edition. Therefore I have made the experiment myself, adding different amounts of pure Perique into the regular SQL. The best result is an upgraded SQL from a 1 to a 2 star on my personal rating. The blend became a bit stronger, tastier and the room note was better.

For more details about my critical view of SQL, check my review on the other page dedicated to the regular SQL.

Nobody has rated this review yet.