Samuel Gawith Lakeland Dark

Dark air cured Virginia and Kentucky tobaccos are cold pressed for a few hours before they are steam pressed for several hours at full heat. This gives the blend a strong, powerful and creamy smoke.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Kentucky, Virginia
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging Bulk, 50 grams tin
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.30 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2016 Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong
Full bodied, but not as strong in nic as I expected. Still though, it has a good bit. The Virginias and Kentucky provide about an equal amount of flavor. The Virginias have the same basic flavor that you find in the ropes, The Kentucky is earthy, woody, mildly spicy and a touch acrid. I wish there were a little less Kentucky and more Virginia. There's very little sweetness and I think it could benefit from some. There's very little evolution throughout the bowl. What you get at the beginning is pretty much what you get at the end. It does get just slightly smoother. I get just a touch of Lakeland floral in briar and clay. I get none in a cob. Other than that I noticed no difference. Two stars is the best I can give this one.

I'm gonna rate this as strong, but I'm referring to body when I do. I'd rate nicotine at medium to strong. Extremely mild flavoring. Taste is full. Burns very well whether rubbed out or left as is. Like SteelCowboy did, I'm gonna post this under both listings.
Pipe Used: Jobey pot, MM Country Gentleman, Dutch Gouda
Age When Smoked: fresh
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 09, 2016 Very Strong Very Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong
Samuel Gawith - Lakeland Dark.

Nothing new for Sam G, it's far too wet. Although it's badged as a broken flake there's not many pieces in the tin which resemble a flake, broken or whole. Apart from one length of flake, the mix is made up of really dark ribbons; REALLY dark

The flavour from Lakeland's very full, albeit quite caustic. I get lot's of the fiery Kentuckiness but none of the grass or hay from the Virginia; it's a very indomitable smoke. Towards the end of a bowl this caustic note increases in strength, and becomes a sort of harsh liquorice taste. I find the actual smoke quite comfortable in its make-up: not too hot and bite free.

Nicotine? Very strong; a good breakfast blend, and the room-note isn't very good.

There's no way I could smoke this regularly, I nowhere near macho enough. So this results in a subjective rating of one star, but objectively speaking it's well made, so I'll somewhat recommend it.

Two stars.
Pipe Used: Altinok Lee Van Cleef
PurchasedFrom: My Smoking Shop
Age When Smoked: New
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 29, 2020 Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable
I tried this because I had good experience with other blends with "dark" and "Kentucky" in the name. This blend does not measure up to the others. The flavor is very light and the taste is very harsh. It's not that it tastes strong, it just tastes bad. The smoking characteristics are okay once it's dried out a bit, but it's almost not worth it. I couldn't detect much nicotine, so if that's your thing, I think you'll be disappointed. Since I've had worse I'll give this 2 stars, but I do so reluctantly.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 29, 2018 Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Love or hate thing ? No, it’s just to find a personal approach with this beast of a tobacco…

Every time I approach Lakeland Dark in pure form, I try to do respectfully. It’s strong and needs committed piping. I damn myself every time I realize that I was not prepared to that pipeful, because this smoke You must not rush, it will brutally slap Your face… no count of hiccups…

I’ve smoke a number of 250grm bulks. It comes with a correct wetness, uncommon for the SG’s. That is far from meaning that LD smokes steady. No, not indeed. It always needs relight, fortunately that is not influencing the smoke so badly. The pouch aroma is heavenly of burnt aromatic wood, leather and earth, just a wee bit fruity. No Lakeland essences here, just tobacco. This is the pipe tobacco for the Toscano cigar lovers. Strong in body and nicotine. Releases a smoky/sweetish flavour. Room note (I don’t smoke indoor) is nearly tolerable.

Anyway, LD is a bit too much for this smoker. And I found my way to keep with it, by adding it to a lighter Virginia (mainly Golden Glow), as a condiment. A somewhat recommended tobacco, not for it faults (the only one, in case, is a poor cumbustibility) but for the potential limited pleatea of smokers able to appreciate this no-frills thing.

Regarding me, and the way I use it, I will keep buying LD.
Pipe Used: all my fleet
PurchasedFrom: local tobacconist
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 09, 2016 Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant
I was rather intrigued about this particular blend after reading many reviews. My tastes tend to lean towards stronger blends and after a not particularly interesting experience with 1792 flake gave this one a try, it is after all supposed to be 1792 minus the tonquin flavourings.

Opening the tin I was presented with a mish mash of coarse shreds, predominantly dark brown in colour with some jet black in there too. Tin note was of nice new leather shoes. Not your namby pamby slip-ons but a nice pair of Northampton made stout brogues. Moisturewise it was typically wet as all SG and G&H blends tend to be so the contents of the tin were tipped out onto a tray to get some air around those shreds.

I loaded up my McQuade bulldog and fired up. Despite two hours of airing it still took a while to get a decent burn but I got there. The first thing that struck me was the taste of burning tar or rubber and I recalled reading in at least one review that someone had made the same observation, not a good start!

Once settled flavours more associated with tobacco came to the fore. Smoky wood and bitter chocolate with a little burnt coffee is what I got from this blend. Nicotine became very apparent come mid bowl but not eye crossingly so. Some folks are put off this blend purely because of the nicotine content! One thing I would like to add is that at no time did I taste any of the famous/infamous 'Lakeland Sauce' which was a welcome surprise.

This is most certainly a very strong blend and not one for beginners. The flavours are pretty consistent throughout the bowl leaving a damp squidgy dottle at the bowl's finish.

Interestingly the listed components of the broken flake variety (which is what is reviewed here) simply states Virginia tobacco whereas for the flake version they mention Kentucky & Virginia. As to whether mine has Kentucky or not I am not sufficiently experienced in the minutiae of tobacco blends to comment.

Would I buy this again? I'm not too sure I would. It wasn't an unpleasant blend but it was a tad overpowering for me. Perhaps if mixed 50/50 with a sweet straight Virginia (Golden Glow?) it might make for a more mellow smoke. I would give this 5/10.
Pipe Used: McQuade bent bulldog & Bernina bent billiard.
Age When Smoked: Fresh.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 13, 2016 Strong Extra Strong Overwhelming Strong
Samuel Gawith makes some of the best pipe tobacco available . I have been enjoying it for many years . I have avoided their tobaccos heavy with Lakeland flavoring because I simply do not enjoy it . I was a little excited when I discovered this tobacco which was billed as 1792 flake without the tonquin . I opened my can with anticipation and found a darkish broken flake that looked inviting . The tin note gave out a strong aroma of Lakeland flavoring and I began to doubt my good luck . When I lit it up I was overcome with one of the foulest tasting blends that I have ever tried . It actually got me sick , I was unable to finish the bowl . Now , for people who like Lakeland flavoring this might be a fine tobacco . This , however was way over the hill with the Lakeland . I can tolerate Lakeland in some of the G & H mixtures because it is not flavored as strongly but this blend was simply unsmokable . I am not putting down Samuel Gawith for marketing this blend because I'm sure there are many folks out there who enjoy that type of flavoring . I will look for one of those guys to give the rest of this tin to . I will continue to smoke the many great blends made by Samuel Gawith but not this one .

Two weeks later....... My friend Tad Gage told me this wasn't as bad as I had thought so I opened the can and tried another smoke . The Lakeland smell was pretty much gone and the tobacco still looked inviting so I tried a bowl in a nice Parker pat# . I was shocked to find it wasn't that bad , actually some high notes of flavor at one point . Although this is not one of SG's finest hours I will now rate it as a smoke, mind you , just . Maybe the key to Lakeland is to let it sit in the can a while , a long while.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 15, 2002 Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable
For those who love Gawith tobaccos, the Lakeland series (Light and Dark) is not one to be missed. It contains most of what people seem to like (and dislike) about S.G. in general, doing what the English company has done well for so many years ? make a full-flavored, robust blend for the smoker to enjoy. The aroma in my sample 2oz bag is familiar, that perfumy/soapy scent that hangs in much greater degree about any and all S.G. plug and rope tobaccos. A dark and musty scent competes as well, totally lacking in the usual softening of Virginia sweetness. In appearance the tobacco is very dark, black and brown/black being the only discernable colors. The cut is very marrow, medium to long in length, and came to me in a collection of loosely pressed chunks that fell apart quite easily. The moisture level of my sample was low; indeed, this tobacco was nearly as dry as a C&D blend. Packing was easy, once the chunks were separated, and lighting was very quick. This blend burns very well, needing a lower than average number of relights. The initial flavor in the first third of the bowl is dark and musty, very close to the bag aroma of the tobacco. There are nutty elements, almost as if Burley was present, and there is the normal initial harshness I?ve come to expect from S.G. blends. It ?catches? at the back of my throat, and I would not dream of exhaling this through my nose at this point! Nevertheless, the smoke is very flavorful, dark, and fairly complex. I have also noticed that caution is needed with this ? the high nicotine content is obvious from the first. The second 1/3 is similar in flavor to the first, though the harshness is not as bad. There is increasing smoothness, complimented by slightly more complexity in the smoke. I have noticed no moisture at all to this point. In the final third, the annoying harshness is totally gone, leaving a smother, darker, and still complex flavor. This is by far the best part of the bowl, perhaps better than ?good?. There has been a total lack of bite throughout the smoke. The nicotine is not weak, and I?m really noticing it at this point; don?t use a large pipe for this, unless you are used to it!. Despite the kick, I am able to smoke this to the bottom of the bowl, clean and dry the whole way. Overall, I?d call this a good tobacco, very good or better if not for the harshness at the start. The finish is almost worth it, but can?t quite offset the first two thirds for myself. If you don?t mind (or even like!) this initial flavor, you should truly enjoy this high-quality dark Virginia blend. I, however, prefer Esoterica or McClelland Virginias, and will likely not order more of this when I run out.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 15, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Looking for an alternative to Mac Baren's HH Old Dark Fired Ready Rubbed, which I had run out of a couple of days earlier, it occurred to me to open the Lakeland Dark tin with the huge surprise that it looked almost like a clone of the previous one. The tobacco comes at its right moisture point to be loaded immediately when it is removed from the tin, burning evenly and well. In the flavor, I find a mixture of earthiness and sweetness, intense and somewhat chocolatey, not without its robustness.

However, when I compare it, I like the aforementioned Mac Baren mix a little more, since it has a slightly more pronounced bittersweet contrast and I have the impression that the smoke is also slightly creamier than here, In addition, this Lakeland Dark is heavy and scratchy in flavor, too wild, to put it in some way. In his defense I will say that with ODFRR something similar also happens to me, but it is somewhat smoother than this one.

So if you know ODFRR you can get an idea of what you are going to find with it. Other users have also compared it to Samuel Gawith's Black XX with which, indeed, it shares some similarities, but here I find that the variation between the two is more remarkable than with ODFRR.

Pipe Used: Soler Freehand
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