Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Dark Bird's Eye

(3.30)
Manufactured from dark tobacco 'whole leaf' rather than strips, the mid-rib (or stem) gives the 'birds eye' effect when cut. A strong smoke which was particularly favored by the fishermen as the finer cut meant the tobacco was easier to light and to keep-in on board ship when the weather was bad.
Notes: This is a combination of dark-fired whole leaf Virginias and mid-rib fine cut Kentucky leaf rolled and sliced to make 'bird's eyes'. This fine shag cut was preferred by fisherman and sailors because it was very easy to pack and light.

Details

Brand Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Shag
Packaging Bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available

Profile

Strength
Strong
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Tolerable
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Full
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.30 / 4
68

60

16

4

Reviews

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Displaying 11 - 20 of 148 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 12, 2022 Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant
Long time reader, first time reviewer. 🙂

Dark Birds Eye has quickly become one of my favorite smokes. Deep and rich, sweet and smoky. There’s a bit of chocolate and coffee, especially on the retrohale. Maybe the faintest note of that famous (infamous?) Lakeland essence that others have mentioned, but it’s barely perceptible. Overall this is wonderful all-tobacco smoke. Strong? Yes, but not overly so. Compare to ODF, Kendal Kentucky, Irish Flake, and similar. The fine shag cut makes for an easy pack - make sure to pack it tight, as it will burn quickly. A terrific smoking experience.
Pipe Used: Various
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 18, 2021 Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
There's not much to say on packaging as it comes in bulk, or if you are very fond of it you can buy the 17oz green bag of it. When I first looked inside, I saw a very nice dark brown shag cut tobacco. When I stick my nose in the jar, I smell Mesquite Barbecue, earth, hay, and wood. A very nice smell. It came at the perfect moisture for me and it was easy to pack and light. Just a side note but in my experience the tighter you pack this the easier it stays lit.

Dark Fired Kentucky has a lot of natural oils so as soon as I light my pipe I have plumes of luscious white smoke. The first thing that hits me is the soft, but somewhat spicey barbecue notes from the Dark fired Kentucky. It has a nuttiness, and cigar-like floral qualities. The Virginias add depth, hay and body. The Lakeland is just enough to let you know it's there without making this into any iteration of an aromatic. A nice, bold, real tobacco flavor.

The taste is a medium-full. A nice lingering dark fired aroma. The strength is strong but not as strong as HH Bold Kentucky, more like Old Dark Fired. Right where I'm happy with Lady N most days. The room note is Burley forward so keep that in mind. A very good blend and an easy smoke that is smooth, strong and consistent.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Oceano Poker
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 23, 2018 Strong None Detected Full Strong
A wonderful, stout blend in the manner of Kendal Dark and Kendal Kentucky! The scent of the unburnt tobacco is smoky, hearty and earthy and somehow I perceive a whiff of cinnamon, which I find most pleasant!

Lovely, yet rather coarse cut, but packing isn't too much of a magic trick.. from the first puffs you get a full-bodied, smoky and earthy aroma. Woodsy smokiness, earthiness and a cool, dry smoke. There's a whisper of Lakeland Essence, yet so mild that I think it wasn't applied to the tobacco but got "infected" with it in the production hall. It's not unpelasant and disappears quickly. Not complex at all, what you smell is what you get! Smokiness, earthiness, woodsy notes, with very little sweetness. Perfect for a quick, powerful and satisfying smoke. Tickles the nose pleasantly on retrohale.

Recently I tried quite a few G&H blends (and those produced by them for others) and most of them turned me off.. a few taste of burnt rubber and burnt cookie crumbles, some have too much of the 'old grandma perfume'-Essence... but whenever G&H grabs dark fired leaf, especially Kentucky for blending something wonderful comes out of it! Stout tobacco goodness, that gives me this "back in the old days"-feeling, of old fishermen and sailors that puff this weed in their pipes while working.
Pipe Used: Clays, Cobs, Briars, Morta
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 15, 2016 Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant
Do you really think that your most precious and most craved early morning pipe must be a light sourish Oriental with a whiff of Latakia? That rather will sooth you back into your bed. Take the Dark Bird's Eye - and it will instantly cheer you up for the new day!

Fast-burning potent stuff with pleasant smoky aroma and hints of sweetness is ideal for those still battling their cigarette addiction (like me) and craving a fast nicotine fix in the morning. Not overwhelmingly strong, not sharp (like Kendal Kentucky might feel sometimes). I even dare to inhale it to get that awesome tickling sensation in the throat with no bitter consequences. I would highly recommend this manly tobacco to former heavy cigarette-smokers.
Pipe Used: Tanganyika Meerschaum
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 23, 2015 Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Summary: a strong, comfortable smoke that varies the sweetness of Virginia leaf with spice and mid-range flavors.

Among the codger blends, the shag cuts often tend to be both the most unassuming and the least likely to take prisoners. This dark shag reveals its origins in smoke curing which transfer the sweetness of Virginia leaf into a broader range of flavors and gives it a smoky tang. The odious Lakeland essence, a cousin of AIDS and funeral home rosewater, burns off quickly and leaves a strong dark smoke with undertones of sweetness and earthy flavor. This is a great all-day smoke for people who enjoy being outdoors.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 01, 2015 Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong
This is a stout and moderately spicy tobacco that also smokes smooth, balanced and full of flavor. The evenly cut shag practically guarantees a steady burn with very few relights. At a slow sip the strength is firm but not overwhelming. The flavors are dark, bittersweet and smoky. From time to time I’ll detect a subtle floral note in the side-stream, but for the most part, Dark Bird’s Eye represents the pure tobacco flavor constituent of Gawith & Hoggarth’s stable of blends.

I agree with those who have mentioned how well this stuff ages. The Dark Bird's Eye that I stashed away has definitely sweetened and smoothed out nicely over the last three years. It’s not an everyday kind of smoke for me, but it’s always good.
Pipe Used: Briar & Cob
Age When Smoked: 3 years
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 29, 2014 Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
The fine cut helps with packing and keeping it lit which is good because you will need to seep it in order to get the most of it and also to help you with the potency of this tobacco. A small pipe with a long stem is in order as you will not need more than a 20 minute rendez-vous with your pipe.

There is a caramelized burnt onion taste than I find interesting, a smoky and pungent flavor that remains constant through the entire bowl. A stout, old style pipe tobacco that is good after a meal or late evening.

Virginia lover
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2018 Very Strong Mild Full Tolerable
I (somewhat) recently added reviews of Kendal Dark and Kendal Kentucky, so it remains to round those out with an impression of this related shag, Dark Bird's Eye.

It shares much in common with the other two, but the nose is less woody compared with KK, and less floral than the KD. Moisture is smoking-ready, and a tight pack will do you well.

The taste is astringent - dry, a bit of that rancid chocolate found in KD, and prickly on the tongue - and it leaves my mouth feeling like a good espresso recently passed through. This stuff will enervate ya, lots of taste and nicotine. I prefer it in smaller bowls, but it does well in bigger pipes, too - just takes more 'sittings' to consume.

One of the things I appreciate about DBE is that you can leave a half-enjoyed pipe and come back to it hours/days/weeks later, and in about 3 puffs, it is right back where left off, albeit knocked up a notch.

KK is still my fave of the 3, but this is an easy recommendation for those who like strong shag cuts and the general G&H flavour profile.

A whirlwind tour of English colonial history in your pipe.
Age When Smoked: Recent
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 24, 2018 Very Strong None Detected Full Unnoticeable
I have smoked this on and off over the past several years. I have a jar I bought from an estate dated 2003 and I recently purchased some more at my local (25 miles away) tobacco shop. The 2003 was way darker than the new stuff. They both have the fine shag cut and I did not do a side by side comparison but both smoke really well. It tastes like pure smooth tobacco. No frills, no fancy toppings just good dark earthy tobacco. I read some reviews and smoke this in a small bowl pipe, a KB&B Capitol which one website says was made between 1919 and 1924. I must have built up a nicotine tolerance level because I smoked about 5 bowls albeit small ones with no ill effects. Definitely try this one.

https://rebornpipes.com/tag/kbb-capitol-pipe/
Pipe Used: KB&B Capitol
Age When Smoked: 15 years and new
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 07, 2016 Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
What a nice tobacco, guys !

DBE has just come to Italy, alongwith some five GH’s blends. I had to try it, even at an outrageous price. It’s worth I did it.

It reminds me of Kendal Kentucky, maybe this one has a slightly different proportion of Virginia, but not that much. We are talking of dark fired leaves, at the end. Nice it is the definition of the friend at TR, that this is the espresso (or double espresso !) of tobaccos. As an Italian I should say: SI, CERTO ! (Yes indeed!) Burns like heaven, cool & smooth offering clouds of smoke. The flavour is simple, of true tobacco (no Lakeland scent). The strength builds from something past the medium to a strong mark, but nothing unbearable.

I prefer this into medium bowls. Large bowls… it’s a bit too much.

Good good good. Also in the morning… with a double espresso.
Pipe Used: Castello, Mastro de Paja, Amorelli and others
Age When Smoked: fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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