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 - 11 of 142 Reviews
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
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
Aug 09, 2014 Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong
A full strength rope of rich Virginias with bold earthiness, wood, a few floral notes, a little spice, some fermented tart and tangy citrus and tangy dark fruit, and slight breadiness. They are the lead components. The herbal, floral, woody, earthy, mildly creamy sweet, vegetative, slightly spicy, smoky, coffee-like cigar leaf is a secondary player. There’s a little woody, earthy, slightly nutty Kentucky burley in play as well. Has a lot of strength and a very full taste. The nic-hit is potent, so a small to medium size bowl is recommended. Puff slowly, and don't smoke it dry or you'll may experience some bitterness in the latter quarter of the bowl. Will have a rough edge even when not dried out, but it won't bite. Burns cool, clean, and slow with a very consistent, deeply rich, mildly sweet and rugged savory flavor from top to bottom. Requires a fair amount of relights, and leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste and strong room note. Unless you're from the planet Krypton, you'd better eat a full meal first.

46 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 13, 2013 Strong None Detected Full Strong
First off, let me say that I have been wanting to sample this offering from Samuel Gawith for quite some time. When my two tins arrived in the post, I was beyond excited to say the least. Upon opening one of the tins (I plan on cellaring the other tin for years), I observed what appeared to be reasonable facsimiles of two dog droppings deposited in my tin. Knowing these weren't actual canine feces, I put my nose over the tin and wafted the aroma toward my nose. Never having tried this twist tobacco, the aroma was quite alarming. It was more of a fine cigar than any pipe tobacco I have sampled. It was not offensive, just not what I had expected.

I took my favorite German Wusthof kitchen knife (sharp beyond the bounds of reason) and cut off a 1/4 inch thick coin of this dark tobacco by just pushing downward upon it. It was then that I noticed how beautiful this dog turd looking twist of tobacco I was holding in my hand truly was. As I examined it, I realized it was completely whole tobacco leaf in it's purest form. It was not cut, mutilated, chopped, diced or otherwise molested in any manner. It was a whole tobacco leaf twisted into a rope. I put the twist back into the tin, and attempted to take the coin I had cut and rub it out between my palms. Initially, it appeared to rub out just fine, and expanded nicely into a medium sized bowl's worth of tobacco. When I squeezed it between my fingers, it felt a bit moist, and upon further examination did not rub out all that well at all. I began pulling apart the pieces, and they stretched out into almost 2 inch long quarter inch wide ribbon cut looking leaves. Duh... This is whole tobacco leaf! It was beautiful! I then took the ribbons and broke them into smaller pieces reminiscent of a cross cut tobacco. Now, it looked like it would actually take light.

I packed a large bowl 601 Savinelli Church Warden because I was expecting a rather hot smoke. It packed nicely, and took off burning like champ after two charring lights and occasional tamping. Counterintuitive, it burned very cool. Although I had been expecting a huge wallop of nicotine from the reviews here, I found the N content no more menacing than Royal Yacht, Irish Flake, or 1792. It was definitely making itself present, but not at all overpowering and did not catch me unawares. It merely settled me into my leather recliner to contemplate it further. A very full flavored but almost single dimensional smoke ensued. Very cigar like on the palate with a room note to match. My beautiful wife (who is amazingly tolerant and even loving of latakia, virginia and burley room notes) politely informed me of the following: "that pipe smells a bit ripe honey." Taking the hint, I retired onto the patio to ruminate over the remainder of the smoke.

A very good, quality tobacco no doubt! A bit harsh at the beginning of the bowl if exhaled through the nose, then settles down a bit toward the end becoming quite enjoyable and even slightly sweet. I must retract my "one dimensional" statement at this point due to this sweetness at the end. It now seems two dimensional. The nicotine does increase at the end of the bowl, and this is no tobacco for hippies, metrosexuals, or the casual and occasional piper. This is a man's tobacco, and presents itself as such with no pretentiousness in it's appearance and tin aroma. I really like it as an occasional after dinner, having eaten too much, paired with a quality Kentucky Bourbon type of smoke. I view it as an occasional treat.

I forgot to add that pipe smoking has taught me to be deliberate and have patience. My "I want it now" mentality has gone out the window due to several bad experiences with not allowing pipe tobacco to dry out, age, cellar, etc... before smoking. This is a wonderful tobacco to prepare and get excited about. The ritual involved in smoking it is akin to a hot towel on the face, pre-shave oil, single blade safety razor wet shave with a fine badger hair brush all lathered up, followed by Pinaud Clubman aftershave lotion. A ritual truly worthy of it's end result. Complete relaxation and satisfaction!
30 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
Mar 27, 2011 Strong None Detected Full Strong
Tin appearance:like a badly formed cigar(well it is a rope of course),dryish to the touch and looser than the "black xx" variant..

Tin aroma:mild and innofensive(surprising ;because of its legend i was expecting something pungent),cigarish or brown tobacco smell,,almost no odour really..

Preparation:I take a chunk offcut that was already loose and rub it out(well i actually used a bud grinder)and it was easier to process than the rubbery "black xx" variant.

I load into my 6" georgian clay (my favourite standard pipe BTW, and not because i am smoking this).

Lighting:It burns strait away which gives it an advantage over "black xx" which needs to be completely dried out,,,;this seems more geared for smoking than chewing(i don't actually chew though)

Flavour:a mild cigar(pff!,,:i won't say i was dissapointed because to be honest;after smoking the "black xx"variant which i found bloody strong,this was actually a pleasant surprise!)..

Oppinion:Well? - this is supposed to be the stronger nicoteen and tar version of "black xx"?,,;who did the testing to find that out,a labratory?,,;put it this way;it couldn't of been anybody human who has actually smoked them back to back!,,:I am actually writing this review while still making my mind up what to do with the two tins i bought of the 50g "black xx" which i am currently drying out 25g's worth shredded up,waiting for it to dry out as much as i can before i get a final and fair oppinion of it as a smoke..

More:This is basically nice to smoke but it will make you cough if you take it back,also it has none of that paracetamol and vodka spirit aftertaste/nicoteen flavour that "black xx" has,,nor does it have any diesal sump oil flavour factor either.. I dont even feel spun out and i have had two bowls in a row(admittedly only clay pipe sized,but i did give it a good thermodynamic punishment like i do in all tobacco trials to see what its made of, and what the maximum flavour is that i can coax out of it ,which would burn out a briar bowl)..

More:(admittedly on trying out the "black xx" i had already been caning about 4 flakes worth of "irish flake" before hand,so i may of reached my nicoteen powerband and was already over reving) I am sniffing the tin of "brown #4"again and it reminds me of uncooked pork sausages slightly,,,;like the smell when you just pull them out of the cling film on that polystyrene tray,,;simular actually to when smoking "irish flake" which has a pork and apple taste;this rope has a slightly porky flavour(but not bacon)..(I did use a different pipe so its definately not a ghost)..

AND:The mildness of this and the raw strength of the "black xx" makes me think i will later try blending the two if i can't happily smoke the "black xx on its own(i got to get rid of it somehow),,but for now i will give them both more time separately before reaching a final judgement..I'm gona have another bowl of "brown #4" now and will give my final judgement when finishing this tin off lest i have judged it too prematurely..

FINAL OPPINION :¬):Like "black xx",preshredding and letting it dry out improves the smoke(not that it was wet to begin with),,,some of its mild rubber aftertaste is softened considerably and the dry cigarish factor is toned down as well.

This is quite a pleasant full bodied smoke as long as you remember not to inhale or let the smoke blow in your eyes;its flavour is quite mild and dry actually and tastes quitew like a mildly smoked frankfurter hotdog sausage(if you sip and pack the bowl right or have a drink or biscuit on hand you won't get aftertaste spoiling your session)

I still maintain that i think the "black xx" is is stronger though,,;this may be down to the fact that"black xx" is denser and so i am possibly getting more mass of baccy per bowl volume than "brown #4" in the same bowl,even if "brown #4"is theoretically the stronger smoke..

I will likely purchase the "brown #4" rope in future over the "black xx" by choice because as a stand alone it is quite unique and i favour "gawith and hoggarths dark large xx plug" more than "SG's black xx";there is no point in smoking one thing wishing it was something else esp when the tastes are within a nats cock of each other;"dark xx plug"has a beef factor which i miss in "black xx".

"Brown #4" also burns faster than "black xx" and is quite a fast burner for a cool smoke..I think i prefer "brown #4" to "petersons irish flake" as well because it is not cased(plus i think "university flake is preferable to "irish flake" because it tases more unique compared to my choice of archetypal smokes within a genre) The only drawback that "brown #4" has compared to "irish flake is that "irish flake" burns really slowly and lasts double time what most other baccys do,whereas "brown #4"is quite quickly over.

I can't say much about "brown #4's" room note because i smoked it outside other than it is like a very mild cigar. Its a good breaktime blaster before another smokeless work session..

I just want to add because i feel that it is important that;blending a 50/50 mix of "brown #4" and "black xx" produces a combineed smoke that is better than either of them separately,,;they cancel out each others bad spots to produce a more rounded and fuller tasting blend which is how i think i will continue to consumme "black xx",,,(brown #4 is ok on its own but tastes a bit empty when compared to this mixture)..

The flavour of 50/50 "brown#4"/"blackxx" tastes like a barbequed sausage(banger) and has a moreish factor that is greater than the separate components.And the more ready to burn nature of "brown#4" helps to burn the "blackxx" better...

Glad i tried these ropes!

Update 21/05/11:I have been smoking this for a couple of months and really enjoy it;a paradigm change has happened in my tastes,and i have aclimatised to strong ropes and plugs nicely.

Having been out of the tin a couple of month and jarred,i can say that its strength has got milder and it has become a more approachable and easy smoke(the same goes for the black XX rope as well) When strait out of the tin i can honestly say this is the strongest nicoteen tobacco i have tasted but,after 2 months this has become milder where as Irish Flake which i purchased at the same time has actually got stronger with age and drying out of the tin.So i am now thinking that Irish Flake is the strongest pipe tobacco i know of. Anyway i thoroughly enjoy a pipe of brown#4 whether new or jarred,it is still a very strong tobacco in either case and gives a satisfying strong smoke.

I will definately repurchase some more.
14 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
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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 +
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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
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