Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Kendal Kentucky

This entry in the Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Kendal line is one hundred percent dark fired Kentucky leaf. Exceptionally full and well rounded. Kendal Kentucky is a full-bodied, full strength tobacco of 100% African grown (Malawi, Uganda, and Tanzania) variation of the actual Kentucky seed. These tobaccos are fire cured which gives them their distinctive aroma and flavor. This is a fairly strong, but exceptionally cool tobacco for the lovers of dark fired Virginias.


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


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

Average Rating

3.48 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 80 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 04, 2019 Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
A blend consisting of African grown Kentucky cured burley and nothing else. In the UK this tends to be sold in bulk form as “dark Kentucky shag”.

I can detect no additional flavouring at all in this blend, other than the smoke that was used to cure the tobacco. I detest some of the floral scents used by G&H and I can’t detect any in this tobacco.

I sometimes wonder if what people identify as “Lakeland soap” is actually the result of the wood and other plant materials used to make African dark fired tobacco. The process is very much the same as the way latakia is cured.

Anyway, on to the tobacco. It’s a shag cut, which means it’s not really a proper shag but more of a narrow ribbon - EU regulations mean any tobacco cut as fine as a traditional shag attracts a higher tax rate as a “cigarette tobacco”. I don’t think the narrow ribbon cut makes any difference to how it smokes in a pipe compared to a true shag cut other than slowing the burn rate a bit. It handles easily, packs easily and lights easily even straight from the pouch. Moisture level is fine as supplied.

Taste-wise this is a typical old-fashioned Kentucky tobacco. Elements of woody smokiness, a touch of spice, some herbal elements and the nutty burley itself blend really well together. It reminds me of the little Italian Toscanino cigars which are made from a similar tobacco. Only this is better. I smoke quite a lot of this and the Virginia based G&H Dark Birdseye, which it resembles except the Kentucky is less brash and assertive. It’s not much like the Dark shag/flake, which has a tang all of its’ own.

The flavour is definitely full - I’ve a serious cold at the moment, can’t taste anything - except this tobacco which has the worst the cold bugs can do beat. It’s a good outdoor tobacco as well, retaining its flavour in a way many tobaccos somehow don’t. Aging doesn’t add anything to the blend, but so long as it’s kept well sealed and moist doesn’t seem to harm it either.

It also packs quite a nicotine punch. Like a lot of traditional old-fashioned British tobacco blends it’s one for pipes with small bowls.

I can’t recommend this enough if you are looking for a straightforward, full flavour, full strength tobacco that you can just load into a pipe and light up.
Pipe Used: Petersons, cobs, Falcons, Invicta...
Age When Smoked: New to as old as three years.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 12, 2009 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I don't normally write reviews based on a 5-bowl sample I was gifted, preferring to smoke an entire tin or a couple oz of bulk brands before I really get to know it. But this tobacco won me over immediately and it just keeps getting better. That 5-bowl sample was parlayed into a 2 lb purchase.

Dark and toasty, with hints of cocoa and sweetness, this beautiful shag cut blend of African Kentucky leaf smokes cool and rich (and fast!) from beginning to end. The taste does not change down the bowl, and I found that rewarding because it starts off wonderfully. It's a fairly strong, nicotine-laden tobacco but the shag cut produces a quick burn, and even a large pipeful tends to finish quickly. Speaking of "finish", the finish on this one makes me immediately want to fire up a second bowl (resist that temptation unless you have the nicotine tolerance of a 2 pack a day Marlboro Man). And speaking of cigarettes, this is a great blend to start the reformed cig smoker on his way to pipe enjoyment. Excellent room aroma as well. I'll be smoking this one very frequently, as I find the overall quality to be the equal of any blend out there. Tired of boring, bland burleys? Here's your cure.
39 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 25, 2012 Strong Very Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong
It's boldly earthy, woody, floral, herbal, vegetative, nutty, toasty, with a light brown sugar sweetness as well as a hint of cocoa, a lot of spice, and notable sourness without the sludge taste of a strong tobacco. Has a lot of strength and a very full taste level. The nic-hit is potent, and I recommend a small to medium bowl at best. It burns perfectly even, clean and cool, with a very consistent flavor from start to finish. Won't bite and only sports a slight harshness if you puff too fast. Has some roughness. Being a shag cut, it burns a bit fast, but clean with a very consistent, deeply rich and rugged flavor that translates to the long lingering, pleasant after taste, and pungent room note. Requires an average number of relights, and leaves very little moisture in the bowl. Not an all day smoke, but you can always have a bowl later on in the day or night. Also makes a good mixer for a blend that needs help.

37 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 14, 2012 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
I can't believe I haven't reviewed this blend as it has been a staple in my cellar for the past three years. I don't regularly smoke a lot of Burley but I can't get enough of Kendal Kentucky. The shag cut makes for a very easy pack and burn; so easy that one has to be careful not to let it get too hot. I am going to go against the majority on this one as I do feel that there is a very, very light flavoring agent used in KK. It is also one unique tasting Burley. It's smoky, slightly sweet and not for beginners. KK is sneaky strong as it starts out medium in the strength department, but by mid bowl the power of KK really makes itself known. I don't find it to get bitter unless smoked too quickly. This is one of those blends that makes me wish for a five star system as it's not quite a four star blend for me, but better than three stars.
20 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 24, 2007 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant
For Burley lovers who prefer strength over topping. This one is a powerhouse and perhaps, no, without question, the strongest Burley I've smoked.

Kendal Kentucky, being a Burley, burns with no problem as you might imagine. It is also easy to pack. I usually smoke Burley crimp, ribbon or cube cuts in larger pipes because they burn so fast. With Kendal Kentucky, you may want to try a smaller bowl. If you are not used to blends that impart a powerful dose of nicotine, don't drive while smoking.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 17, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
The standard by which all fire cured burleys may be judged. Kendal Kentucky is roasty, toasty, smokey, and strong. It manages to be all of these things without being harsh or biting. It doesn't seize you by uvula or make your head spin or your throat tighten. It just has good, tangy tobacco flavor, but with a wooded earthiness than makes it more than apparent that you are smoking burley and not Virginia.

Few burleys and few other tobaccos of this depth and weight manage to be so stout while still being complex and soft on the taste buds. Kendal Kentucky is like the male protagonist in many a Tennessee Williams play: hulking, broad-shouldered, and brooding, but with a definite depth, complexity, and more than a little personal darkness.

If you like Cornell & Diehl's Old Joe Krantz, you're likely going to like Kendal Kentucky. The fact that it manages to be all that it is while still consisting of a single tobacco is a testament to the artistry with which it was produced.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 26, 2012 Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable
Being a shag, KK is fairly easy to pack and very easy to light. Usually, one charring light gets the ember going perfectly. I never bother to dry it at all. It just seems to taste and burn better straight out of the jar, and that taste is why I'm bothering with a review at all.

KK doesn't change much at all during the smoke. What you get at the light pretty much stays the same all the way down. The overall flavor may get a bit richer and fuller, but the profile doesn't change. The flavor, you ask? It's like describing the flavor of your favorite candy bar without being able to actually see the components. From KK, I get a sweet nuttiness like cashews. I get slightly bitter cocoa. There is a spiciness that tickles my tongue occasionally. If anything actually changes with this blend, it would be that the spiciness becomes more pronounced as the bowl progresses. And lingering in the background is that Gawith Hoggarth flavor that I can detect in almost every blend they make. In some it's pronounced, and in others, such as KK, it's very subdued. The overall effect is a beautiful taste that just makes me want to smoke bowl after bowl. Another thing worth mentioning is the sidestream on this one. The sweet chocolaty cigar-like notes that emanate from the smoldering bowl will make your eyes roll back in your head with ecstasy.

Lastly, the end of a bowl of KK will make you feel awfully good about your pipe smoking prowess. Even a novice such as myself can pretty easily smoke it down to the proverbial white ash. The only possible drawback to this blend is the amount of nicotine it imparts. To call it substantial would be a bit of an understatement. Just keep a glass of tea or soda next to you, and you'll be fine.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 14, 2010 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This tobacco is a bit of a trip down memory lane for me as it smells just like the tobaccos my Grandad used to smoke. I'll try to not let that cloud my judgement, much.

It smells nice in the bag (like all G,H&co. pipe tobaccos, it seems you can only buy this weighed out loose in England, so no nice tins) and has an attractive, uniform, burnt umber colouring. Despite the shag cut I found this tobacco to be easy to deal with and lacked both the wimpy ability to put flavour across and the temperamentality I usually find in this kind of tobacco.

The flavour has been well described here; being (to my tastebuds) woody and toasty with a hint of spice and a slight bitter dry edge softened with a natural and delicate muscovado sweetness.

Although this is a fairly strong tobacco I had no probelms with the occasional inhale because of it's seemingly complete lack of additives or flavourings (which always seem to irritate my lungs). I also tried rolling it in a cigarette paper and found it quite enjoyable - retaining it's full flavour and being of a much higher quality than any other hand rolling tobacco I've ever tried, which is admittedly, a limited number.

I can hardly fault the stuff. If you like smoking full flavoured, natural and high quality tobacco and you don't like paying huge amounts of money for the privellage you could do much worse than to smoke this!

Very similar to Kendal Dark so if you're interested in this you may also wish to read reviews of the other.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2014 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
I've been smoking this now for over six months and it is a permanent part of my rotation. Rich, creamy mouthfeel that only Kentucky/Burley can give. Smoking this always makes me think of the 19th century, of dark oily locomotives, farm houses full of tools and old hay. It's like entering a time machine. I like it better than the more modern H&H Old Dark Fired which is so popular now, but this is mainly due to the fact that KK is less processed, and has more N, is more straightforward and...well old fashioned. Not a modern smoke at all. Not to knock Old Dark Fired, which may have greater taste depth.

Aging this a bit (and/or microwaving it for a short time in a mason jar) smooths out most of the edges for me.

The shag cut enhances this in ways I do not understand, as a shag cut can often make other tobaccos difficult, fast burning or harsh. Not this one, as long as it's packed correctly and not dried out too much. Wonderful stuff.
Pipe Used: many pipes
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 22, 2020 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I am honored to have this blend be my first review and, tragically, be the first reviewer in a year!

Piping, what a wonderful hobby. Being relatively new to it, I feel as if I live in a constant rabbit hole; continously chasing extinct tobaccos and trying to identify subtle flavors from countless kitchen sink blends.

Not here. Not with Kendal Kentucky. This here is no frills, in your face perfection. The tasting notes are simple; a wonderfully "one-dimensional" tobacco. No guess work. No confusion. Just pure tobacco that asserts its presence and keeps a smile on your face.

All this craziness about being too strong. blah blah blah. Grow a set of balls and experience what our forefathers relied on to build the wonders of the world. Puff slowly, pack loosely and use a conservative bowl size and you will be well rewarded. This is what tobacco should be. Long live Kendal Kentucky!
Pipe Used: 1946 Dunhill Billiard _ Group 3 Bowl
PurchasedFrom: Bartered
Age When Smoked: 2010 vintage
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 30, 2015 Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Strong
Summary: A shag-cut dark fired tobacco that mediates the smoky flavor with some sweetness for a satisfying full-power all-day smoke.

Most dark fired blends overdo the "fired." This smoke-cured tobacco mediates the dominating flavor of the fire but keeps its fullness, sweetening it somewhat as a result and allowing for a melange of flavors instead of an oil-on-water separation. As a result, this makes for a good all-day smoke without becoming overwhelming in flavor like many dark fired blends. The shag cut -- while often associated with cheap tobacco in bags -- packs and lights easily and burns well, cooler than many of the other shags I have tried. What makes this blend stand out is its ability to balance the smoky flavor and as a result allow it to stand on its own in contrast to the underlying tobacco taste, creating the enveloping sensation of smoked tobacco instead of nearly burned tobacco.
6 people found this review helpful.
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