Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Best Brown #2

Medium strength flake tobacco. Blended from the finest Virginia and burleys.
Notes: From the G&H Catalogue: A further variation of the popular Brown Flake. A little casing added to the Virginias. A subtle difference.


Brand Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Virginia
Flavoring Sweet / Sugar
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.94 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 30 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2012 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
The Lakeland essence is hardly present. You do get a light nuttiness, some molasses, wood and earth from the burley. The Virginias sport a lot of earth and tangy ripe and dried dark fruit, a little grass and tart and tangy citrus along with a touch of floral, herbal vegetation. The Virginias are more obvious than the burley. I notice a slight sugar topping, though it doesn't really tone down the tobaccos to any degree. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. Won't bite or get harsh even when pushed, though it does have a few small rough edges. It may need a light dry time, though that seems to strengthen the vegetative taste of the Virginias just a little. Burns at a slow to moderate pace, clean and cool with a very consistent flavor. Requires some relights. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl. Has a lightly lingering pleasant after taste, and stronger room note. Can almost be an all day smoke for the veteran.

43 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 26, 2010 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a great lakeland flake. It is the epitome of English tradition. I've always said that the flavor of anything can be reduced to terms that carry negative connotation. McClelland flavor to Ketchup, Lakeland to soap and flowers, etc. The problem with this is that our tongues can only detect a limited number of flavors, and we can reduce anything down to a common term such as "ketchup" or whatever. Someone can say that a delicate Merlot tastes like "grape kool-aid with too little sugar added" if they seek to "reduce to absurdity", if you will. Ignoring the subtle delicacies that play upon our palate to "sweet", "sour", "bitter", ignores the subtle combinations.

I wonder how Lakeland was described before the masses had "dove" soap, or whatever folks are calling the Lakeland flavor these days. Most people in the 1800's didn't know what modern day soap tastes or smells like ... especially men. To these populations, this Lakeland tobacco was probably described as having a "buttery" flavor married with a "blackberry wine". Perhaps our modern day industrial society has produced so many artificial flavors along with condiments with preservatives that we begin to identify everything we taste by common foods, condiments, and toiletries that are mass produced.

If we want to reduce what would otherwise be experienced as enjoyable flavors in our wines, tobaccos, teas, etc. Then we may be missing something. I've heard those with developed palates say of many things, "you have to develop a taste for it". Caviar is one such experience (though I never have developed a taste for sturgeon eggs... salmon .. sure.. but not black or green caviar). "Bitter" is another "developed taste" (English beer .. heavy on the hops). What if someone said that John Adams beer tastes like raw Kale? Would that be accurate?

I won't say BB#2 it tastes like soap and flowers. Instead I'll say that It renders subtle flavors of blackberry and buttered brandy. The nutty flavor of Burly comes through and Burly is further tamed by the Lakeland flavor. The Virginia offers a subtle and natural sweetness.

For those of you who don't enjoy a "full-on" Lakeland flavor, aging takes the Lakeland down considerably. After a year, The Lakeland is better than half of what it was when fresh. Also, the Virginia comes through better over the Burly. Be sure to dry it a bit before smoking (I fill my bowls the night before smoking).

For those who don't want any flavor at all ... try the G&H Best Brown Unscented.

One final note: The Lakeland flavor/aroma is something for which you have to develop a taste. 🙂 3 stars
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 19, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Wow, from reading the previous reviews, this is one highly controversial pipe tobacco! I almost wonder if the quality control at GH could be causing such a wide gap in takes on the added flavoring? Inconsistencies during processing maybe? I can't believe everyone is tasting the same tobacco with such wide gaps in opinions on strength of flavoring, etc... My tin smelled more like a sweet iced tea with lemon! None of the Lakeland type essence as in Ennerdale Flake.

At any rate, I found this tobacco to be highly pleasant, sweet and medium bodied. Very cool burning, no bite at all, and great to the bottom of the bowl. Very consistent throughout, satisfying, and a solid three star blend for me. I really like the stuff, and don't get any of the Lakeland flavor many have mentioned. Slightly sweet rum in the taste, with a tin aroma of sweet iced tea with lemon. Who knows!
Pipe Used: Large bowl Nording briar
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 27, 2010 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The current unavailability of Samuel Gawith flakes, my favorites, has sent me on a tour of Gawith & Hoggarth tobaccos. Since all my old English favorites from the last century (Rattray's et al.) have moved to the continent and been changed beyond recognition, I try to smoke only tobaccos actually manufactured in Britain. At first I was put off by the descriptions (floral notes, soapy aroma, etc.), but I decided to give them a try. Maybe I've gotten accustomed to the tastes now, and in any case I'm sticking to the ones that are not listed with lots of added flavors, but I'm finding them to be excellent tobaccos. My favorite so far is this Best Brown #2. This is a bit of a surprise to me, because I normally don't like Burley, but here it adds some depth to the smoke, and perfectly balances the sharpness of the Virginia. As with Sam Gawith's products, the quality of the leaf is superb. The initial hit of floral note on light-up quickly dissipates, and the flake burns slowly and coolly down to the end. For my taste, these flakes were made for corncobs, and it's made me rediscover the virtues of corncobs. The moisture content is perfect for me straight from the baggie, and I just fold and stuff the flakes right in.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2014 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Best Brown #2 doesn’t offer the strong aromatic scents of many of the other Lake District blends. But that’s not to say that it isn’t noticeable. But I would disagree with those that say this has strong or overpowering Lakeland flavors. The only way that would be the case would be if the other Lakeland style blends haven’t been explored by that person. Although I still would recommend a pipe dedicated to Lakelands. The flavor offers a bit of brown sugar along with the light Lakeland flavor. As others have noted, there isn’t much of the usual floral or soapy flavor, but something I can’t put my finger on. The Virginias are of good quality and the burley adds a nice backbone to the blend. I like it new, and I have smoked it up to about three years old and prefer it aged. I prefer to cut it into small pieces as that offers the best flavor for me. There is a bit of strength here too, but not as much as other blends in this genre. I would put it more at the medium level. As mentioned, BB2 cellars very well too. On a tip from a well-known blender, I have also tried it with just a pinch of Latakia and it makes for a totally different, but satisfying blend too.
Age When Smoked: 1 year
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 12, 2006 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This blend is definitiely a classic G&H blend.

Appearance and Tin Aroma: It looks like a fine stoved VA flake, smells like one too, but also smells like a fine English style tea!

Packing and Lighting: It comes in a rectangular tin and is in a plastic bag within the tin. It is pretty moist upon opening. I recommend rubbing out a bowlfull and letting dry out a bit before packing. Once dried out a little, 2-3 lights max.

Initial Flavor: Classic Lakeland flavor, but restrained compared to the other offerrings by the same blender. Cool, but flavorful.

Mid-Bowl: The scenting does not build up in strength, the Va is in the forefront, the Burley is for body, sometimes I get a flavor hint from it. Round, mellow, gets ino the zone easily.

Bottom of Bowl: Strength does not build up too much, this is definitely a all-day medium blend. Ends with a dry, fluffy-grey ash. Leaves a clean taste in your mouth, not sooty at all.

Overall: This is a classic scented VA/Burley flake. Not something I smoke regularly, but will keep on hand for an ocaisional treat. This will flavor your briar, you have been warned! I have pipes dedicated for Light, Medium, and Full scented blends. This one falls into the "light-scented" category. Give it a try, it is a high quality offering from master blenders G&H, enjoy...
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 10, 2005 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
I've had two of these tins stashed away for two years now and thought it was time to sample one. I don't know what some of the other reviewers were sampling, but I find very little of the typical odors or toppings that can be associated with G & H or SG tobaccos. Also, this is much better than Brown Flake in my opinion. A delicate flake that needs little rubbing out and very little airing. The burn was perfect and the taste was incredible. Sweet, sugary with good body, and I mean sweet from good Virginia tobaccos, very minimal from toppings. I've been rotating Cairo and King Eider lately and BB#2 is a nice change of pace
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2018 Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
Long and thick flakes of differing hues of brown with quite a few crystals formed on them. The tobacco I receive was in a condition ready to smoke straight away.

Earthy and bready/yeasty Virginias cut with some nutty Burley and spiced with an almost imperceptible Lakeland aroma at first which adds a higher note. As the smoke progresses the more I realized the scenting. It has a mildly ‘sharp’, even grassy, overall taste and I do not mean this in a bad way. It tastes like natural tobacco and quite aged at that. Sweetness is there and it also feels natural. Smokes well and cool to a fine grey ash with no bite.

I find that Best Brown no.2 has more flavor than strength which I find only mild to medium. So I do not find it completely satisfying in the nicotine department – but some may like lighter tobaccos in strength. Room note is a little cigaretty.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 12, 2016 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
One for the Burley fan. This is a super solid Virginia/Burley mix, a little less strong than SG's Kendal Cream so it smokes better for me in the morning. The flakes are folded and packed in plastic in the tin, and they've got some early signs of bloom on them even though I haven't done any aging. They are also quite tightly pressed, so I don't even bother trying to rub the blend out, opting for a loose pack and light.

Early on, Best Brown #2 smokes almost a little too sweet for me, but by the middle of the bowl it's calmed down and at the end it is pure heaven. It smells like chocolate in the air, sometimes earning appreciative comments from the crowd.

Funny thing is this isn't my pick for G&H's best brown, that would be Brown Flake u/s. But I'm not primarily a Va/Bur smoker, someone who is might fall in love with this blend quick.

It's another one with classic reviews, too! All over the map, like a Rorschach test, with one gentleman even speculating about how often or not G&H cleans their gear!
Pipe Used: basket pipe
Age When Smoked: freshies
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 26, 2015 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
One of only a few Lakeland blends that I like. This one seems to have an additional flavor that I can't quite identify. Almost like rum, maybe it is rum. The VaBur underlying these flavors is of high quality and I wouldn't mind smoking it by itself. It's pretty much about the added flavors though and I find them to be very sweet and tasty.

Medium in body. Medium to full in taste. Flavoring is medium. Needs a little drying time.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Diplomat Apple, Mark Twain
Age When Smoked: fresh bulk
3 people found this review helpful.
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