Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader

Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader pipe tobacco epitomises the traditional English tobacco. Blended dark and bright Virginias, together with Latakia and Turkish leaf results in a perfect, medium bodied product which gives a rich and slow burning smoke.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 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

3.38 / 4





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Displaying 41 - 50 of 544 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 23, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Let me preface by saying: this is a good tobacco. That said, I think there is a lot of hype around this blend that is, IMO, unwarranted. I've always been a big fan of Peterson/Dunhill Standard Mixture, so naturally, I wanted to get my hands on some Squadron Leader. After all, both Squadron Leader and Standard Mixture have been dubbed "the quintessential English blends".

What I loved about this blend was actually not the taste, but the tin note. Imagine going into your grandfathers attic and opening an old wooden chest. Inside, you find a musty uniform that he had worn a century earlier on the Somme along with his bayonette and a faded photograph of his unit. Each trinket carries the memories of trenches, gunpowder, and smoke. That is the tin note.

Now the taste. It was both exactly what I expected and nothing what I expected. I expected this would be a standard english blend, yet due to the hype surrounding it I somehow simultaneously anticipated being blown away by some sectret magic. I was not. Latakia forward but not in your face. Same with the Turkish. The Virginias were also noticable, providing a nice balance. It was just as its been described - a standard blend. Not bad by any means, just nothing special.

Ultimately, I am happy that I tried it, but would not go out of my way to get it again. Probably something you need to smoke yourself, but not necessarily something you will add to your list of favorites.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 01, 2020 Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Squadron Leader is one of the benchmark English tobaccos for a number of reasons. First, it is actually made in England by one of the very few remaining English tobacco houses. Second, that same house has been around for more than 200 years and uses much of the same equipment to produce this fine mixture, which itself has been offered for a very long time. Third, it sits at the middle point in almost all respects of what an English blend is and can offer- no single tobacco dominates, and it is not too strong or mild with respect to either nicotine or flavor. This makes it ideal as an all-day smoke or with coffee each morning. I personally smoke it almost every day after breakfast, and it goes great with good coffee.

The tobacco itself as described above is a base of Virginias with latakia and orientals. Everything. It is a nice ribbon cut that is easy to pack and light. I like to let it sit for five minutes or so, it should be dry to the touch but not crumbly in any way. Too dry or too wet and it becomes harsh and a little sharp, but there is a wide grace zone where it smokes just fine. It is easy to light and only takes a few false lights to get it going, and once lit will require few relights.

The flavor itself is all about balance. While different pipes will accentuate different flavors, overall the effect is one of harmony. You get not too sweet VA, a little oriental spice, and a light, creamy smoky base from the latakia with every puff, and they are cohesive and harmonious. It is lovely in this sense and a true indication of the blender’s skill; this level of smooth harmony is hard to find from other houses. While the flavor is uniform throughout the bowl I never find it boring or cloying.

This does not have to be your favorite English, and you will find many, including others from SG that have more of this or that. You will be hard pressed, however, to find a more balanced and enjoyable moderate English, and this is an excellent reference point for branching out into the genre. When you can get it in bulk it is a very good value also for the quality provided. A home-run blend in every sense, and it provides you the chance to smoke a piece of history.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Straight Grain
Age When Smoked: 3 yrs
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 08, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I should post a few disclaimers. I am an aromatic fan, I bought this because I liked the tin and I never smoked an English blend before.

This blend was surprisingly good. I was really surprised with the whole balance of it. Not sweet, not bitter and the aftertaste proved to be much more pleasant than any other tobacco I ever tried. The room note proves to be very inoffensive and has more to it than the smell of burning plant matter.

It burns extremely cool and will for the life of it not extinguish.
Pipe Used: Keyser no 10
PurchasedFrom: Cedar & Leaf Tobacco shop
Age When Smoked: 2 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 31, 2020 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
Yep, it's a middle english. But that's playing in a crowded field, so I'm looking for SOMETHING to distinguish this smoke from the myriad other middle english mixtures. And I can't find it. No notable virginia sweetness, no unique oriental note, latakia right up the middle (which isn't a criticism, but not notable). The tobacco appears to be of high quality and smokes well enough, and the balance isn't bad.

But there are infinitely more interesting options that are cheaper and more readily available. There's nothing WRONG with this smoke, but there's nothing hugely RIGHT either. If it was cheap and easy to get, I'd go three stars. Since it's not either, I'll go two.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2019 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Whenever I thought I can no longer be impressed by an English Blend, here comes this weasel. It's simply amazing, and the most amazing fact about it is its simplicity. Nothing fancy, a constant mellow sweetness from first light to the last puff, with a whisper of latakia (so yeah, for all you lat bomb fiends, this one ain't for you). I was thrown off at first, as when I read the review a while ago, before actually trying the baccy, Latakia was listed first in the blend composition so I figured that would have been the dominating note. In fact, this is a Oriental/Turkish forward blend, that is very well balanced by the Virginia with a fantastic consistency of taste all throughout the smoke. No bite, regardless of how hard you try to punish it, right moisture out of the tin, sweet mellow nose in accord with the taste (hardly any smokiness, also hardly any dark/black ribbon visible to the naked eye) ... shoot, I may have found my golden tobacco. Ask me again in six months, but if you find me having the same opinion of the Squadron Leader, I may reduce my winter rotation by half next year ... unless I over do it, smoking it to the point I really get tired of it, it has happened before
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 04, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
Received this as gift and it is dated nearly 3 years of age. This is an entry level English that many seem to enjoy, not me. The tobaccos didn't seem to want to provide any type of showcase as they just had a muted taste and I could have napped if it had not been for the way it burned. That is the majority of my issue with it. It took way to many lights to get going then once it was up it fell off again and I thought I was going to need to run to the store for more fluid. I sip my pipes and prefer a slow low temperate burn rate. Can't do that with this batch of SL. The gentleman I got this from had issues with it himself so maybe there is more to it but I have no plans to purchase a tin to find out.
Pipe Used: Malaga
PurchasedFrom: gift
Age When Smoked: ~3 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 01, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
One of the finest blends of Samuel Gawith that is around all the time. It is easy and satisfying, somewhat pleases the latakia lover. Lots of moisture in the tin, needs a bit of air at first. But towards to the end, it is perfect. I would like to have this one in my stock for all times.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 20, 2016 Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Tolerable
I like the tin label, since I am a pilot myself. Too moist out of tin, even for me. Had to let it dry considerably. Smoking conditions are unsatisfying. SQL is a light, faint English Mixture. Disagree with majority of reviewers.

The body of Virginias is obvious. A little scrumptious Latakia is there, but it is under-represented. The Turkish leaf adds some spiciness, which turns quite peppery, cigaretty and acrid in the second half of the bowl. Some guarded topping there, even if they claim there isn’t. This blend is really weak. No depth, no richness, no bouquet. At this point it is a big disappointment for me. I was expecting at least a little power and personality; I thought the name implies this. SQL might not even be an advisable entry to approach English blends. In my opinion this mixture is highly overrated and the occasional fuss about it is not justified. Credit, where credit is due. Not here, I’m afraid.

By the way: You may have heard that there also exists a green labelled Squadron Leader SPECIAL EDITION of 2000 tins only. According to the producer it is the same mixture like the regular SQL, with an addition of Perique. I have made the experiment myself, adding different amounts of pure Perique into the regular SQL. The best result is an upgraded SQL to 2 stars.
PurchasedFrom: Internet,, USA.
Age When Smoked: New.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 22, 2015 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Most things said about this mixture is true.It well deserves four of anyone's stars.It is complex and satisfying. The blend itself is pure genius, but,alas, I get the dreaded bite.Am I doing something wrong..I let it dry out just a tad.I tried different pipes.I want to like it,but how do you like a dog that nips you on the ankles. Well, I have a fair stash off it and will plod on. Maybe needs more ageing. I am smoking this now, after dinner and that severe bite seems to have been somewhat tamed.I think it's all down to palate chemistry. Boy, is this good ! Less bite, just a smooth, complex smoke. Judge not that he be judged ! Thinking of going to 3 stars
will try tomorrow.I just know this is a great baccy, it just has to prove itself..... Bite is the only issue.Squdron leader is a great name for a tobacco.Why? Well,you must watch the movie,reach for the skies,about Douglas Bader and his great heroism as a pilot in WW2. At that time ,they all smoked a pipe.It was the pinnacle of pipe appreciation ,alas,lost,in the present day. Whilst blowing up Nazi targets,they would still have a pipe in their gobs. You had wing commanders ,air chief marshals, squadron leaders.What great fun to suck on a pipe whilst exterminating the evil Nazi regime
Pipe Used: Dunhill
PurchasedFrom: Gq
Age When Smoked: New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 11, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Somehow it's a moot point writing yet another review to this classic blend, but here it goes.

I can smell leather already through the yet unopened iconic tin but funnily when i open the tin i hardly can smell anything at all. To this day i cannot figure out why. The smell comes once the tin is open for a day or so, then it smells just nice but still very discreet.

Packing the bowl is easy as can be but lighting the bowl always takes me ages and shedloads of matches. Another thing with this blend that i cannot figure out for the life of me.

But once lit its pure joy. It has a very nice balanced and mild taste to it with a gentle sweetness underlined by some light smokiness of the latakia. The latakia is not in the foreground and even tho a classic english blend i wouldn't label it as a latakia blend.

It is very, very mild for an english blend. This is true for the taste but especially for the strength of it. In that regard it is a perfect morning pipe and a hard to beat every day smoke. It also makes it very suitable for the beginner.

But it is far from being bland or boring, even for a balkan lover it offers perfect balance and a really nice taste and smell experience.

But its unique selling point is the sheer smoothness, and silkiness of the smoke itself. It is so incredibly creamy i started to use it to cure tongue bite other blends might have given me.

The tobacco itself is wet, wet, wet. Which is my only beef with this blend really. Here is something depressing to do: weigh the freshly opened content of the tin and then weigh the content again after it dried out enough to be nicely conditioned. That is how you spell "rip off"!

But, aside from that, this is a must-try blend for anyone and a true example of how to blend an english blend. I truely and with a clear conscience can recommend this blend.
Pipe Used: It went trough rotation.
Age When Smoked: Fresh
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