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
157

98

29

7

Reviews

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Displaying 61 - 80 of 291 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 15, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Well, I normally do not like flakes... but this one has some delicious Virginias on it!

Easier to fill the bowl than St.James or Balkan Flake. The colour is more brownie than colour in Golden Glow.

Burns well and evolves in a good virginia smoking experience... creamy, slightly sweet and not boring at all. The taste is more toasty than the taste in Golden Glow (which I do prefer) Nevertheless, a recommended one for Virgina fans.

Only problem is this can become a little bit boring if smoked bowl after bowl and tin after tin.

RdX score: 87.90 (I revisit now and then, but I only regularly repeat tobaccos over 90)
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 03, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
That it's packaged as unbroken flakes allows the smoker somewhat more control over the experience than with Medium Virginia Flake. As with all Samuel Gawith Flakes, I like the presentation in the tin. A little uneven, it seems more pure and less like the product of mechanized industry (i.e. Dunhill's Light Flake)

This seems a little milder to smoke than Medium Virginia Flake, but the difference is subtle. It is also a shade darker and perhaps sweeter, but again the difference is small. Both tobaccos reach their zone early for me and remain relatively consistent throughout the smoking experience. This is mild, sweet and pure Virginia goodness. Almost cleansing.

While not as deep a flavour experience as its cousin, FVF, this remains a tobacco that I will keep on hand for when I want a lighter Virginia experience.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 29, 2008 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
BBF has a neutral tobacco flavour that lasts from the first light to the end of the bowl. There are elements of sweetness to it, and slightly nutty undertones. When smoked slowly the tobacco has no bitter taste and smokes dry and cool in the right pipe.

About 3/4 of the way down the bowl there are hints of an almost herbal nature - something like lavender. These ease off near the end and the final 10-15 minutes return to a natural tobacco flavour, albeit with slightly more body than the beginning of the bowl. Smoking all the way down to the dottle is not a problem, as it remains cool and sweet. The nicotine is not overpowering, and no strong taste is left in the mouth. This is ideally suited to day-time smoking, and infact it would lose it's subtle notes if it was smoked after something stronger. The room note is of tobacco, nothing more.

I smoked through this tin quicker that I have smoked through any other tin. Although it is a mild smoke, and over the day I often move onto a heavier flake, this has a seductive, alluring call to it. Well represented in my cellar. Delicious.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 14, 2002 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This pressed flake cut in six inch shingles rubs out very nicely, and packs ok for it's cut. The charring was seductive enough, the smell of tobacco quite inviting to my senses. Once relit again, it stayed lit. It burned smoothly, drawing very effortlessly. I was surprised because I did not take the best of care when I packed my pipe. The flavor is Virginia tobacco, processed and cured with loving care. It begins, continues, and ends with a uniform taste, never a hint of bitternes to it. This is very fine tobacco for those who enjoy Virginia flake, and probably for those who think they don't like Virginias. It is squarely in the medium range for strength, but the flavor is a little lighter than the fullest of Virginias, but I find that this is more flavor than those stronger Virginias that can simply be too much for me. You don't get queezy from this smoke, but you know you are smoking real tobacco. My score card is 10. What more can you ask for? If this blend could pack it'self, light it'self, and maybe pay for it'self it would then be perfect.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 06, 2022 Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Unnoticeable
Very grassy and hay aroma is the first thing I noticed from the tin. Relatively moist flakes in mine, so I let them dry for a bit. I have tried folding and stuffing, rubbing it out, and chopping the flake into bits with a knife. In my experience, the fold n stuff is the least operable method, compared to cube cutting which I find to work wonders. The flavor is consistent throughout the bowl, starting off very high and bright and fresh, and barely mellowing off to feature a bit more earth. I love this tobacco and find it stands strongly alongside FVF and the like. Very high quality tobacco here to no surprise.
Pipe Used: Clay, briar
Age When Smoked: New-8mo
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 04, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This tin smoked up quick; it was that good. The baccy was slightly on the sweet side. It had a marvelous side stream. A tinge of bitterness on the snork. The room note, something I don't often notice, was also good. The blend wasn't as strong as Full Virginia Flake (another blend I really like) which, for me is a good thing. I prefer the taste of FVF over this blend, but only marginally. Best Brown's a great blend, I'd purchase this again, if I could ever find it (why is it that Sam Gawith blends are rarely available?).

Keep on pipin'
PurchasedFrom: Edward's Pipe Shop, Denver, CO
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 13, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Definitely the best tobacco I have tried so far. Virginia's wonderful sweet wooden taste is immediately associated with the green hills of Tolkien's Shire. Slightly moist if burn straight from the tin. It does not lit easily but then it burns calmly and coolly. There is no way of biting your tongue. Room Note is quite pleasant for smokers and quite bearable for the rest. I noticed that it is often compared to Full Virginia Flake although for me it is definitely less grassy and less tea like, which speaks in its favor. There is also less "sugar" than in other Virginia I've tried. I VERY recommend!!!

Pipe Used: Adventure
PurchasedFrom: Home Town shop
Age When Smoked: New
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 16, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
This is my second recent purchase of a Samuel Gawith Virginia blend, the first being Golden Glow broken flake, which I enjoyed, but wanted something more mid range and less citrus. FVF looks to be too heavy for my current flavor profile but Best Brown is seemingly my Goldilocks blend, being right in the middle of the other two. I took delivery of a 50g tin and eagerly opened it to reveal the mid brown flakes within, speckled with orange and gold and already showing sugar crystals, having been packed in april 2017. Tin note is of raisins and oats with a hint of baked goods and spices. The flakes are nowhere near as moist as I was expecting from other reviews, but the first bowl I tried was hard to get going, so I gave the flakes an hour of air time and rubbed some out to a fine ribbon, as I rarely use the fold and stuff method, and then allowed this to further dry for 45 minutes and judged it good to go for my review. The second bowl was a lot less hassle to ignite and a single char light and one true light had it going nicely. The flavour built steadily and was very much as expected from the tin note. Not over sweet but very tasty with dried fruit notes and a little cinnamon and clove present topped off with some brown sugar. For a straight Virginia it burned very cool and slow with no bite, all the way down to a very fine white ash. No bitter notes were encountered and I can honestly say that it is a great smoke from start to finish. The room note was noticeably good, which says a lot, as like many others, I find some blends hard to detect whilst smoking. This was a great change from that, being a classic sweet virginia aroma with elements of toasted cinnamon loaf and baked goodness. All in all a very rewarding smoke and one that I would welcome in my rotation and it has the added bonus of being easier to obtain than Capstan Navy Cut Flake, which it resembles in all aspects, except the moisture content when first opened. I like this blend a lot and will be happy to order more and it could well be an all day blend for me. 4 well deserved stars from me !

Update: On opening my second tin, which was much fresher from the factory, being packed 23/12/18, I was surprised to see mainly broken flake. It was still an outstanding smoke and was almost perfect moisture wise straight from the tin. The taste was a little more citrus than the slightly aged tin I had last time. Interesting to see how age mellows this blend first hand. I am tempted to get a bulk box of 250g next time and jar the long well cut flakes therein. I fully understand the artisanal nature of flakes that Samuel Gawith are famous for in tin form, but wasn't expecting the same rough cut as Golden Glow, which is another wonderful straight Virginia that I like to smoke now and then from the house of Gawith.
Pipe Used: Falcon
PurchasedFrom: GQ Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: Tin dated April 2017
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 10, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Hmmm. Is it better than FVF? It's easier to light and keep lit. Although doesnt quite have the same depth as FVF. Not nearly as strong either. It comes down to taste and your own preference I guess. There is no doubt best brown is of the highest quality too. A classic also. Not sure why I felt a need to compare it FVF either, maybe because it would be a hard choice between these two. So my choice would be this one though. Just easier to smoke and thats all it comes down to for me.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 18, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
One of the best virginias you can buy. A little bit earthy for a virginia, this seems like a virginia which was processed to make it more burley like. Very earthy, and a little bit monochromatic. I really enjoy it however, as the room note is not so cigarette-like as you usually get with this kind of smoke. I give it 4 stars but it is more of 3 and 1/2. I would definitely give firedance flake a full 4 stars, which is the same blend with a lot more ongoing in the smoke. But sometimes plain tobacco is called for, and this really shines in that regard.
Pipe Used: Several
PurchasedFrom: Tinderbox, smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 8 years
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 20, 2018 Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable
I love the Gawiths, but this blend just isn't good.

My tin arrived as a thinly sliced broken flake and had a very light, grassy, almost herbal smell. I found the flavours very subtle; it seemed fairly bland. On top of this, it burned hot and had a tendency to bite. In the right pipes, some deeper, leathery flavours came through, but only for a short time. I didn't note the age of the tin when I opened it, but I must have had it close to a year before finishing it.

It's not a revolting tobacco, but there's not much to it. I would recommend it if you're a fan of very light straight virginias which are more grassy than sweet.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 06, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant
Samuel Gawith Best Brown Flake is an awesome tobacco. I have very much enjoyed Gawith, Hoggarth Brown Flake (unscented). The GH has a bit of dark fired Burley and the BBF is straight Virginia. I'd say the edge goes to the BBF. It has an amazingly delicious room note.
Pipe Used: James Upshall Tilshead, Lindstrom Billiard
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars
Age When Smoked: 2 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 01, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Elegant. Medium bodied. Spicy. Slightly sweet. Creamy and slightly musky. Hint of raisins.

Nice clean smoke, mild to medium flavor and medium strength. Reminiscing to smoking a cigar. I'm not an experienced smoker and have only tried a few unflavored tobaccos before. This is the first one I really enjoyed. I will certainly buy this again.
Pipe Used: Bent Dublin
Age When Smoked: 2 years
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 09, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Sweet, bright flavor with grass and a nice fruity tang. Needs a bit of drying but then it burns wonderfully with no bite and few relights. I bought the 250g pack and cut the long flakes with a scissors before folding and stuffing.
Pipe Used: Savinelli 122
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 23, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Novelty to try your first flake experience learn to smoke was very motivated, in regards the smoke flavor and medium strength give you stimulating smoke Burns evenly which prevents the rekindled many pipe and it does not burn the tongue, so is a good tobacco but there is nothing that stands out and at this stage of the search for the ideal tobacco would consider that it recompraría not very soon.
Pipe Used: Mr Brog Bosman
PurchasedFrom: 4noggings
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 14, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Given that there is full Virginia flake in Samuel Gawith's Va lines, I didn't hold much expectation of this one, and I was surprised. Best Brown flake isn't a light version of fvf, rather it's a brother who shares the dignified pedigree with a different character. Not like fvf, bbf is much thinner flake and fold and stuff method should be applied easier. One of the best Va on the market.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
EDITED 10/30/2016

I ordered a box of this based on my earlier experience with the sample sent to me. I must say I was less smitten with the blend than I was at first tasting. I can say that I had a lot of time to taste this back to back with FVF and my conclusion is that FVF is a superior Virginia to my tastes. This is a bit of splitting hairs, but I find that I like a few other SG vas better than BBF as well, including their Summer Flake. BBF is all sweetness to my tastes and it lacks in body what FVF seems to deliver with its sweetness.

I have decided to drop a star off this one more to differentiate it from FVF and some other SG blends that I feel to be superior. Don't get me wrong, this is still a great blend, but I find that I get a little bored of this one as I get near the end of a pipe. This is something that never happens with FVF.

I became so bored with it, in fact, that I added a heavy bit of Perique to the last 5 or so bowls I had left. These last bowls were my favorite of the box.

ORIGINAL REVIEW 1/7/2014

I was gifted some of this from a forum buddy. I found it to be a great rich tasting Virginia. I actually preferred it to FVF and found it to be fuller than that one. I think this is my favorite offering from Samuel Gawith to date. It should be noted that I am a big time Virginia smoker and I believe that this blend does favor the seasoned Virginia pallet.

The sample I received was at the perfect moisture content. I plan on ordering more and will see if it has the normal moisture issues common to the SG brand.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I had found that the SG line of flakes were very inconsistently sized. The cut would be thin for one flake and then thick for the next flake. Also the flakes were a little difficult to rub out. Lastly, I had trouble keeping this stuff lit and producing an acceptable amount of smoke. These flakes had really nice flavor though. Eventually dropped the whole line of flakes due to these drawbacks.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 06, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I expected this one to be a lighter version of Full Virginia Flake, but it seems that it is so only in color: the taste is possibly even richer to my tastebuds!

The long flakes are soft and moist, but require very little drying out. They pack fine, and when lit burn quite regularly.

What to say about this tobacco? Only that it's a very consistent, benchmark matured Virginia. Completely natural flavour, good balance of sweetness, spice, smokiness and a touch of sourness. Boring? Not very original or distinctive? Maybe. But GOOD.

A reliable smoking companion!
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 30, 2009 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
delicious flake. tobacco smells like citrus, orange, sweet. Very intense smell. Once lit, the tobacco reveals nutty aromas. Sidestream is just wonderful...roasted almonds and caramel come into my mind. Similarities to FVF are there.

The best way to describe this baccy is..."the simple things/tobaccos in life are the most enjoyable."

BestBrownFlake is a down-to-earth-tobacco. Very honest, very pure in taste. Smoke is gentle and smooth as silk.

Mr. Gawith did it again! 🙂
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