Samuel Gawith Skiff Mixture

Another Samuel Gawith original, Skiff is for the pipe smoker who appreciates the fuller flavour of an Oriental blend. Blending a variety of different styles of flue cured tobaccos gives Skiff its characteristic yellow and brown features. Its real identity comes with the addition of Turkish and a beautiful black Cyprus latakia giving the blend its full, round taste.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.46 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 228 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 17, 2009 Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable
Preface: I have been smoking Dunhill Standard Mixture Medium for near-on 30 years, believing that it has no equal anywhere on earth. But it is gone now, and so I begin a quest for my Holy Grail: A substitute to replace the standard on which all English tobaccos are based:

In 1969, on the 2nd weekend in August, 500,000 kids gathered in the rain at the previously unknown farm of Max Yasgur in up state New York for a little fun. Afterwards, Max's farm would forever be referred to as Woodstock. Subsequent polling, many years later, had over 5 million respondents claim they were at Woodstock on that weekend.

I am reminded of Balkan Sobranie.

Why do we chase ghosts? It certainly must be disheartening to the new smokers here, for they will surely come to conclude that they missed out on the great tobaccos of yester-year and they've nothing left to smoke but wannabe leftovers. Like a painter who dies, a vanished tobacco takes on mythical qualities unachievable by todays blenders.


I, who lost my beloved SSM (superior to Balkan Sobranie IMHO), still see a bright future for tobacco.

For I have smoked Samuel Gawiths Skiff Mixture.

It has been quite an odyssey for me, all of these tasting and reviews. For I am a private and simple man. Not for me to have a rotation of tobaccos. No, I have always been content with one tobacco, when I knew it to be the best. Early on there were others sampled, not because variety tempted me, but because I worried I might not be smoking the best. But I was. To me, finding the right tobacco was akin to a happy marriage: contentment & fulfillment. Others need not apply.

But then they took it away from me.

In hindsight, seeking to replace the standard of all English tobaccos, it would have been logical to look to an English blender first. I failed to, and it took me a lot of different tins to get here. But here I am, and once more, I am contented. There are 3 or so more blends in the drawer yet to be tried (and a few from Comptons ordered over a month ago, paid for, but not yet shipped...), but its all right if they amount to less.

This tobacco is complex, but not in the typical sense of flavor. What is complex, or complicated (as it surely must be because it is so rare), about this tobacco, and SSM, is how much it develops as you progress down through the bowl. Initially you might light up, take a few puffs, and wonder about my 4 stars. I'll give you that. Patience my boy! For both SMM & Skiff have perfected the sneak attack. With the vast majority of all of these tobaccos I have tried, they grew worse as the bowl went down and when it ended there was always a feeling that it was time. Not so Skiff! Most of the time when I am about half-way through something magical happens, just like the old SMM. and you won't want it to end. It begins to beg your indulgence. It inspires an appreciation that compels one to suddenly take notice, - to slow down-, to savor, to abandon greed and to forget haste. To wish that it would never end...

Aye, this is the Magic of pipe tobacco.

Skiff is rich and smooth, but even so, strong enough to leave an experienced smoker satisfied. There is no harshness here, but no weakness either. The boys in the heather cry Soap! and Menthol! But I detect neither of these. There is a flavoring here that is unusual, but after several tins it still strikes me as neither good nor bad, and certainly not the main part of the experience: a perfect balance of the only tobaccos of consequence, Virginia, Oriental, & Latakia. Which ones are favored and how are the cured? I havent a clue. I only know that when they put these three together in the correct proportions and with the correct processes, we have a term for the result: English Tobacco.

And Skiff is currently wearing the crown of Best English Tobacco That Is Readily Available. (And -shish- it's dirt-cheap!). And Samuel Gawith ( and sister company Gawith Hoggart) are without a doubt the finest producers of pipe tobacco in existence today.

Years from now, hopefully after I have expired, Samuel Gawith will be no more, just as all companies sooner or later run out. And then the reviews will begin of the incredible brown & black ribbons that were good enough to eat, but even better to smoke. The claims by other tobaccos will begin, asserting to be the legitimate (but always lacking) heir. And the new smokers will consume all this information, lament their unprovoked loss, and the cycle will begin again...

Oh well: Hodiernum vive diem! And: Smoke Skiff Mixture!
115 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 03, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
I am not usually a huge fan of Gawith's tobaccos, but this one is a sleeper.

It's one of the very few PERFECT English mixtures left today, a masterpiece of subtlety, richness and complexity. One of the few tobaccos that smell and taste "like they used to". While absolutely not in-your-face as some other excellent Latakia blends, while not as immediately stunning as some of GLPease's tobaccos, it has an indescribable charm of its own.

It's quintessential in its "medium" style, a style you can't grow tired of. The same style the Dunhill blends of old like Standard Mixture or London Mixture had. Balanced, not too heavy, perfect for all day smoking, tasty but with no excesses, complex, refined.

Its tin aroma betrays its complexity, with its leathery, slightly putrid, organic, darkly sweet character. Yes, very few blends (even excellent ones) still have this "old" smell when opening a tin.

Maybe slightly moist in a fresh tin, it nevertheless burns fine, cool and regularly, with a slow taste development that's one of its great assets. Never monochromatic, on the contrary subtle and always changing nuances. Not a Latakia monster, but a feast of Virginia, excellent Orientals and the right amount of Latakia.

Together with Squadron Leader, Pelican, Westminster, Caravan, Maltese Falcon, Charing Cross and few others, one of the rare blends which still evoke old fashioned pipe smoking and can rival with the lamented "missing" masterpieces of decades ago.

Give it a try, by all means!
70 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 30, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
The Oriental/Turkish are the stars, adding most of the complexity: smoky, very woody, earthy, herbal, floral, a little creamy buttery sweet, mildly dry and sour, with a little more than a moderate dose of peppery spice. The Virginia offers tart and tangy citrus, a little grass and wood in a supporting role, and is often sublimated by the other components. The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, incense-like sweet Cyprian Latakia is more obvious than the Virginia, but it occasionally recedes just a mite. The strength is medium, while the taste is a couple of steps past the mark. The nic-hit is a slot less potent than the strength. Won't bite, but has a few rough edges. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with no harsh spots or weakening of the lightly inconsistent, mildly sweet and very savory, campfire flavor. Leaves a spot of dampness in the bowl, and the after taste lingers a little with a pleasant spice taste. Requires an average number of relights. The room note is tolerable to non-smokers, maybe. Not quite an all day smoke, but it's not far away either.

62 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 09, 2005 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
This is a very typical (IMO) Oriental/English type blend in the Gawith Lakeland style. It is at the right moisture content and stayed lit well from top to bottom. I tasted some sort of casing, but cannot begin to identify it. A cool and dry smoke, for sure. And a little lighter in depth than many of the Gawith offerings of this type, so, it can easily be an all-day smoke.

If you are in search of nicotine, forget this one.

If you are in search of a full flavored English, forget this one.

If you are in search of something mild, semi-sweet with lots of Oriental flavor and just a hint of Latakia, this is it.
50 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 26, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
An outstanding Balkan. The Latakia and the sweet Virginias are in just the right proportions. The Orientals are superb. Very smooth, but not perfectly so. A little bit of an edge to them. That's just the way I like them. Buttery and creamy. Downright divine. Medium bodied with medium flavors. Not my favorite, but one of the best. Cellar worthy. I'll be stashing a few jars.
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman, MM Freehand
Age When Smoked: fresh
31 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Sandy and black mottled color with a standard ribbon cut. Tin nose of sour and tangy orientals with latakia riding shotgun.

I've owned this tin for nearly two years but put off smoking it. I'm guessing that not only did other blends get in the way, but I've never been too enamored of SG or G&H latakia blends for the most part, and I expected this to be more of the same middle of the road affair. I was quite surprised. This is not a powerful smoke but it's highly flavorful. Orientals are well in the lead, with latakia and virginia alternating as the sidekick. For some reason I was thinking this one might be a lat bomb, but clearly it is not. While this does not possess the baldfaced "wow" factor of many GLP blends, lovers of those should definitely find something to like here. Not as much complexity as most GLP's but I get the impression Greg would enjoy this blend. Reminded me a bit of Samarra in taste, but didn't have that one's sneaky complexity and sense of restrained power. Skiff seemed more of a steady eddie, but still a very nice smoke. 4 stars for this, although for my personal taste, it misses greatness by the narrowest of margins. But if you're a Balkan lover (and if that designation is at all meaningful to you), you definitely need to try this one. I'm going to grab a few more tins, just for fun.
30 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 26, 2014 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
No doubt in my mind that Skiff Mixture is an "English" blend, although it is "brighter" than the usual fare due to leaf selection and flue curing. In the tin, the variegated assortment of tobaccos ranges from pale yellow to dark, dark brown, even black ribbons, and the tin note well reflects the constituent tobaccos. There seems to be just a little casing, but all I smell is tobacco in the tin, and this also translates to aromas and tastes once the smoke is underway, from the first puff to the last. Tin moisture is fine, and SM can be stuffed and smoked straightaway, which is how I prefer to approach it. While one might at any time become more or less conscious of one or the other tobacco varietals, SM's genius is its remarkably well balanced and civilized blend. The VAs underpin this mixture without fuss, nor do they interfere with the full development of the rich-but-light, not-too-spicy Orientals/Turkish leaf. The Latakia also does its part like a professional, without calling undue attention to itself. The "sandalwood" here is (mercifully) kept in check, and the Lat's net effect is just a little "smoke" and that smooth/sour depth that the best Lat can bring. The lot is neither sweet nor sour, really, as the blend works ensemble to set up and deliver the fragrant, delicious Turkish leaf to best advantage. SM lights easily enough and burns right down to a fine gray ash. In fact, watch the stoking, or some fine ash may influence the taste and/or aftertaste in the end. Strength is medium. Tastes are medium. There is plenty of smoke. Aftertaste is fairly brief, of the Turkish ilk; likewise the room note.

Skiff Mixture is all about understated quality and balance, and a comfortable smoke, reminiscent in this way of premium blends that are lost in fog to us now. It achieves its 4 star rating with quality and competence rather than drama.
Pipe Used: various briars
PurchasedFrom: 4 Noggins
Age When Smoked: no way to know; fresh to me
27 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 04, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant
Sam Gawith - Skiff Mixture.

I have been really looking forward to this one and it more than met my expectations! The first good point to enumerate is the unlit aroma: it is a very "raw" one with a great leathery scent to it. So enthralling it makes my mouth water! Is it too wet or dehydrated?... No. It appears to be a uniform dissemination of the different tobaccos: it isn't a mix that's selfishly overruled by one type.

This a simple blend to ignite and the actual burn is great in its continuity. I rarely have to re-light mine and as it burns down it leaves behind a perfect white ash. The smoke now: WOW! All along the temperature is superb as is the nicotine amount, about Commonwealth strength. Although this has lots of Latakia in it, that's not the only taste: you get abreast the Latakia a fantastic Virginia hay flavour with a pleasing Oriental sourness too. The room note is a positive one in the fact it is quite light and the smoking of this doesn't cause the atmosphere to resemble fog either.

This is a blend I would be contented to smoke all day, I best stock up!!

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 29, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
This is, as far as I'm concerned, the closest thing to a perfect English blend.Allow me to explain why.

It burns well and packs easily, but ONLY after some drying time, as with most Samuel Gawith blends. My recommendation is to dry it out until JUST before it's falling-apart crumbly. More moist than that is OK, but will require more relights. Which brings me to my second point regarding why it's so perfect: you won't ruin the taste nearly as much as you will with other blends through multiple relights. It is also forgiving if you smoke too fast, it wont ruin the taste off that bowl and requires quite alot off provocation to bite. Nicotine is mild-medium. These qualities are in my opinion off utmost importance in an all-day smoke.

This English is not nearly as complex as say Mac Barens Latakia Flake or even Dunhill Nightcap. Less sour/spice than Englishes in the same category, Rattrays Red Rapparee or Squadron Leader for example. Far less sweet than those and other "all-day" englishes such as Petersons Old Dublin. In general I find this blend far less sweet than most blends with this much VA (I consider this a good thing)

Wait what, what's left? Well, the smokey, silky smooth, rich cyprian latakia sits firmly at the centre off the flavour profile. The VA supports with some earthy sweetness rounding it all off. Pleasant, does not get harsh, does not wear out your palate, but still full in body and feel. Perfect for when working outdoors or just any time you wish to smoke without paying too much attention to your pipe.

I may have made the blend sound rather montone, and it is unless you pay attention. If you do you will notice the orientals popping in now and again, keeping things interesting. The citrusy and woodsy notes are there aswell. I's just not as blatantly obvious or prominent as the aforementioned blends.

The subtle complexity makes it fitting for a late evening smoke after a big dinner despite it's all-day qualities.

Skiff Mixture is like the one-size fits all off English Blends.

Edit: the subtle flavours & complexity seem to be more apparent when smoked in a seasoned cob.
Pipe Used: Briars, cobs, meers
PurchasedFrom: Mellgren's Fine Tobacco
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 23, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Seems like Skiff and Squadron Leader get mentioned together quite a bit on here. I have been smoking Skiff for quite some time, but just began to explore SL. So, I cant give an educated thoughtful dissertation on the differences or pros and cons of each. This review is just for Skiff. And it will be short and sweet. Not much to say that hasn't been said. It is classic, timeless, delicious, satisfying and never disappoints. I even love the tin. Its a work of art and if you tend toward English or Orientals, this will become a favorite in your rotation. After I get some more experience with SL, I will update this review with a comparison. But for now, just go get some Skiff. Its not expensive, you don't have to wait for months to find it, and its consistently fantastic. Cheers!
12 people found this review helpful.
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