Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake

Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake is for lovers of pure pressed Virginias. Created in the heart of Lakeland, the hot-pressed blended Virginias take on a delicious and distinctive dark colour that creates a pipe smokers dream, a feeling of calm, serenity and anticipation of the next pipeful. A "must have" for all Virginia lovers. Medium strength.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, 250 grams box, bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Medium to Full
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.47 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 120 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 02, 2012 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Original review: 10-2-2012. Dry or damp, aged or not, this tobacco always delivers a pure, mildly tangy dark fruit sweet, very earthy, woody Virginia taste with a fair amount of bread, sugar, a little tart and tangy citrus, vegetative grass, mild floralness, light sour lemon, and a touch of pepper/spice. It does mellow with age (which is typical of straight Virginias), but not enough to lose the mild pepper/spice note. The taste level is medium. The strength is a couple of slots past the center of mild to medium. The nic-hit is a step below the center of mild to medium. Burns slow, no matter the moisture content, with a very consistent cool, clean flavor, and a small rough edge or two. Won't bite or get harsh, though Superman puffing might get you a harsh note. Requires some relights, and leaves just a little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is a tad stronger. Can be an all day smoke. It ages exceptionally well. Four stars.

Update 1-13-2023. I have smoked several productions in the past three years, and there’s been a consistent change in all of them. The Virginias are lighter with the aspects one expects from that particular strain. The tart and tangy citrus and vegetative grass now leads the tangy dark fruit, earth and wood. The sour lemon notes are a little higher as well which helps reduce the sweetness a notch. The strength and nic-hit are a step stronger now. Has a little less flavor depth and body. All previous observations remain the same. Three stars for these versions, and my ratings here reflect them.

136 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 23, 2013 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
A bit too mellow for my taste. I wish it had a little edge to it and a little more body. All in all though, a quality tobacco worth 3 stars.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 07, 2002 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Full Virginia Flake is a straightforward, almost dry tasting, medium to full smoke. Unlike other natural Virginias reviewed here, FVF is of a rather austere variety: there is virtually no natural sweetness and no flavour complexity to it. Still, it is a very pleasant natural tobacco, easy to rub out, with a good burning rate and a lasting, toasty denouement (redolent of Grape Nuts cereal). The flakes are medium to dark brown, slightly oily but not moist, with a very plain and agreeable aroma. One could safely say that what you see and what you smell is what you smoke.

Personally I wouldn?t smoke it all day, because by the end of the bowl you do get a subdued harshness that tends to go relatively bitter. It also provides quite a strong nicotine kick. But other than that, it seems to me an excellent example of what a clear-cut, uncomplicated Virginia tobacco tastes like. Again, if someone out there is trying to switch from cigarettes to pipe smoking, Full Virginia Flake can be an excellent choice, albeit it?s by no means a beginner?s tobacco.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 30, 2002 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This offering from S.Gawith & Co. is a leaf of first class preparation. The tin aroma is scrumptous Virginia, as only Virginia can be. The flakes are large, and break up for smoking with little effort. No flavourings are present here, just pure leaf. I noted that this leaf smokes quite differently from my normal McClelland and Rattray Virginias. It has less of the sweet/sour peaks of say #22 Virginia or Old Gowrie. The tones are far more earthy. Rich, but not overly sweet, and cool so long as you keep the pace down. Overall a good smoke for relaxing by, but perhaps a little lacking in the flavour department for my tastes.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 23, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
There is virtually nothing to say about this blend that hasn't been covered in any of the other 400+ reviews, but I would mention that ones enjoyment of this blend (assuming your not predisposed to dislike VAs in the first place) depends on patience.

Like most Sam Gawith tins, the flakes (which are quite dense to begin with) are very moist. Given 12 hours of time to air out in a dry room with decent air circulation will work WONDERS for the experience. Smoked straight from the tin you'll consistently be relighting, fussing, and struggling for a smoke that is slightly sour, lacks body, and is unsatisfying. Smoked with appropriate drying time, all of the wonderful flavor and aromas that you're expecting come to life in a smoke that is full-bodied and rich.

Otherwise, to summarize for the sake of expediency (when appropriately dried):

Deep, dark fruit tin note; complete, rounded, and unadulterated VA tobacco flavor; consistent from tin to tin, from bowl to bowl, and throughout each bowl itself. Good fresh, but improves dramatically with age (even at 2 years old it goes from good to very VERY good).

10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 25, 2004 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Unnoticeable
I purhased a tin of this virginia from John and his cronies @ for a friend of mine. I have a poor relation with virgina's, especially flakes(St Bruno is the exception), but rather enjoyed trying this. Said friend was good enough to give me a few flakes which I promptly stored with little intention of smoking. Some months later, being in the mood for change, I pulled the forgotten flake out. It certainly is attractive, rich and slightly oily to the touch. I gave 2 flakes a good rubbing out and funnel-filled an old rusticated pot, which is my St Bruno pipe. Out to the back porch and up we lit. Initial flavor is soft, straight forward tobacco taste, very smooth. Continuing through the bowl, taste becomes increasingly rich but remains gentle. Nicotine content does sneak up, but i do enjoy a good toe-tingle. Near the bottom of the bowl a slight murkiness creeps in, nothing too off-putting. Ash is fine white powder. I puffed steadily but was not bitten, much to my surprise. All in all, this is good tobac, a pleasant switch from my usual Englishes. I think some time is needed to really let this blend expand, so I'll order up a tin or 3. NB-I found the room aroma to be very subtle, when I moved to the kitchen, almost neutral. 09/04-Like Paddy I jar this tobacco. Smoked slowly it is tantalizing. Puff hard and, well, EEK.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 26, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Samuel Gawith’s Full Virginia Flake is a pain in the ass! It not only is too moist – it’s ridiculously moist. Don’t dry it enough and you’ll need at least half a dozen cleaning sticks to keep your pipe dry and if you use filters you might need a second for just one bowl - it’s also so dense that it’s hard to rub out or brake and so thick that I do not dare fold and stuff. I only occasionally succeed in preparing it in the optimum way. In fact for me it’s the most difficult tobacco to handle even among the Gawith flakes. To be a little sardonic I could suggest that FV flakes can usefully be used as pipe tobacco moisteners put in the same jar with other dried out tobaccos.

Were it uninteresting I would have given up on it, but FVF is indeed a rich, uniquely tasting Virginia flake occasionally producing a sublime experience. It is leathery, honeyed, yeasty, malty, has a wonderful brown bread flavor. When good, this flake can be magnificent. I also like it blended with some 20-30% Oriental leaf (Basma or Izmir), a thing which improves burning qualities. Still I think FVF is a tobacco that needs time for preparation. It’s not like many other excellent flakes that you just rub or fold, pack, light and go. FVF is very demanding. At least for me…

Generally I am very generous with my stars but I am going to give FVF just three until I get a handle on it…

Revision:: I have bought FVF in fresh tins and also in the 250gr package and it has been an elusive pleasure for me. I bought again in bulk from Synjeco and the tobacco I received is another animal altogether! Still moist but manageable, it rubs out more easily, burns slow but with ease to the end with no dottle and no significant moisture. Yes, this tobacco I adore but the problem seems to be batch variation and not me after all. Until this batch I could not properly rub FVF out... This tobacco sings, not in complexity but in a solid deep natural earthy and yeasty tobacco flavor. I wonder am I alone in experiencing great differences between batches?
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 25, 2016 Mild None Detected Very Mild Very Pleasant
In the world of tobaccos, Pure Virginias are what Blanc Sec's are in the world of wines. Both are the pinnacles of their respective industries, being the most refined, complex, nuanced, noble and delicate products in their realms. I do humbly acknowledge that the Full Virginia Flake is the epitome of the SG blends. It's unsurpassed in complexity and subtlety of its delicate flavours. It's fearfully and wonderfully made of the best Virginia tobaccos available today. I acknowledge the same regarding the best Dry White wines as well.

Saying that, I don't care about Dry White wines however good they are. What I truly like, is some pronounced flavor and aroma in my glass as well as in my pipe, and not the faint play of hard-to-catch aromatic molecules. Better gimme my blood-red Porto and my strong Dark Fire Cured Tobacco.

FVF is really nice but it's too mild to my taste, I find its flavour complex and pleasant but absolutely unsatisfying. So I'm leaving 3 stars. FVF is a legend, and one must try it, whether he would like it or not.
Pipe Used: Peterson Zulu
Age When Smoked: 2
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 22, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A very straightforward, no frills Virginia flake with the distinctive Lakeland floral essence that is suggestive of a topping. I don't think there is a topping, however, because other tobaccos I've tried using similar regional tobaccos exhibit the same, more or less. It's pleasant, and a departure from theMcClelland styled Virginias I normally smoke.

Flakes are dark brown, narrow and first thought is of jerky strips. There's a noticeably strong and pleasing aroma of hay. Seems like pure, unadulterated tobacco, and I approve at first sight/smell. As with other Gawith flakes, it's exceptionally moist and will need a little longer drying time than your average flake if you want it to burn well. Don't over-dry it, though, you want it springy, not crumbly. Otherwise you will lose the flavor. There's some conspiracy around the wetness of Gawith flakes, with some voicing their concern that Gawith purposely over moistens to pad profitability. I don't agree. The moisture content lends itself well to aging and fermentation. Also, Gawith is known to employ some of the oldest processing equipment used in the tobacco industry, which probably accounts for the unique shape and higher moisture of the flakes.

Smoke is bread-like and just barely detectably sweet, with that Lakeland nuance already mentioned. It burns best rubbed out, but I've had success fold and stuff in smaller bore pipes. It's a very mellow smoke...don't expect to be knocked over with flavor...and probably a tad too mellow for my normal tastes. But it is quite relaxing, something to sip on gently while lost in a book. Tongue bite was at first a big drawback, but after learning to relax and slow my cadence, it's no longer an issue. It's basic and it's old-school, and if that's your thing, you must try this blend.

Happy smoking!
Age When Smoked: 1 year 6 months
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 07, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Near to some 200 reviews, FVF is a top candidate for the HoF, it deserves for sure !

I shall cut mine as short as possible.

I do consider FVF a milestone in the family of Va flakes, possibly the most natural one I have ever smoked, far better than his cousins BBF and SF of the same brand. It enormously benefits aging, drying, and extremely slow sipping. It developes a wide range of delicate tones, from grassy to malty, biscuity, sometimes even cigarish& never harsh or bitter or hot or biting, no matter how hard you draw. The mellow sweetness is steady and natural, comes from the tobacco itself, no aids beyond nature.

But it does not get me enthusiastic, even I would, that is why I am rating it three stars. Virginia based tobaccos are my top preference; but have to admit that, after my 50th bell rang and some better self knowledge, need they are helped by something else, be that the Perique or even a (very moderate) topping/casing. I am not a so patient smoker to mine so deeply in search of flavours as they were diamonds.

Not that it is boring, but I would a more in-your-face experience.
6 people found this review helpful.
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