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 1 - 10 of 73 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 09, 2009 Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable to Strong

Strong is an adjective that is horribly misused on this board in lieu of harsh. Far too many English / Balkan blends out there are improperly cured and aged (or blended with inferior tobaccos) resulting in a harsh smoking experience (particularly, IMHO, the more prominent American brands). But harsh has nothing to do with strong, and one experience with Brown Rope No. 4 will prove my point. Unless you've been smoking non-aromatics for years, you are likely to find the strength of Brown Rope No. 4 overwhelming. But it's not harsh. No, not in the least bit. Rich, creamy, velvety, exquisite, and (did I mention?) -strong. This tobacco is in a category all it's own (save for a very few others, all from Kendall).

I am not much of a ritual guy, don't enjoy all the fuss, cutting, and rubbing of flakes, twists, & plugs. And so when I opened my first tin of Brown Rope and began its dissection into a combustible form, my only thought was that this involved far too much work.

But that was before I tasted it. Now, after each evening's meal, I greedily assemble my cutting implements and happily go about the work of preparing a bowl with never a thought to the work involved. Only to the pleasure this tobacco, as no other, provides: The richness, strength, and fullness desired after the conclusion of the evening meal.

Some thoughts on approaching this tobacco:

1st, I think it is best reserved for the evening smoke, as noted. I have been smoking full - bodied English for almost 30 years, but I wouldn't care for this most other times during the day.

2nd, on your first few go arounds, try slicing a dime (or perhaps two) off of the rope, and add it to your preferred evening smoke. It won't look like a lot, but believe me, you'll know it's there. In fact, you might be content just to leave Brown Rope as an evening additive to your standard blend. Starting off with a straight full bowl is not recommended under most circumstances.

3rd (as always) I must admonish those seeking to dry this tobacco: please do not. It is shipped and packed ready to smoke. They've been doing it at Samueal Gawith for a couple hundred years and they've gotten pretty good at it. Moist = rich, cool, & slow, dry= harsh, shrill, and fast.

And, lastly, if you haven't been smoking for a while, or have no love for full, big- bodied tobaccos, no sense in even looking in this direction. This is a BIG tobacco.

And, a very BIG pleasure!
75 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 15, 2016 Very Strong Mild Full Strong
This is one of those "end of the line" tobaccos. By that I mean, for me, I got into pipe smoking many, many years ago (about fifty) and started out smoking sweet pouch junk. Then year by happy year I graduated to other more serious and refined types of blends. After all this time I have fixed to two genres. One is multifaceted mixes of VA, Burley, Turkish (no Latakia), with maybe Dark Fired, maybe Perique and/or Cigar Leaf. Like Old Pebblecut, Honor's Blend or several John Patton blends. The other main genre is this...the dark, nasty, kick ass Brit blend. Dark Plug & Flake, the sweet favored ropes & twists, etc. I call 'em End of the Line cause when all your years of pipe smoking lead to the real McCoy of tobaccos...this is where you land. If you don't like 'em... you're just not there yet. Simple. Smoke 'em slow and with care. Try a little DGT. If you're into Black Cherry blends or smoke only Aros, there's no point wasting your money on these, yet. If you smoke only Latakia or Balkan blends, you'll find these lacking that succulent dead campfire flavor. If you smoke cigars in addition to pipes, cigars like Pepin Garcia's... San Cristobal... Cain... Camacho... SERIOUS cigars? Then you will 'get' what the Gawith power lineup is all about. My opinion.
Pipe Used: Prince works well, other small bowls too.
PurchasedFrom: Various
Age When Smoked: Aged 5 yrs & fresh
20 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 19, 2015 Strong None Detected Full Pleasant
Members of our pipe club meeting had fun with this rope when one of the members brought some a year or so ago. I cut a few coins and took forever to get the chopped leaf in my pipe. Very stout and sure did have a heavy cigar like flavor in a pipe sort of way, if that makes sense. A blend that was powered by Burley and Virginia though. Unique? You bet, and mighty full in the taste department.

20 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 06, 2014 Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
I have smoked a lot of this before reviewing. Normally I base reviews off of a tin or 2 oz. sample but this has been a 250g inquiry. First, I see a lot of comments about a one dimensional smoke. That might be true to a point. Thinking about it it these big blends are a lot like coffee. If you don't get a lot of underlying notes in coffee then perhaps you will not get a lot in this either. So if you cannot tell the difference between Folgers and Kona coffee for example than this might not be the blend for you.

The taste is full and rich. I get notes of damp earth (think about the smell of digging a hill of potato's when the soils is just right) some notes of manure/barnyard (but in a good way, if you are a cigar smoker then you will understand what I mean by this), notes of black tea and a very creamy note that was rather surprising for being such a full smoke. A very slight sweetness that comes in at about mid bowl that reminds me a lot of toasted wheat bread and roasted rye grain for lack of anything to really compare it to. So not a sweet VA by any means but this must be from the VA's nonetheless. You will get a Nick hit from this so smoking after a meal is best.

To prepare this, I use an old cigar cutter and cut of very thin slices. Cutting it as close to a fine ribbon but not quite a proper shag cut as I can get. It is a little moist but not too much so. After peeling the tobacco into shreds I let it sit for 10-15 min. but no longer. I don't want this crispy dry or I miss a lot of the subtle notes. This is fast becoming a favorite smoke for me.
Pipe Used: Meer only
Age When Smoked: ROTT
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 03, 2015 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Strong
Forget the hype about nicotine strength, finicky preparation, and overwhelming flavor. Not so, not so... nothing to be intimidated about unless your nicotine tolerance is extremely low.

Just slice off a few coins with scissors or a cigar cutter, stuff them loosely in a small or medium chambered pipe, pour a drink, and enjoy puffing out clouds of smooth, cool, earthy vapor.

Not nearly enough nicotine to knock my socks off, although there is a fair amount. When smoking it for the first time I thought about stopping myself from inhaling now and again as I like to do, but contrary to some of the comments on here I will inhale a bit without getting overwhelmed by nicotine. I am not Superman. Can't inhale with Bracken Flake or Black XX as a comparison.

Honest dark tobacco flavor with some subtle sweetness, nothing more, nothing less. Tobacco for tobacco lovers. Good if you like the dark stuff and just want an honest no-frills smoke.
Pipe Used: various
Age When Smoked: several years
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2015 Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant
Samuel Gawith Brown No.4.

Oh yes, this is a real hearty/strong smoke! The rope itself is thick in construction- so to prepare it I couldn't see the point in even trying scissors, I used an extremely sharp craft knife. The rope arrived a little on the moist side, not particularly wet but for maximum pleasure I suggest some airing time. I really would advise against inhaling the smoke, unless you have a death wish! The quantity of nicotine is immense! Other than the amount of N I find the smoke a delight. The flavour is very full and it seems to be a pretty even split between the Kentucky and the Virginia. Both of the tobacco tastes can be appreciated in their entirety, an almost nutty Kentucky along with a pleasing hay note from the Virginia. Another good point is the temperature. It's quite cool and bite free so it makes for a good blend to unwind with. Well, unwind with unless you inhale the almost toxic in strength smoke!

Due to the strength I can't see everyone enjoying this but if smoked for flavour it's a real joy!

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: My Smoking Shop
Age When Smoked: New
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 04, 2019 Extremely Strong None Detected Full Very Strong
I've had this rope in a jar since I bought it new about 8 years ago. I remember opening the tin and smelling it. The smell was of strong tobacco and little else. I never got around to smoking any as other blends seemed to always win out when choosing my evening smoke. I ended up putting it in a jar and had forgotten about it for nearly a decade.

I've found that jar while searching through my cellar for something with a little kick. I rediscovered my jar of Brown No.4 and reluctantly started cutting some coins to rub out into my pipe. I was reluctant because I really wasn't expecting anything other than a strong tobacco with kick. I was expecting this would taste a lot like American twist tobacco does in a pipe. It will be strong, and that will be all that can be said for it. I was wrong.

After lighting my favorite medium/large bowl pipe I found that the taste almost immediately settled into that of a fine Virginia and Dark Fired blend at the half-way point of a smoking session. It's like I just immediately skipped to the part of the pipe where the flavors are getting interesting and creamy in any of my other blends. I expected it would only turn to tar from here, but it didn't. The creamy rich flavor remained and didn't turn to smoking tires and tar. Rather, it just stayed creamy and good.

At the real half-way point of the smoke I began to make plans to order more of this. I only have one rope of this and I knew now that I needed more. I jumped up from my chair to go to the computer and start shopping. I staggered as the room began to turn and the floor became uneven. I reached out for a counter-balance to steady myself. Yes, this is very strong tobacco. As quickly as I stood up, I realized I needed to sit down again. I'm suddenly very thirsty and open a bottle of water. I still have half a bowl left. I try to smoke slower, I end up letting it go out and I don't care.

I wake 20 minutes later after taking an unexpected afternoon nap. I walk to the computer, I find a vendor with some in stock, I order more. It may have knocked me down with a TKO, but it did it while being delicious from start to...whenever I fell asleep. I almost made it to the end of the pipe.

This is highly recommended for anyone comfortable with very strong blends. The flavor and taste is creamy and wonderful. Many blends that are this strong have a distinctive tar and burning tires characteristic. This tastes like how a nice VaPer with Dark Fired tastes at the midpoint of a bowl. It's remarkably better than I expected. I'm going to be sure to keep some around for those occasions I feel like diving into excess. While you are being distracted by rich tobacco creaminess and deep flavors, Lady N will be sneaking up behind you to clobber you over the head.
Pipe Used: Savinelli, Erik Nording, various others.
PurchasedFrom: An Internet tobacco vendor
Age When Smoked: 5 years +
7 people found this review helpful.
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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
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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