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 21 - 30 of 142 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2015 Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
Brown No.4 is the strongest tobacco I've ever smoked so far. However I never had any nic kick by it, like Mac Baren's HH Old Dark Fired does to me.

It's a serious, thick rope to be approached with respect. SG says Black XX is thicker than No.4, real life comparison shows the opposite. Maybe the applied heat makes XX shrunk. No.4 hardly fits into my 22mm cigar cutter. The preperation is similar to the other ropes. Cut in coins and stuff. And it's drier than I expected. Can be smoked without waiting to air.

Virginia leaves in this twist are dominated by Burley. That gives the strenght to it. It really kicks your throat and the nasal ways starting from first puff in a good, satisfactory way.

During a pipeful of Brown No.4, you feel the earthy tobacco, slight natural sweetness and the mean power at the same time. To enjoy more, you also can try Raki (Turkish) or Uzo (Greek) with it. These two alcoholic beverages are almost the same and they will balance No.4's raw power gently by their refreshing sweet taste. As a reminder, you should mix it with cold water in your glass (approx.50-50) which will turn it into white milky color and if you want additional ice cubes put them after water. But if you're tough enough, a fine Scotch would suit perfect for this tobacco.

The smoke out of it is thick and creamy. Appetizing for smokers, heavy for the others. It burns until the end smoothly and leaves grey ashes of a cigar. Actually, it tastes like a fine cigar. Also avoid using big chamber pipes for this. Unfortunately I haven't tried it in meerschaums. But as soon as possible I will try and write an edit.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2015 Overwhelming None Detected Full Very Strong
Oh my God, this is a bomb! Better a time bomb. I think the strongest tobacco you can find in the market. Of course a good tobacco with a good quality, but it is quite impossible to smoke it all alone. This rope (twist) is fantastic to blend or mix with light and bland tobaccos but my advice is only a little bit and no more. Above all: don’t smoke it straight! It’s too, too strong. Components: in my opinion Samuel Gawith was joking or perhaps testing something new. In fact this tobacco is composed by Dark Virginia fire-cured, Kentucky fire-cured and hear ye, hear ye Nicotiana Rustica. Not sure but probably. In my personal system rating (from 1 to 10) my score is 8 and three stars.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 03, 2013 Very Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This came in a medium brown rope about 6" long with medium-brown highlights in the standard SG tin. Moving aside the white paper, I cut a 1" piece off with scissors, and cut the piece into rings, then each ring into quarters for rubbing out. I ended up with a few large pieces and some chopped leaf. I pulled the large pieces out into stringier shapes. The tobacco has a very low, deep aroma of nicotine with ketchup. I let it dry out for 15 minutes and started smoking in an MM General.

This was a strong nicotine with ketchup and sulphur notes. The smoke was thick, opaque grey. The entire tobacco burned in the pipe leaving some fine grey ash. It's as strong as Irish Flake, but much less cordial: This tobacco demands attention like a big drunk beating his fist on the bar. The nicotine strength is right there at the beginning, increasing in the first five minutes and then remaining level throughout the smoke.

This tobacco is strong and simple with enough flavor to avoid boring. Smoke a bowl and pretend you're camping by your Noorduyn Norseman, wearing trusted bush gear from Filson, waiting to fly out the hunting party the next morning. It's that kind of tobacco.
Pipe Used: MM General
Age When Smoked: 15 minutes out of the tin.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2013 Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Had an epiphany a couple nights ago when I sat down to hack my way into a piece of this (visually) unattractive rope. After cutting up enough small chunks to fit most of a large bowl, I realized that it looked like this would be a beotch to light. I topped it with about 1/4" MacCranie's red ribbon VA. Worked like a charm in a couple ways. First, I got the flavor of the RR to start, with hints of the BR coming through. Second, it helped get the BR started, and the BR then burned like a champ. I don't know if anyone else would like it, but man, what an enjoyable bowl. I might experiment with starting some BR with a different ribbon style to fire up some BR, but damn, what a seriously delicious way to serve up an appetizer and main course in one pipe.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 02, 2012 Strong None Detected Full Strong
First of all I have to say that this can't be my definitive rating because it's based on half a tin smoke…anyway can be enough for some first impressions! Rope is really fascinating and old style, quality is at the top(it's a SG!!), but I sincerely have to say that I couldn't find much more than a big N load, enough to satisfy me after just half a of little narrow bowl…and I love strong stuff like Irish Flake and 1792 Flake!!! I felt like chrunching a big spoon of dirty and dusty earth..... I cut the rope into thin slices and let them dry for a while. Depending on drying time I tasted two different tobaccos: - Short drying time: earthy strong taste, with some woody sweetish notes in the background, but very hard to keep lit - Longer drying time: no taste and aroma detectable, only a big N punch. In any case not so easy to keep lit. In both cases it's a real N Leviathan! I'll try more but till now it did not impress me, nothing special!

UPDATE: after smoking a whole tin of this blend I found out some features I could not detect in my first bowls. I got used to its earthy flavor and started to love it... Letting the slices dry half way between the times above the stuff aroma and taste is still stout but more complex, quite easy to keep lit (but sill needs some relights) and pleasant. Some sweetness comes out and N factor is no more overwhelming, but satisying. Pure tobacco good's getting one of my favorites! I'm craving for it more and more. Upgrade my rating to 4 stars!

UPDATE N.2: absolutely fantastic home flavored with a hint of good rhum. I let it in its tin with just a hint of rhum and wait....simply amazing!!!!

UPDATE N. 3: simply divine 50% BR4 & 50% Robert McConnel Pure Latakia

A bit boring smoked alone, just perfect as part of a blend like the one above!
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 10, 2010 Strong Strong Full Strong
What a disappointment. I'd read fantastic reviews of this tobacco (as you have, no doubt, if you are reading this) and I expected a rich, strong, luxuriant pipe tobacco.

But that's not what this is.

Brown No. 4 is a badly rolled cigar, that's passed on to pipe smokers as "rope". The tobacco has none of the nuance that pipe blends are known for. It's just a cigar without a wrapper that's squashed into a tin and marketed to pipe smokers. It smokes and tastes like a mid-flavor cigar. Which isn't a bad thing mind you, but it's not what one expects from a pipe blend. In retrospect, I should have been worried when prior positive reviews noted that this blend could be smoked, chewed, or ground up as snuff. All of that is true. . .unfortunately.

If you are a fan of cigars and want to save some money, then this might be an option for you. I guess. But even then it doesn't seem like a great option because there are much better cigars to be had for $10 (US) per stick, that you could then cut into coins and stuff into a pipe.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 29, 2008 Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable
S.G. knows tobacco..........few blenders have been at it as long.The only blend from S.G. that I did not like/love from the first puff was 1792. After 6 months of aging(or my taste changing)I tried it again , and I have developed quite a likng of 1792 also. I tried Black XX Rope, and decided that I really like it, so here I am with Brown Rope #4. I like these 2 blends enough that I just ordered a pound of each (for now) and will be cellaring more. This is for sure a strong blend.....full flavored, nice nicotine kick, burns cool...whats not to like? I could give this three stars, but I know that within a week, or two I will be back on here editing it to four stars. I'll save my time (and yours) and give it the deserved * * * * now
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2008 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
Tin aroma:

Not much tin aroma, but what there is reminds me of bread baking in the oven.


It?s a rope.

First Light:

Peppery, lots of smoke. Hot mouthfeel. A little bitterness.

First third:

Some background sweetness. An incense quality. The pepperiness recedes into the background. Marked Virginia sweetness when exhaled through the nose. The palate tingles. There is a good volume of smoke. The sweetness deepens. I could be wrong, but there?s not even one small hint of Burley or Cavendish here, just Virginias. There?s an orange peel-type bitterness here, not at all unpleasant. The nicotine is making itself known, and I put the pipe down to cool off.

Middle third:

The re-light brings no surprises. The Virginia sweetness is there, weaving its way in and out, along with a nice tang that one expects when smoking fine Virginia tobacs.. The pepper is there, too. There?s nothing floral or soapy about this tobac, but there is a smoky flavor. This isn?t smoky like Latakia or barbeque. It?s just, well, smoke. The sweetness deepens, becoming caramel-like. The nicotine is there, but it?s not overwhelming.

This tobac is burning very well, and the pipe stays cool.

Final third:

The mild, caramel-like sweetness is at the fore now, with the pepper only weaving through occasionally. Exhaling through the nose brings a mild sweetness very like that of Best Brown Flake. There?s not much of that trademark Virginia tang in this third, but the smoky quality still shows up some, mostly as a background note. The nicotine is present, but still not overwhelming. I?m enjoying this tobac very much.

The pipe goes out, and I try relighting, only to find nothing but ash.


This isn?t like any other Virginia I?ve ever smoked. If Full Virginia Flake is black coffee, this is espresso. Virginia lovers should give this one a go, unless they are overly sensitive to nicotine. English and Balkan lovers might enjoy it as a real change of pace. Those that enjoy uncase Burelys might find something new to enjoy. Aromatic smokers should give it a pass.

This is one very rewarding smoke, and it has made its way into my permanent rotation.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2021 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I have a deep and fulfilling relationship with dark fired tobaccos. So when I read the constituent leaves of this mixture on Tobacco Reviews I decided to crack the tin I'd been sitting on for a little while. It has a beautiful mix of Dark Fired Kentucky, Cigar Leaf, and Stoved Virginias. I have had a lot of experience with sliced rope tobacco and coin cuts like Three Nuns Green and the Black Twist, but this was my first foray into a full on rope tobacco and like anything it's something new to learn.

The tin is old timey and simple, and once you pop it open there is a thick cardboard insert. Once I pulled out the insert I found the rather questionable looking Brown rope tobacco with a few precut slices. The tobacco smells like mesquite barbecue, sweet Virginia hay, and a lot of earth. When I first opened this I had now idea how to prep this tobacco so I looked online and found that a Cigar cutter can work well to get a decent sized coin. Once I had my coins I could tell that they were too wet to smoke, so I filled my pipe and left it overnight. It takes a light pretty well once it's properly dried, but it does need a few more than average relights, but given the strength I don't mind.

Once lit and going, this blend comes out as very earthy. This blend has a nice base of bready and soft Virginiasthat keep the smoke smooth. The cigar Leaf is nice, rich, deep, earthy and floral but it doesn't take over the smoke. The Dark Fired adds a very characteristic mesquite barbecue kind of spice along with its usual smokey nuttiness. Slow smoking reveals just how subtle this blend really is. It's not harsh, and it borders on creamy at times. It burns extremely slow, which is great for some of my nose warmers.

The taste is a full. It doesn't overwhelm you and it isn't cloying, but it fills your mouth, and leaves a very satisfying aftertaste. The strength is a strong. You've come home early from work after a hard day and Lady N has the table set with your favorite drink and a homemade meal. Satisfying. Not as strong as Rustica but darn near close enough. Make sure to eat a nice full meal if you are still a nicotine lightweight. The room note is creamy, but I don't think it will endear anyone around you unless they already join you in this wonderful hobby. When you can get it, this is a wonderful blend, and for the first time, I'll admit that I would stake out a few tins online to buy this again.

A great, smooth, very enjoyable, slow burning blend.
Pipe Used: Savinelli La Corta 510
Age When Smoked: New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2019 Strong None Detected Full Strong
Brown No. 4. Heavy stuff.

Opening the tin, you are presented with a brown, moist, oily and rather fragrant rope of leaf. Speaking of fragrance, the tin note is a little difficult to define. It's got some notes of earth and some cigar-ish spice, but also a sweeter floral hint. Pleasant, but strong enough to forewarn you of the heavy smoke ahead.

As with it's "cousin", Black XX, Brown No. 4 takes a bit of effort to prepare, being a rope cut. One can cut off a piece and rub it out, or cut it into coins. Either way, this is a blend you're going to want to dry a fair bit. It comes very oily and moist, so if you smoke this one straight out of the tin, it'll need relights every 20 seconds.

However, once it's adequately dried and you get your pipe packed and lit with it (Which isn't always easy with this type of cut), it's just as rewarding as Black XX.

The flavour is rich and full, with the spicy, earthy Kentucky leaf being quite evident, along with the cigar qualities that this tobacco's attributed with. Not entirely sure what kind of cigar leaf it is, though. I want to guess at Sumatran leaf because of the spiciness, but it could well be something from central America.

Either way, the Virginia leaf does take a bit of a back seat, mostly just being present to round off the flavour with some smooth, sweeter notes.

It's also a rather strong blend, though not quite as powerful as Black XX. Which isn't a bad thing, of course. That means this one can be a bit more of a regular smoke.

All things considered, I've found this tobacco to be fairly well behaved. Needs relatively few relights if dried properly, burns quite clean and doesn't leave any more dottle than one might expect from something this coarse.

Under the bottom line, while this tastes quite different than Black XX, I consider it it's less intense, more manageable cousin. Which is a good thing, because just like Black XX, this stuff is quite outstanding!
Pipe Used: Various Briars
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