Samuel Gawith Best Brown Flake

(3.39)
A firm favourite for the pipe smoker looking for a medium strength, gentle and slow burning tobacco. Manufactured using hand-stripped flue cured Virginias with no flavours added, Best Brown will reward with a cool, sweet smoke with a delectable aroma and good sidestream. Mild to medium.

Details

Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available

Profile

Strength
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.39 / 4
158

98

29

7

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 98 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 23, 2014 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
A very good VA flake by one of the better houses in the UK. BBF starts off slightly stringent in comparison to FVF, but quickly mellows into a sweet grassy essence. The flake is not as strong as FVF, but it does have a bit more "sting" if puffed fervently. BBF is stronger than MVF/Golden Glow and also, again, can nip a bit more around the edges of the tongue, particularly if the sample is too dry, which was the case with one of my 16 oz orders which I had not jarred quickly enough. I prefer my tobacco slightly on the dry side, so did not attempt to re-humidify, though in this case, I should have done so.

BBF has some components similar to FVF, but carries a differnce in most aspects. Passing the first 1/4 of the bowl, the sweetness becomes more pronounced, but is slightly inconsistent. Though there are no orientals in this flake, it is pure VA, BBF conveys a touch of sandalwood which can be detected occasionally during the course of the smoke. This is likely due to the presence of African VA's which may occasionally lean toward the exotic more so than American VA's. Such differences in the notes are slight however, and if I were using "hay" as an analogy I might say that BBF carries an alfalfa note, in contrast to the "clover" element in an American VA. Whichever point the smoker may contend however, what can be said is that BBF is a very good VA though does not quite encompass the full melody of FFV; though clearly BBF does impart some unique qualities that would allow it to stand on its own merit.

I would give this 4 out of 5 stars if I could, but since we are constrained by a maximum of 4, I will need to give it 3 stars. I recommend the flake just as I would recommend most good VA flakes, and add that there are some special qualities that make the blend worth trying. Keeping in mind that, for the budget minded consumer, it may behoove them to try other "brown" VA flakes that are less costly per oz, while saving their premium dollars for FVF as there are fewer comparisons to the latter.
Pipe Used: Ferndown
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 2 yrs
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 09, 2005 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
When BBF hit ASP, the pipe newsgroup, it was the tobacco of the moment for a month or so. I recall it as being the beginning of the pipe world's Lake District invasion, and the Zimbabwean/Malawian/Brazilian Virginias, combined with the steam-pressing attributes, made this a very different animal than what most were used to smoking.

BBF's primary attribute, to me, is it's fickleness. When it smokes well, there is almost nothing better. It has a warm, "brown", sweet, hay-like characteristic that is nonetheless very natural tasting (although I believe some sweeteners are applied). It smokes quite cool, but is rich and self-assured. Each puff is a delight.

When it doesn't smoke well, though, which is about 65% of the time for me, it is just "ok". The sweetness doesn't show up, it smokes hotter, and it just doesn't flash its charm. I can't explain why it does this, but it keeps BBF from being a part of my regular rotation. I"ve had better luck with its plug version, Kendall Plug.

Additional comment: I don't find ANY soapiness in this blend, and I am very sensitive to that floral stuff. It smells like cut, partially-dried grass or hay in the tin, but it ain't stinky.

Update January 2005: If you love BBF, you MUST try SG's Medium Virginia Flake. If you don't like BBF, you MUST try SG's Medium Virginia Flake too.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 22, 2018 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is probably the best “sweet” tasting flake I’ve smoked.

I enjoy FVF but the room note is atrocious.

This one is much more mellow and has a more pleasant room note. My only criticism is that it lacks nicotine strength for my taste. That’s the only thing keeping it from a 4 star rating in my opinion.

The tin starts off “wet” as many SG blends. Really I would say it is more oily than wet. Dry it too much and it loses some of the flavor.

It’s good rubbed out but I prefer fold and stuffed.

You can get a good long smoke out of this even in a really small pipe with a out of third of a flake using the fold and stuff.

It’s super tasty and I’ve enjoyed it in every pipe I’ve smoked it in.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Dublin & Qandale, Stanwell Bent Apple
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 1-2 years
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 26, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
When I decide to test/taste something new to me, I go like this: load it in different pipes with different pressures at different moments of the day. At the end of Tin 1 I am very close to have a good grasp on the thing. So this is, say, my 15th puff with BB: take a flake, fold it once on the long side then once on the short side. screwed it in a Ser Jacopo group 2. needs drying, prepare a Lapsang Suchong
tea's ready, back to the thing. light it, quite a remissive tone, three matches do... bitter chocolate , coffee, nuts and hay, then the road seems to go somewhere else but instead.... it doesn't go, kinda stays there, within a strict Virginia area.... it's true, the risk is monotony... you find yourself expecting an evolution that never comes... at any moment it gives you that FVF hint like a suggestion, but then... nothing more... me as a stjames lover, I feel it like it BUT... no perique, road closed again if you know what I mean... NOW here is why BB is splendid: if you focus on that single note, like single malts, THEN you'll find all the beauty of a natural, honest and excellent tobacco. It's a metaphor of pipe smoking, thus a metaphor of life: "less is better" (Miles Davis)-- Only drawback is about all the excellent natural, and CHEAPER, tobaccos on the market...
Pipe Used: different briars
Age When Smoked: new
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 18, 2017 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Samuel Gawith - Best Brown Flake.

I wish every Samuel Gawith had the same amount of moisture when fresh as this! What's happened, I don't know, but the usual Sam G' soaking wet flakes have been replaced by some perfect ones; stone me! They aren't too thick either, and they're slightly broken, making loading a bowl as unproblematic as any decent flake.

Lighting B.B.F. is relatively simple, and then it gives a slow burn with a mid temperature smoke. To me, this would suit a beginner to our hobby instead of a sweet aromatic. The taste is a toned down, soft, and sweet Virginia one, without many of the cutting flavours sometimes found in Virginia blends; deep and sweet instead of sharp and zesty. Apart from the sweetness I get no extra flavouring. And nor do I get any tongue bite.

The room-note's pleasant and the nicotine's a little below medium.

I have no doubt in my mind that Best Brown Flake is high quality, but in all honesty it bores me after a short while.

Three stars based on quality.

Recommended.

Pipe Used: Peder Jeppesen
PurchasedFrom: My Smoking Shop
Age When Smoked: New
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 16, 2015 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
A basic, no frills Virginia flake. Has a nice sweetness that vaguely resembles brown sugar or molasses. Not very complex, but it is enjoyable to smoke. Has a satisfying strength to it. I get the best burn when it's very dry, but even then it takes a few matches to get going and requires a few relights. It's a good, solid smoke.

Mild to medium in body and taste. I think it does have a very mild sweet topping.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Mark Twain, Diplomat Apple
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 24, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I was amazed when I cracked the tin open. I expected to find, well, a BROWN flake product. What I saw was well-cut flakes of such a light hue they reminded me of the Lakelands in Squadron Leader when that blend is first opened. By the next day, they had begun to turn brown and within a couple more days the tobacco had indeed turned brown. I remember Escudo doing the same.

I was not particularly (yes, I know this is heresy) impressed with FVF and was prepared to be underwhelmed by Best Brown Flake. I was wrong, I thoroughly enjoy this VA flake, less tangy that FVF, but still full enough flavored to my liking. Straight Virginias tend to leave me with an unpleasant aftertaste; BBF does not.

I could probably keep typing, trying to come up with more hyperbole, but cutting to the quick - this is good product. I keep a couple of tins in back up and one opened at all times.
Pipe Used: Briars - prince, diplomat, GBD 9438
PurchasedFrom: Cigar Express, McKees Rocks, PA
Age When Smoked: New production
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 08, 2002 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A favourite amongst smokers of the Gawith range, it is very similar to its more robust cousin Full Virginia Flake. Brown Flake is perhaps creamier and smoother, a natural Virginia no doubt, but with a very discreet chocolaty undertone when smoked (for many reviewers this undertone is referred to as a ?soapy? taste). Medium strength, the flakes are visually very attractive, a light brown hue with some darker strands, with a softer texture than FVF. On opening the tin you are greeted by the natural aroma of tobacco. There is no ketchup-like scents (e.g. McClelland?s Vas.) or dry raisins/molasses whiff (e.g. Dunhill?s Light Flake and some Rattrays Vas.). Brown Flake is very tightly pressed, making it a little bit difficult to rub it out, pack (it is easy to clog the bowl if not done carefully) and light. But once this is achieved the smoking experience, without being out of this world, is very nice, very sober and long lasting. For an experienced smoker this flake may be on the dull side, but if trying to break away from aromatics it is an excellent example of what smoking a natural pipe tobacco means. As with virtually all Virginias puffing slowly is advised, though I don?t find Brown Flake to have a tongue biting tendency on its own. Not my first choice for a straight Virginia smoke, but definitely a recommended natural and friendly tobacco.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 04, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
It's an SG flake... and it's a good one. My tin was aged but i would actually be interested to try a fresher tin... it was almost too rounded out for my taste buds. Usually I prefer that, but a little zest strangely might have been nice... I got smooth bready molasses like notes.. pleasant if somewhat straightforward... not as complex and delicious as full Virginia flake... but it hits right down the middle in a pleasant way. Love the rough cut gawith flakes... rustic at its best.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 18, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Best Brown? Not really. Ok boring brown, maybe. Nowhere near as good as Stonehaven, GH Brown Flake Unscented, or Germain's Brown Flake. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with this, but I also don't find anything that gets my attention -- for my tastes, this is a smoke for those who want to smoke a pipe without having to pay much attention to the flavor, which kind of defeats the purpose of a pipe for me. So, for me, a very generic so-so smoke; if others really like the one note of flavor, they will obviously rate this higher -- I really like some one-note tobaccos, but this one does nothing for me. Really two and a half stars, but since it doesn't really have any flaws, I'll go with three rather than two.
Pipe Used: various briars and a cob
PurchasedFrom: pipes & cigars
Age When Smoked: 14 months after purchase
3 people found this review helpful.
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