Samuel Gawith Brown No. 4

Brown No.4 is a full flavoured full strength tobacco made by Samuel Gawith in Kendal. It is spun from Dark Fired Virginia's and is a slow burning tobacco. Despite popular belief, the brown twist is a stronger strength and flavour than the black twist. This tobacco is definitely not for those new to pipe smoking! As per Gawith&Hoggarth the only components in this rope are dark fired and dark air cured leaf. There is no cigar leaf, that taste comes from the dark air cured tobacco used. The outer wrapper leaf is a dark fired variety.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Virginia Based
Contents Virginia
Cut Rope
Packaging 25 grams pouch, 50 grams tin, bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.17 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 142 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 28, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable
I bought a 25g pouch of this recently mainly due to financial constraints. Now I really wished I gone for 50g. Let's see why.

This is an uber-thick rope, a little damp with it's medium brown colour and fairly loosely wound leaves. It smells of something sweet, I can't quite put my finger on it. It's not fruity and it's not confectionery. It slices easily though packing can be a bit of a pain if it's not chopped up to well. When lit, it takes a bit to get going but once it is it stays on it's feet. The smoke continues where the pouch aroma left off, sweet with a little added earthyness. Cigars have been mentioned in previous reviews, I can't say I've smoked enough of those to be able to judge. Nonetheless a very nice flavour. My only real complaint, aside from not buying enough, is that it smokes a little too quickly for my liking, though it does give me a reason to load up another bowl. As for the strength, I'll have to go against the grain and say it wasn't that bad, quite mild in fact. But I have smoked this one off the back of some quite tangy plugs, so maybe I'm becoming numbed to the presence of Grandfather N.

Perhaps lacking a little wow factor, this is still a very satisfying smoke and will certainly avail myself of more at the earliest opportunity.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gent
PurchasedFrom: MySmokingShop
Age When Smoked: Fresh from the pouch
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 11, 2016 Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I can't get over how awesome these rope tobaccos look. I get how others are turned off, but not me. I think they're symbolic of a time that has passed us by. The smell from the tin is magnificent: campfire, brisket, maybe burned molasses. It tempted me to bite off a chew and try it. I haven't yet, but I will. Admittedly at first I wasn't sure how to go about this stuff. Knife? Scissors? Ahhh...cigar cutter. It actually cuts much more smoothly than a cigar. 1/8th inch slices is the magic number.

After the third bowl I had my rhythm down. Light, puff puff puff, light, tamp, light, puff away. It works if you've snipped the ribbons into the smallest crumblings possible, leaving them long and stringy doesn't work (for me).

Smoke is creamy and heavy. Taste is mildly sweet with no sign of anything other than superior quality Virginias, which happen to be loaded with nicotine. Because of the nicotine I spent about an hour on the bowl. By the time I was done with it I had solved every problem the world had ever seen. Next time I'll be sure to bring a pen.

Bottom line here is I have found my niche in the pipe smoking world. The journey is over, which makes me a little sad knowing I will no longer be seeking out the worlds best tobacco (the hunt is better than the kill). I suppose I'll spend the rest of my days selling off the hundreds of tins of other tobaccos I've been aging for the past 15 years, replacing them with this and black xx.

Update (9/12/2018). Ok, ok. If you’ve read this you get the point that I’m in love. But I wanted to point out that today I opened a brand new tin from my original order, placing it at exactly 2 years and 1 day of aging, and I can swear there’s a sweetened tone to it now. It’s not aromatic, but rather a smoother rounding of the once sharp edge. All natural and smooth as hell. And very tasty. I’m going to let my other tins rest unopened for a few more years and will follow up. I’m gonna follow this one closely, so stay tuned!!
Pipe Used: Dunhill Apple - year unknown
PurchasedFrom: Online
Age When Smoked: Fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 31, 2014 Extremely Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong
I find this very high quality tobacco too strong to smoke on its own, but I'm currently going through a jar containing this and Davidoff Scottish Mixture, which is too mild and boring to smoke alone (apologies to any fans). The result is a strong, easy burning, flavourful blend perfect for the evening.

The moral of the story: if you can't stomach the strength or taste of Brown Rope, try mixing it with a tin of mediocrity which you wish you hadn't bought!
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 19, 2017 Very Strong None Detected Full Strong
A tobacco that tends to overwhelm. I can only smoke it in micro-doses. I have whittled my way through a 50g tin of this dense, thick tasting traditional rope and it has taken me almost 18 months to do so! So for me, a little bit of Brown No. 4 has definitely gone a long way.

From first opening the tin to where I am at now, the flavor of this blended rope has not changed much, even after drying it down quite a bit. Brown No. 4 tastes very dry, earthy, spicy and pretty much devoid of sweetness to balance. The aroma is very strong and the smoke is dusty gray in color. And while this rope contains Virginia and cigar leaf, most of what I taste and smell when puffing on this is the smoky, somewhat acrid flavor of the dark fired Kentucky.

When it comes to the Sam Gawith Ropes, I think I prefer the arguably mellower Black XX, which is also a very strong and spicy tobacco. However, in terms of complexity, Black XX has a slightly more intriguing flavor profile. As far as brown ropes are concerned, I very much prefer Gawith Hoggarth's Brown Irish X, which has a sweeter tone and a more balanced flavor profile.

Reviewer Blackhorse accurately refers to this as an "end of the line" tobacco. I very much agree with his sentiment.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 19, 2015 Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable to Strong
Four years ago I sensed this dog’s turd got an extraordinary potential that would have eventually revealed in all its majesty after several years of aging : that is why I promptly cellared roughly half a pound of it in a nice glass mason jar in order to forget about it at least for two decades.

Time passes extremely slowly when you’re waiting for something so, meanwhile, I’ve put aside a couple of tins to smoke occasionally. Really, one pipeful per month of this tobacco is more than enough for me.

I convinced myself to purchase my first tin as soon as I came to know it contained Italian Kentucky cigar leaf – which appears to be the darker envelope of the very twist itself – alongside with a tin of a SG Black XX. I’m a fanatic of Italian Kentucky : sometimes I use to crumble a piece of Toscano in the pipe and smoke it with great pleasure, so this tobacco was purchased with great anticipation.

The smell from a freshly opened tin is great : strong, earthy, piquant, slightly sweet. It has a sturdy, wonderful natural bouquet. The twist is covered in some sort of glazing… in lack of better words; I cannot say if it’s due to the topping – which is undetectable in the smoke – or simply the natural sugars of the leaf that crystallizes on the surface, the hypothesis to which I’m more inclined. Since I’ve always had issues with the really bad combustion of this twist, I resolved that the solution best suited for me is to cut really thin coins and rub them out to obtain what can be defined as a crosspoint between a fine shag and a ribbon cut, and smoke it in a tiny bowl (my favorite is a Savinelli Virginia 310KS).

If I manage to get a nicely uniform top layer of ashes, the combustion will be a little easier. I use a ridiculous amount of Swedish matches nonetheless… I guess I still got a whole lot to learn on this subject.

Anyways, the taste reminds me just a little of Toscano cigars (they are completely made of Kentucky after all) and the impressions I got from my nose was confirmed by my mouth. The Virginia plays the major role here, with its strong, nicotinic, subtly sweet personality, accompanied by the earthy, tangy, astringent character of the Kentucky.

One of the cleanest smoke I ever had. Silver grey fine ashes.

I’m not ashamed to say that I struggle to get and keep it lit : sometimes it just won’t burn, others burns evenly for some minutes with no problems instead. Practice will be helpful in the long run.

Cheers Everyone, Brandr ODS
Age When Smoked: From fresh to 4yo
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 21, 2011 Extremely Strong None Detected Full Strong
Can not give fewer than four stars. It is exactly as advertised. Mine came a little moist and did better after cutting and drying. This is worth the experience, even if you smoke it only once or twice. The infamous nicotine hit came about two-thirds of the way into the bowl. Had to take a break for a few minutes, then puff more slowly.

Very likely, this type of strong rope is the "ship's tobacco" for which Dr. Watson developed a taste on his voyage back from the Afghan War.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 01, 2019 Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I opened the tin, to find a turd looking lot of tobacco. Unlike the stuff that my dog lets out, this one smelled encouraging. It kind of smelled like Dunhill Royal Yacht - a blend I absolutely love, so I was excited. I got home, and cut the rope to size, rubbed it a tad and put it straight into my pipe, left no time for drying. Fellows ... let me tell you I had to hold my breeches because I was in for a heck of a ride. First off, it is very strong - nic hit so big that I got hick ups 1/4 through the bowl. The strength was like a smack over my head. The pipe I used was a Czech church warden, no filter, just a short stinger. Flavor otherwise, overwhelming. A tad sweet, a bit of reminder of fired Kentucky, but mostly sweet and some sort of fruit bouquet that I cannot put my finger on. Above all VERY rich flavor, I mean just a small sip and I felt like I had a mouth full of something very tasty. For my second smoke, I switched to filter, and a smaller sized bowl. The same impression, the filter hardly alters the taste (I have used the plain carbon Peterson filters), the only difference being that my stomach wasn't as upset (for some reason some virginias and most perique heavy blends do not sit well with my IBS and my sensitive stomach). Yes, this ones eats up matches - which is not necessarily a bad thing. I have realized I cannot smoke a bowl of this from start to finish, the fact that it goes out every so often is actually a welcome break. I read some reviews that if it dries out too much it can have a bitter taste throughout the second half of the bowl. I did not find this to be true.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 15, 2019 Strong Strong Very Full Tolerable
I was a chain smoker (cigarettes) for over 24 years before I totally switched to pipe smoking by the end of 2018. My take on this Brown No. 4? hell yes it kicked ass and gave me the pure tobacco indulgence I used to enjoy when cigarettes were still a passion to me.

Based on what I have read here, I approached this Kendal Twist with lots of caution, I explicitly reminded myself to use my smaller 16mm pipe and I have prepped the twist into shreds and have them dried amply. And I was rewarded with a full blown tobacco experience - one full of vitamin N and in-your-face type of kick associated with strong tobacco. But surprisingly this stuff is nowhere being harsh, it's very smooth actually - provided that I behaved myself and puff with very slow cadence. Yes, slow puffing will bring out all the flavor and taste. There's no sign of bite whatsoever and this is a huge plus as I will never buy any tobacco that bite.

Oh yes, make sure the belly is full before pulling this stuff. Else one can get spun into oblivion after 5-6 puffs hahaha
Pipe Used: Custom Centrifugal Calabash
PurchasedFrom: Gulamsa Pertama
Age When Smoked: New
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 22, 2018 Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong
Believe the hype, this tobacco packs a nicoine punch! For anyone out there wondering if you can handle it, t his review if for you. I am a nicotine light weight. I also love that taste of tobacco, strong tobacco apparently. I have been dizzy and nauseous from Orlik Golden Slices so that may give you an idea of how weak my constitution is.

Tin note: not much their a little is a little cigar leaf aroma present along with the smell of earth and leather. The flavor is amazing! I was kind of hoping I wasn’t going to like this, but I do... I really do. the flavor first comes across as subtle and subdued, like a mild Mexican cigar. The Virginia’s are noted in the base flavor, the sweet earthiness is masked by the other flavors but i certainly the foundation for this blend. The best part and, for me, the most interesting and unique part of the smoke...each and every time. There is a tangy BBQ or steak sauce like flavor that smacks you right between the eyes. It is earthy and sweet. Smokey and tart. But all of these words are slightly to the right or left of what I really mean. No one would want to smear this on a stake but these desctors as best I can. I will say that the rope cut is also quite appealing to me. At the risk of offending someone (I am sure in this age the mere mention of tobacco is offensive), this tobacco is as manly as it gets. It packs a massive punch with the nicotine, it is shaped like a fragment of a hangman’s noose it smokes like a rare steak and best of all it requires the use of a pocket knife, sword, stiletto or hatchet to prepare. It doesn’t get more manly to pack in the worlds most manly smoking device, the pipe. I wanted to come back to the strength for the last part of my review and explain how I got through the nicotine. Fist as a mans tobacco one must man up and face it, irrespective of nicotine tolerance. Then you put your man card in your pocket, select a medium to small bowled pipe and pack it as you will smoke it. Small 1/2 bowls in a medium pipe or 3/4 full in a smaller pipe (group 3 and smaller). I only smoke this on a full belly. I also usually smoke it in spurts the main session followed by a DGT (delayed gratification technique) and smoke the rest in several hours. I have never gotten sick although I start to feel my throat tighten up on my second or 3rd puff. In summary, this smoke is worth staring down the Nicotine Dragon, It is one of the more balanced, full flavor tobacco’s I have ever smoked.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2018 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Well. How to start? I have a really hard time trying to rate and describe this tobacco! The best way to go - regardless of whether it may be wine, whisky, tobacco or anything else for that matter - would be to state whether or not I like the taste. And the answer to that question is: Sometimes! For me, this is a tobacco which tends to hit the spot in those cases, when any other tobacco just wont do it. And I don't mean strength-wise. This consideration relates solely to the taste. The tobacco I smoked was quite a few years old and no matter the method of packing or the speed of smoking it, there just wasn't any sweetness in it. If you are looking for a strong, dark, fruity taste, this isn't the one. I would describe it as sitting in front of a bonfire and popping in two portions of Siberia snus while sucking on a couple of leaves of Lapsang Souchong. You might have noticed that I find it quite hard to describe the experience in conventional terms... It's cigarlike, it's very herbal and I guess it's very strong as well. I can't quite say how strong it really is, since I am somewhat used to high levels of nicotine. But to be fair, it is one of a handful of tobaccos in which I do notice the nicotine content. No doubt the tobacco used is of impeccable quality and if your mother was not in the business of having unprotected intercourse with industrial vacuum cleaners, I do not see you getting any amount of tongue-bite while smoking Brown No.4. If enjoyed at the right moment - and probaly in the later hours of the the day - this tobacco can be a wonderful experience. I found it to be most delicious if not cut too thinly and smoked in a larger pipe.
Age When Smoked: 10 years
3 people found this review helpful.
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