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 11 - 20 of 228 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 24, 2017 Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
When I began smoking a pipe, I was immediately drawn to extremely full and strong English blends, heavy on Latakia leaf, preferably high nicotine content. In short, my preferences were for very stout and non-complex mixtures. At the time, I was a cigarette smoker with a less-than-refined palate. From there, I moved on to more complex and subtle mixtures and predominantly Va/Per flakes or fuller Virginia flakes. Virginias and Virginia/Oriental Flakes are really my mainstay most of the time, and, having ousted cigarettes 4 years ago and only occasionally smoking a pipe every other day, my palate has become more accustomed and refined to and for the nuances of certain blends.

Now, I must say that, when I DO smoke a Balkan or "English" blend, I prefer the Oriental-forward approach with enough latakia to notice and taste it, but not too much as to dull all the other flavors. Two favorites are Red Rapparee by Rattray's or Dunhill's Durbar and even EMP.

Skiff mixture has always intrigued me due to the very obvious Oriental-forwardness of the blend and it's very complex (in my opinion) character.

Upon opening the tin, I am greeted with that musty Oriental smell, slight citrus and hay twang and a slightly sweet, almost cedar-like and incense-like smokiness from the Latakia. This smell is subdued and doesn't "flow" from the tin as is the case with some others. Durbar, for example, can fill a room unsmoked.

The cut is coarser than the well-known Dunhill ribbon and I much prefer the broader cut. The moisture is pretty Gawith-like, but 20 minutes on a piece of paper will do the trick absolutely. Accordingly, it is easy to pack - I just roll up a few pinches to balls and loosely pack them one after the other until the bowl is nice and firm to the touch at the top.

All this needs is two lights and it's ready to go all the way to a fine ash.

The flavor is complex - you get the smokiness, the citrusy Virginia sweetness, some Oriental twang and nuttiness. There's definitely notes of Sandalwood and Cedar, some dark coffee and cocoa-like flavors as well. These flavors aren't there all at once, but much more intertwine and take turns coming to the forefront, granted you smoke it slowly.

The nicotine content is low, the flavor is full - Perfect!

It smells like it tastes, really. Tobacco-lovers will like it, others probably not. My partner absolutely loves the smell of Englishes and Balkans despite having quit smoking cigarettes with me.

I love this and hope it will be around for a long time. Try some if you are a fan of Orientals!
Pipe Used: non-filtered Poker, Prince and Apple
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: Fresh
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 04, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This is a fantastic tobacco for the Oriental lover. It may be my nose but this has a strong Latakia tin note with woody orientals and sweet grassy/hay like Virginia's. a unique and fragrant blend.

Given the Latakia leading nose one would expect more smoky flavor in the smoking profile, while present the the Latakia is more of a condiment than a lead component. The Orientals are front and center. The Turkish/Orientals are woody and have a dry character offering some toasty and buttery flavors along with an occasional hint of sourness. The Virginia's are also present with a fresh hay and bready quality that supports the Turkish/Orientals wonderfully. The Latakia is also sweet and smoky as you would expect but it is subtle and harmoniously blends and supports the star player. This is a masterful blend that provides a unique and consistent flavor bowl after bowl. The flavors build throughout the smoke and the bottom third has a woody ( think cedar and mesquite) and the blend of Latakia and Virginia's add a sweeter flavor at the end of the smoke. If you are looking for a Lat bomb this isn't it and the tin note may fool you. If you want a consistent Oriental forward smoke that is on the lighter side of the nicotine spectrum but flavorful cool smoking and and delicious this if for you!
Pipe Used: Briar, meerschaum and cobs
PurchasedFrom: smoking pipes
Age When Smoked: 2 years
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 31, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is an absolutely wonderful smoke. As the summer months come I like to have a few mild to medium blends on hand and picked up 4 oz. of this with my usual stuff. I was expecting a much smaller flavor profile than this! It is creamy, smoky, sweet, notes of leather and wood and the orientals provide a floral sweet/bitterness note that only a Balkan can provide. This is deep, rich, flavor that interchanges between the orientals and the lat. and then the VA's. It changes enough that I never get board with it and it always makes me want another bowl. About mid-bowl I also get an iron/iodine taste that is a little medicinal but in a very good way that is found in the finish. It is very good in group 3 bowls but it sings in my group 5's. A broader chamber really makes this come alive. There maybe a topping on this one as it is sweeter than most and the sweetness lingers on the palate more so than many others. However, if it is topped my best guess would be a simple sugar water nothing more than that and it is so slight it does not add or detract from the flavor at all. This is an absolutely outstanding blend that should age well. I would like to try to do that but all 4 oz. are gone now so I will have to order some more ASAP.

This could be an all day smoke the Nic hit is not really noticeable to me and I find myself smoking several bowls of this every day. It will find a place in my rotation during the summer months and maybe year around. When you wake up wanting a bowl you know it is good!

***Update 2020-11-21*** I have smoked about 5 lbs of this since the original review. Most of this I have smoked between 6 months and 2 years. I love this blend at that mark. However, I had kept back about 8 oz. (as much as I could stuff in a 32oz wide mouth mason jar) that dates to 2014-06-13 so almost 6.5 years are on the jar. For me personally, the blend has lost something. The lat is much fainter, the orientals remain about the same but maybe a little more creamy then before. The VA's have not developed all that much and they have not gotten any sweeter. If anything I feel that the blend is less sweet now that it is new, how that is possible I haven't a clue, but that is my impression. That said I will continue to smoke this often at the 6 months to 2 year mark but see no reason personally to try to hoard this for long term storage.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 09, 2012 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
SKiff Mixture was for some reason ( still unknown to me) my last try in the Samuel Gawith brand pout-pourri. I had smoked plenty of Commonwealth, Squadron Leader, Balkan, Navy mixtures but not the Skiff. Then I tried it by chance and went through the roof. As a lover of the now disappeared Balkan Sobranie the very first word which came to my mouth after puffing on the pipe was: "There it is, i've found it again". In my opinion, if you add just a pinch of Syrian Latakia this is the good old white tin BS. The cure of the tobaccco is different, I know: what used to be is no longer possible. But i simply LOVE this mix. It's like finding the twin sister of a woman you once loved.......... I've seen some reviewers finding it similar to Squadron Leader: no way, imho. SL is as flat as my wife's ironing board, while Skiff is pleasantly complex and plays in totally another league....
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 27, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Full Very Pleasant
I bought this one just to try. Also the result was a pleasant surprise for me, as it is not mentioned too much. It does not have too much nicotine but not so little either. You can inhale it or blow from your nose. Either way the result will be pleasant. It has a distinctive aroma and taste. From ligthing the pipe, to the end owl the bowl, the taste stays the same. Nice ash. Does not burn too hot or quick. No tongue bite. What else would you like in a pipe tobacco... I think it is all there... Try it, you will not be disappointed.
Pipe Used: Various
Age When Smoked: new
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 06, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
I had to write this one as a result of a mistake. I filled a small meer last night with Skiff, put it in my pocket, and forgot it. I've always LIKED this stuff for just what everyone else says: medium, light, steady, no attention needed, satisfying. BUT - since I usually dry this for maybe a half-hour - this bowl dried overnight in the pipe was almost a different smoke. I LOVED it. Started out just a bit sweeter than usual, but darkened steadily down the bowl to a surprisingly full richness at the end. Recommended to any piper as a good intro to Oriental blends. Edit: I just finished another tin only three months from purchase. Upgrading to 4 stars on grounds of good price & GREAT quality.
Pipe Used: small meer, large meer
PurchasedFrom: J&R
Age When Smoked: I'm 70; the tin was 5.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 21, 2021 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Tin note: 5/5 Light but packed with flavor. Spicy orientals and a hint of smoke and floral (you know, like every SG blend it’s a Lakeland)

Cut: 4.5/5 Packs well Ribbons are fine and not too long May need drying time depending on your packing methods. I smoked this right out of the tin lightly packed and it stayed lit and left only a little moisture.

Smokes well few relights. Especially once your tin has been open a few weeks 5/5 nice ash (hehe)

Taste: 5/5 Spicy sweet and lil vinegary like bbq, but without the heaviness. There’s a touch of creaminess more like butter than cream but like I said it isn’t heavy

A bit of floral essence but until it was pointed out I couldn’t taste it.

The star of show here is the Turkish. It provides a peppery kick and a spiciness that just plays beautifully along with the touch of sweetness from the Virginia and the touch of smokyness from the Latakia. A great gateway oriental blend for fans of Presby or Squadron Leader who want a little extra peppery kick and spice without added body. Very light nicotine.

If this were a food item it would be a panini sandwich with smoked Turkey and some kind of peppered jelly with a touch of creamy butter or Mayo, best enjoyed on picnic by the water in late spring.

Overall: 4/5 If you like lighter Englishes and have yet to try a blend with Turkish forward blending give this a shot. If you don’t really know what orientals should taste like (me when I tried this for the first time) this is a great place to start. It’s very clearly the front runner of the blend and that is the strong point of this blend for me.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 08, 2021 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable
My weekly foray at the Sunday unofficial, does not exist due to COVID pipe club enabled me to try a few samples from a fellow unofficial member where we unofficially met. As I have mentioned before Samuel Gawith blends are somewhat hard to obtain, at least by me. Usually when I see them offered on a website, I have previously just bought something else. The tin that I was able to smoke some had a cardboard cutout the shape of the square tin with two holes in it that you use to remove. I guess it helps keep the tobacco nice and snug. In case you are wondering this is called filler as I have just about run out of descriptors in my reviews, but I will try. 🙂 This was presented in the tin with a nice somewhat moist ribbon cut of tobacco which as described is mostly yellow, brown with some black ribbon (Latakia) in the mix. As an Oriental blend the Latakia is light as I would expect with the Turkish in the forefront and the Virginia hovering in the background. I enjoyed that the taste of this blend was consistent from start to finish and turned out to be a nice mild tasting smoke, something that I would probably prefer in the morning with a nice cup of coffee. A really stellar blend with over 200 reviews attesting to its long-time popularity. If you like Orientals I would give this one a try if you can get some.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2018 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
After falling in love with Motzek's Highland Balls and Dunhill's Durbar (both blends where the Orientals are the stars) I was intrigued to try Skiff after reading about it on here. I love me some Oriental-heavy blends, but they are rather rare to find. And...well...this blend has some class and charme to it, it reminds me of why I love Oriental blends so much!

Of course it came way too moist, it's a SG-Blend after all.. just let the tin sit open for 1-2 days, no big drama. After cracking the tin, the wet tobacco didn't give me much of a tin-note, but after some good 6-hours of having the tin opened to air out the tin note is delicate. Flowery, ethereal, slighty musty, with some smoky undertone and only little sweetnes. All in all the tin-note is rather mild in the sense that I have to dip my nose into the tobacco to perceive it.

Beige, yellow, red, brown, black... the fine ribbons compromise a variety of colours, and I think there were several Oriental varietals used. With decent amount of drying time (which it demands, otherwise it'll be bland and have aweful burn characteristics!) it takes the fire like a champ and burns rather cool and smooth.

The Latakia, though present in almost every puff, only acts as a seasoning condiment, which I wouldn't want to miss in this melange. Just some slight, but savoury smokiness rounds of a perfectly blended mix of Orientals/Turkish that are ethereal, dry and woodsy, spicy, maybe even a bit nutty by times and definetly always flowery (NOT in a Lakeland way, but in the unique Oriental-leaf manner!). I don't really perceive much of the Virginias, I suppose they sport some minor sweetness to balance the rich spice and exotic aromas.

If the price of 13,60€ for a 50g tin wouldn't be, this would take a looong, comfy seat besides my stash of Durbar and Highland Balls... but I'm more than served with buying Dunhill blends for 13,60€ per 50g tin... and as SG doesn't plan to leave the market (like Dunhill does), I'll buy a tin whenever mine will get empty, no need to hoard this in panic! If it were to cease from the market, I definetly would, because this is a true alternative to Dunhill's Durbar, lots of similarities, yet each of the two is unique in its own way.
Pipe Used: Clays, Cobs, Briars
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2010 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant
The King is dead, long live the King.

I so tire of hearing of the great blends of the past, especially from smokers whose reviews show they are so old or hardened they could not possibly remember where their car keys are, no less what a tobacco tasted like 10, 15 or twenty years ago.

I love being a beginner, because I still have the taste buds to enjoy a mild smoke. In fact, I hope I never have to "move up", "graduate", become "more sophisticated", etc. bla, bla, bla. I just want to be able to enjoy a tobacco like Skiff forever.

Read BriarPatch since he exemplifies how I feel about Skiff and life in general. And thanks Pipestud, your review and 2 stars let me know this was just what I wanted.

Skiff is a good virginia based mild english. The tin note is delightfully smokey, the taste is sweet and floral (some might say soapy) with a citrus note. The taste is full but shallow, the various mild flavors mixing well but none predominating. The latakia smokiness is evident, without a great deal of spiciness or pepper zing. The turkish seems to blur the taste while making it smoother. Overall a pleasant sweet virginia flavor, with none of the dullness evident in the burly based latakia blends. Dry it out before using.

It will not bite, the smoke is light bodied and mild in strength, with no harshness or rough edges. Aftertaste is tobacco , agreeable if a bit astringent. For me a once a month smoke. More often I smoke SL. If you get canker sores or your lips swell and tingle, don't smoke so often. Try it, it may not be what you are ultimately looking for, but it is not something you will likely throw away.

PS: Use a big rubber band to keep the tin airtight. Also, I know this is heresy but it is great mixed 50/50 with Squadron Leader. Smoke it fast, it dries out quickly and will bite mildly.
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