Samuel Gawith Firedance Flake

Developed with one of the U.S.A.'s lady smokers, FireDance is Our Best Brown 6" Flake subtly flavoured with a combination of blackberry, brandy and vanilla. The smoke is a mild, cool experience with the blackberry the predominant flavour, the brandy in the background and rounded off with the vanilla. A mild and fruity smoke with the strength of Best Brown and a very pleasing room aroma.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Virginia
Flavoring Blackberry, Brandy, Vanilla
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.70 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 141 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 06, 2009 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
I bought a lb. of this, which arrived fairly dry. Burns well, very light aromatic. Perhaps my order had been sitting on the etailer's shelf for a while because I have no problem with it being too wet or overpoweringly scented. BBF with a light top note.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 17, 2013 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
I will start by saying that I am not a huge aromatic smoker. I am, however, a big fan of VA flakes, especially Gawith's Best Brown (one of my all time favorites), which is the base of this blend. I will also say that this blend is very finicky and not for those that don't want to fuss with it. A lot of folks report that it is tough to light and even tougher to stay lit. My first few flakes out of my first tin were in the range of 5 to 6 matches to get a charring light, if that paints a picture for you. But when it dries out some, that tends to go away. I have a system down where I turn my oven on, lay out a few flakes on a paper towel, and sit them on top for 15-20 minutes. The little bit of heat and the paper towel to wick away some of the excess moisture seem to work wonders. That takes care of any lighting and 'goop' issues. Is it worth all the extra trouble? I certainly think so.

I go back and forth on whether I prefer to fold and stuff or rub it out. You can certain play around with the smoking qualities that way, which is nice.

Once it is ready to go, the warm and brown, VA goodness offers a lot of rich flavor. For me, the blackberry brandy casing at this point is not overwhelming. Actually, at this point, it is typically something that I tend to only taste when retrohaling. It's nice to be able to 'switch back and forth' between the VA and that hint of berry. I tend to find the berry flavor to be really pleasant and not overpowering.

This is not a blend for when I want to pack and go. However, when I want to really sit and savor and appreciate all of the nuances, this is one of my favorites. If you are willing to fuss with it, there are certainly some rewarding flavors in there.
35 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 21, 2015 Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant
The Virginia is Best Brown Flake with the following aspects: sugar, a little tart and tangy citrus, plenty of fermented tangy dark fruit, earth, wood and little grass with a floral note. Those characteristics don’t show up all that much as the rich, very sweet blackberry topping dominates all else. I can taste the brandy, and a minor vanilla note, too. There is a slight syrupiness that some may find distracting. The strength is medium. The taste level is a couple of steps past the medium mark. The nic-hit is in center of mild to medium. It may need some dry time, and doing that will reduce the effect of the topping a little, which some may find to be a good thing. The description says “… subtly flavored with…”. No, it’s not subtle. Not at all. Nor is it complex in any real way. This is a highly aromatic flake that is exceptionally sweet. Burns cool, clean and a tad slow with a smooth, creamy, consistent flavor that never weakens. No dull spots, and no bite or harshness. Will leave some moisture in your bowl, and requires some relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste and room note. Not an all day smoke. Two and a half stars even though it is a product of high quality.

26 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 27, 2003 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Well, I don't have time to write a book on this tobacco, but I will give you my 2-cents worth. LOL

Shock and awe! (Hmm, that sounds familiar). Anyway, the smell was unusual and blackberries was certainly one I detected. After rubbing it out, I loaded up expecting a really aromatic smoke.

While casing is evident, I mostly tasted a very mild and Lakeland processed Virginia. Not as strong as other Gawith offerings of this type, for sure.

It took 12 hours of sitting spread out on a paper towel (not me, the tobacco!) to knock the moisture content down to a smokable level.

If you enjoy a subdued aromatic that carries a wonderful room note for the family and friends to enjoy, then give this a try.
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2012 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
A great aromatic from SG, if you like aromatics and still love BestBrown or Full virginia, then this is your choice. as all SG's blends, the only problem is to bring the flakes dry correctly, which is something quite difficult for me. It results in lightning up again and again the pipe. In my repository there are always 4 tins of Firedance, because for me it is a perfect combination of strenght, flavour, and room note. If you dont like BestBrown, forget this blend. If you want a danish-like or dan tobacco-like aromatics, forget it too. This is a SG aromatic, and when you smell the tobacco it is just wonderful in the berries, the vanilla and this wonderful sweet flavour remaining in your fingers. So for me it is a full 4 stars, like FVF.
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 24, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Well, better than I thought! While I like Best Brown Flake and Full Virginia Flake, and I find intriguing the occasional bowl of Grousemoor, I am usually not a fan of aromatics (the only one I smoke once in a while is Mac Baren Cube because it's so flamboyant and garishly excessive) and certainly not of typical Lakeland flavored flakes with their soapy/tonquin flavored and too strong virginias.

This one is an exception, in that it has none of the typical Lakeland flowery flavoring and it has a nicotine content which is quite low and tolerable (unlike Bracken Flake, 1792 and other by the same brand). Yes, it's much more of a classic "American style" aromatic in flavoring, although the blackberry reminds me of Dunhill Three Year Matured Virginia. The difference is that the Dunhill is stomach turning (in taste and nicotine intensity), while this one is quite pleasant.

Ok, you have to like the sweet flavoring: if you don't, steer well clear. But it must be said that in the smoke it translates much less intrusively than in the tin aroma. Actually, call me crazy, it complements the tobacco quite well. And the tobacco is a very fine (though initially rather moist) Virginia flake, juicy and with a nice body, with no harshess and no excessive heaviness. The flavoring comes out in the first half, but just as a top note, never drowning the pure Virginia taste. In the second half, the tobacco is all is left.

If you take care to dry it out a little bit, and especially to rub it out a lot before packing the bowl (usually I like whole flakes, but this particular tobacco absolutely benefits from rubbing out), you will experience a creamy, rich, smooth, cool and easy smoke pleasantly alternating between sweet and sour. No tonguebite AT ALL.

I am not always in the mood for such a flavoring, but I must also say that whenever I "force" myself to pick this tobacco I rarely have a disappointing smoke. Sure, there are FAR better flakes around, but Firedance certainly is not disgusting... on the contrary, it can range from OK to quite pleasant depending on mood, moisture/rubbing out and pipe.

Almost tempted to give it a "Recommended" rating, which is certainly a great accomplishment from S&G since I am not an aromatics fan. If you are, but also care for a nice tobacco underneath the topping, by all means give it a try.
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 09, 2011 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I've tried some SG aromatics, but they just didn't kick me off. Firedance is different. Opening the tin, you can smell blackberry and a pinch of vanilla. The flakes are quite moist, so I suggest to leave the tin open a couple of days to dry up a bit.

For filling the pipe, I use the rubbing method and the just stuffing in method depending on the flake measure. Easy to light, easy to smoke: it's Samuel Gawith!

Very good flavoring and a good nicotine taste, just like Best Brown Flake but with the blackberry and vanilla added.

Recommended if you want a non overwhelming aromatic.

One of my best smoking aromatic blends.
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 28, 2011 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
Here's my spin on Firedance .... Giada De Laurentiis in fishnets !!! 🙂

What this means in tobacco talk :

The aroma of this blend is so good . My wife said the other night .. " you can smoke that around the house if ya need to " .. sigh . The tin says " A blend of fine Virginias with the flavor of Blackberries , Brandy and Vanilla . I'll go w/ that . Mind you , this isnt a super high Aromatic [ not perfumed ] . The Virginia is always there and the " flavor " as well . It's a medium body smoke that smokes slow with a full mouth . Ya cant get it to bite if it's dried enough ... which is it's only drawback . When I first opened the tin I rubbed it a little and went to town . That didnt work at all . Basicly 50 % smoke and 50 % steam . Bummer . So I rubbed it some and let it sit out 30 mins , an hour , 2 hours etc ... At 2 hours it was pretty good [ rubbed mind you ]. Overnight it was fine .. about 6 hours . I didnt rub the hell out of it .. just to break it up and get more surface area goin on . If one were to not rub it I really dont know how long it would take to get ' right ' . I enjoyed it best in a Kaywoodie # 28 .. a smallish octagon billiard [ group 3 ] . In a group 4 Dunhill Billiard it was as good really . In a big ass pipe it was fine but just not as good is all . My kaywoodie # 28 now has a Firedance ghost .. and I'm glad ! I smoked Edgeworth in it today and got alittle Firedance goin on and I liked it . So it can ghost . Again , this isnt like PS Black Currant cavendish that is a high Aromatic .. It's flavored as they say and it's about the nicest flavor I've ever smoked in a pipe ! At TB I'd give it 4 stars without thinking . I really wish it were like a MB product as far as ' ready to go ' ... if so it would be absolutely perfect ! I thank Wicklow for the trade we did . . . Rarely will I blow money on a " fancy " tin that I'm not sure about . Thanks Brother 🙂 ... This blend gets Ruffinogolds highest recomendation ! Giada De Laurentiis in fishnets !!!!
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 25, 2003 Medium Mild Full Very Pleasant
I ordered about eight ounces of Firedance Flake from Knox Cigar last week when they first received the flake. It arrived this morning and I was eager to try it.

Composition: This flake is a mottled mix of light and dark brown, with bright yellow swirls that suggest a presence of leaf rib. This tobacco is a shade darker than Best Brown but not as dark as Full Virginia Flake.

Pouch Aromaa: Blackberry...and something else. I can definitely smell the blackberry that June loves, but there is a definite "british" scenting to it. I can not identify it upon my first sniff, but upon smoking this blend the ingredients become a little more apparent.

Touch: My guess is that this flake was freshly made. The flake is not dense like Full Virginia Flake, nor is it loosely broken like Medium Virginia Flake, I can not help but to compare it to Best Brown in density. The flake is not a uniform color, but I can definitely see that the brick was *lightly* steamed in the press. The outside quarter-inch is dark from steaming, but the inner leaf is almost blond in color. The outside is a little sticky from the scentings and steaming which leaves the flake a bit moist.

I leave a half flake out in the open air to dry for an hour or two before folding it in quarters into a new Boswell billiard.

Flame hits weed and I taste...blackberry. I am not an aromatic fan and the last thing I want to taste is blackberry the entire time. Two puffs in and the blackberry is already fading. The next waves of taste are distinctly british, with the familiar musk/rose/geranium/Lakeland District taste that you either love or hate. It is not strong, and I do not want to discourage anyone who is put off by these tastes. It is so slight that I am sure most will miss it. I was surprised by these scentings as I was not expecting it, nor did I smell them in the pouch aroma. After the first quarter bowl of blackberries and Lakeland scents, there was this *fantastic* transition to pure tobacco taste. I think there is some tonquin in this blend as I tasted a distinct "Topps Bubble Gum" flavor that I only taste with 1792. Where 1792 is loaded with tonquin bean, this flake (if it indeed has any) uses a small bit of tonquin that carries the flavor well. No tonka bonka here, just a smooth transition as if I walked from the ice-cream store to the baseball-card shop with a pipe going. At the half-bowl moment the tobacco finally settled down and all harshness went away. I will give this blend the benefit of the doubt and attribute the harshness at the back of my throat to its youth. The leaf ribs that are present tend to add strength and body when aged, but only add a harsh factor when young. After the flake settled down, it burned quite well on it's own. I was able to casually puff my pipe without fear of the flake quitting on me. The "sage" note that others have noticed is most apparent in the aroma, I did not taste any herbal-like flavoring in the tobacco. The blackberry taste was completely gone from the tobacco by the time I was mid-bowl, but if I searched for it, I could taste it. The blackberry was so faint, it was as if it was merely a crossover taste, a ghost of a previous bowl smoked in my pipe.

After the bowl was done, the finish on my palete was very clean. No "greasy" aftertaste was present (which I taste with many low quality aromatics), nor was there any floral ghosts that stronger scented british flakes can produce. The aftertaste was clean and tobacco-tasty (thanks Jeff!).

I give this blend four out of five stars. Who know how long this blend will be producde, I personally plan on cellaring at least five pound of this stuff. In a year or two, this flake will be phenomenal. My congratulations on Samuel Gawith on using a good blend of tobaccos with balance and restraint with the flavorings.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 04, 2014 Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant
Samuel Gawith - Firedance Flake.

As usual with Sam G' the moisture's horrendous. The tin-note's highly aromatic.

The smoke, like the tin-note, has lots of flavour: I find the piquant berries/alcohol outweigh the vanilla, somewhat. Despite the heavier topping it doesn't bite me. A bowl can be smoked with minimal re-lights, unless neglected. Tongue bite can occur, but this requires forceful puffing.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: potent.

One for the more adventurous!

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 21, 2011 Medium Medium to Strong Full Pleasant
So - Best Brown with Blackberry, Brandy and Vanilla, eh? This is not an American Aromatic by any stretch of definition...I'd call it a Gawith Brit Aromatic, which is a very good thing. No, there's no Lakeland essence here. Thank goodness. No tonquin. No treacle. It's like the finest Marion Blackberry Cobbler hot out of the oven with heavy cream or maybe French Vanilla Ice Cream on it...but the tobacco flavors are not lost. How they acomplish THAT I have no idea. This is my dessert blend for sure. A guilty pleasure. The only strongly flavored thing like this that I really like. Not like University Flake in the least. Maybe it's the Best Brown base that holds it all together...but then I'm not one for Best Brown by itself, so it must be the combination of flavors that holds my interest...well, not only holds but attracts, as there is certainly 'allure' here. Not subtle, not over the top, but just a very succulent way. I don't smoke American Aromatics but maybe a few times a year...but this stuff...this would be my last bowl of the day if I could lay my hands on it often enough. Um, yes, I recommend it highly for what that's worth - each being their own measurer of goodness.
9 people found this review helpful.
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