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Gawith Hoggarth's Dark Flake is a popular tobacco among those who a full smoking experience, in both body and flavour. Comprised of fired and dark air cured Virginias, before being hot pressed in cakes (uncut plug). The Unscented version (U/S) is popular in both flake and plug form, but as with all tobaccos from Gawith & Hoggarth, they can be flavoured. This “aromatic” blend is given a traditional “British” topping which consists of tonquin, maple and liquorice.

As you would expect with the Dark Flake, this tobacco is powerful with a strong spicy and musky flavour. The toppings enhance the almost cigar like flavour and bring a little brightness into play. This slowly fades as you make your way through the bowl, leaving the final half more a natural taste. Dark Flake packs a real punch in the nicotine department and we not suggested for those new to pipe smoking.

BrandGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended ByGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured ByGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBurley, Virginia
FlavoringLicorice, Maple, Tonquin Bean
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50 grams tin, bulk
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Very Strong
Medium to Strong
Full, Very Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable, Tolerable to Strong

Favorite Of 1 Users

9 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2732)
Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

The Virginias are boldly vegetatively earthy with plenty of fermented tangy ripe dark fruit, earth, wood, floralness, and a touch of tart and tangy citrus, cigar and spice. The nutty, woody, earthy, toasty, lightly molasses sweet burleys feature a bit of strength in an important support role. The tonquin is a little more obvious than the maple and licorice toppings. They moderately tone down the tobaccos. The strength and nic-hit are strong. The taste level is just past the center of medium to strong. Won’t bite, or get harsh, but it does have a few rough edges. Needs some dry time. Burns cool, clean and slow with a mostly consistent sweet and rugged, earthy, woody, mildly savory flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires a fair number of relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste, and stronger room note. Not an all day smoke, and I recommend a small bowl for this one.


10 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2012)
Very Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Gawith Hoggarth - Dark Flake Aromatic.

This is the sort of blend I expected I'd want to run a mile from! I remember smoking a some of the scented flakes over the past few years and finding them totally nefarious, but this, although it goes against the grain of what I consider myself to like, is a good smoke.

My 25g pouch contained four long, dark (no surprise), flakes. Very often loosely sold blends have a good hydration but Dark Flake's too damp; it needs airing. The colour was no surprise, and nor was the pouch-note: it smells a bit like perfume.

Now, the smoke is very good. A little perplexing, the perfume note's absent from it, but there is a fairly strong liquorice and maple note. Although the topping's quite heavy, it doesn't cancel out any of the tobacco flavours: of the two the Burley's far stronger than the Virginia. I find that Dark Flake Aromatic's a far more enjoyable smoke if it's sipped gently, that's not due to tongue bite, instead it can develop a bit of a yucky taste on the sides of my tongue when it's chugged. The burn from DFA is absolutely superb: it gives quite a cool smoke, doesn't require much attention, leaves a very white ash, and burns dottle free. Tongue bite? None of it!

The topping's not as ludicrously strong as I anticipated, but something that is very strong is the nicotine! And the room-note's quite pleasant, not great, but not bad.

I like this, I think it's a very good, no-frills, aromatic blend.

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson Kildare P Lip #03

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: My Smoking Shop

6 people found this review helpful.

Len Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Len (11)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

Just tried my first bowl today. I love it. Burns nice and slowly. A robust smoke. Still trying to get around the flavours and how to describe them. After reading the reviews I was apprehensive regarding the nicotine hit, as I don't really know how to telll what that means. Hoping I wouldn't fall on the floor while cooking. I smoked it with a wee drop of whisky. Thoroughly enjoyed it, didn't fall down but felt very satisfied. I like it and will probably be buying some more.

Pipe Used: Falcon

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: Smoke King UK

Similar Blends: Don't know.

4 people found this review helpful.

SmokingHawk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokingHawk (54)
Very Strong Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Oh Man this is the tobacco from Heaven! this was the first words from me after lighting. Very woodsy musky and that Tonquin bean very much present there. I still have a bottle of Dark Obsession which consists of Tonquin bean I immediately recalled that smell. A very balanced Aroma of musky and Lakeland present through out the bowl which faint toward end and nutty burleys takes over. A very fantastic and enjoyable smoke definitely not for a novice as nic hit is felt very early from quarter of a bowl. Bravo Gawith Howard! All the way four stars!

Pipe Used: German Briar

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: GQ Tobacco UK

3 people found this review helpful.

Little Steven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Little Steven (76)
Very Strong Strong Full Unnoticeable

At least half the batch I got was in hard, dry slabs, not unlike those bricks of tea from China. They proved too tough with my trusty chopper, so I ground them finely in a coffee grinder.

Poured into a small bulldog it smoked really nicely. There was pepper and spice, all very nice. To the fore and throughout there was Pepsodent, of all things.

Come to think of it, it might work well rubbed into a pork chop for the barbie!

Pipe Used: Unnamed bulldog

Age When Smoked: New.

Purchased From: C. Gars.

3 people found this review helpful.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (81)
Very Strong Strong Very Full Tolerable

Oh boy, what a baccy's here! Black, moist, ready-rubbed flake made of East African Dark Fired Virginias, Dark Indian Virginias and Burleys. It's double-sweet, being laden with licorice and dry fruits essence.

It's deceptive just like sweet sherry: you may drink a lot of it and it's too late when you realise you're completely drunk. After the first third of the bowl the sweetness fades away and what starts afterwards is bearable only to a really tough smoker with lots of curly hair on his chest, neck and shoulders. It's one of the strongest tobacco I know. After years of smoking strong Kentucky roll-your-own cigarettes I thought I got a hypertolerance to nicotine (f.ex., I routinely inhale Black Birds Eye, and Nightcap barely satisfies my nic crave). But this weed almost gave me spins!

Super-sweet and super-strong. It pushes to the limits in just everything: fullness, flavour, aroma and strength. If you are after some FULLER stuff (as I am), definitely try this sweet poison.

Pipe Used: Parker 42 Bruyere

Age When Smoked: 1

3 people found this review helpful.

Lazarus77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lazarus77 (91)
Extremely Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Nuclear bomb in strength, very pleasant to smoke. Tobacco with unique character. Not an everyday smoke, but 100 % worth to try it. Personally I'm using to mix with other blends.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: 1792 Flakes just more stronger..

2 people found this review helpful.

Jheronimus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jheronimus (1)
Very Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Well, well, well. My first review.

Take this as a beginner's notes for other beginners.

What an experience! I don't like at all the effects of nicotine. Yet, this powerhouse became my most beloved tobacco yet. The taste of the tobaccos themselves remind me of vietnamese smoked prunes, without the acidity, plus some woody earthy slightly medicinal goodness on top. Then the toppings, oh, the toppings! I love lakelands, especially the slightly perfumy kind. This falls into that cathegory; they are floral and fruity with what I assume must be the liquorice, although I wouldn't see it as such if I didn't know it was. They marry with the tobacco in a way that makes me want to wander throught a moor in the rain. I usually smoke lakelands when it's raining outside, the two sensations marry perfectly for me. Which brings me to – the umbrella note is slightly sweet, tobacco-y, heavy and floral. The nicotine makes it so that it is imperative to eat something heavy and preferably sweet beforehand and smoke the tobacco while strolling; whenever I sit down the world starts to spin. That being said, shallower, wide bowls (around 20mm) do it the most justice. I tried smoking it out of narrower bowls but it didn't fare too well. The moisture is a bit of a peculiarity here, I find; when I first opened the tin, the paper was WET, not moist, WET. Yet, after rubbing out and a slight air time it burned well with no bite whatsoever. On the other hand, when I rubbed it out and left to air for around two hours, the toppings mostly said aiós and left me only with a vague memory. I have yet to find the perfect approach – for the time being, I rub the flakes out completely, air for around ten minutes, pack lightly, light dilligently and sip slowly. The flakes also smoke well fold-and-stuffed, surprisingly enough, but the amount of tobacco, and therefore nicotine, is too much for me to handle. To reiterate: I hate the effects of nicotine, yet the taste of this fine leaf is worth enduring them for me. If you, asi I did at first with the unscented version, try this two weeks into pipe smoking, you're likely to have an awful time. If you eventually find a way to endure heavy doses of nicotine, this tobacco is well worth it.

Pipe Used: MM cob(18mm) , briar (20mm, 17mm)

Age When Smoked: Fresh

1 person found this review helpful.

hrhf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hrhf (29)
Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

This flake surprisingly shot to the top of my list of favorites almost immediately. I’ve been working my way through Gawith Hoggarth’s catalog as finances and inventory allow, and I’ve found I like most of their blends. With a few exceptions, I like what GH does with tobacco.

But this Dark Flake Aromatic is truly special.

I must confess I had my reservations as I added it to my most recent order. For starters, I don’t like aromatics. At least, I don’t like aromatics as we know them in America. I did read that these GH aromatics are unlike THOSE aromatics, but I didn’t really know in which ways they’re different. But something told me I should give them a try, and I’m glad I did.

I’d put Dark Flake Aromatic in the same ballpark as Irish Flake and Stirling Flake: rich, bold, strong flakes with a little added flavoring to sweeten the proceedings. But DFA leapfrogged those other flakes to become my current heavyweight champion.

The added flavoring (purportedly tonquin, maple and liquorice) doesn’t necessarily taste like something recognizable to me. But the way it melds with the strong tobacco flavors is an artistic achievement of no small measure.

Maybe what I’m tasting is in the neighborhood of a very strong, spicy, sweetened tea. Maybe not. Whatever it is, it works. And I like it a lot.

I liked it immediately, too. But I’m wary of that sort of thing. Sometimes I’ll like the first bowl of something, but each successive bowl is less enjoyable. DFA has continued to be something I enjoy and crave for a week now, so that’s very promising for the future.

Four stars, easily.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New stock

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Peterson - Irish Flake, Rattray - Stirling Flake (Flake Collection).

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