Samuel Gawith Chocolate Flake

The first of a collection dedicated to Samuel Gawith 1st, Chocolate Flake is a luxury blend of Virginias, burley and long-leaf latakias. To complete the luxury a rich, dark chocolate has been added after cutting. Excellent smoking qualities with good smoke and a delicious room note. Medium strength.
Notes: Due to EU regulations this is now called "CH Flake" (formerly CF Flake) in Europe.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Series Kendal Mayor's Collection
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Virginia Based
Contents Burley, Latakia, Virginia
Flavoring Cocoa / Chocolate
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

3.02 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 41 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 30, 2016 Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant
I bought this tobacco partly on a whim, partly as a continuation of my ongoing search for the tobacco to end all tobaccos. For General day-to-day smokes, I use Dunhill Nightcap. That's sorted the go-to end of the spectrum. Now I want something with room presence, flavour, and subtle nuances to savour. Sadly, this is not it. Upon opening the tin, the most delicious aroma of Belgian chocolate. Not just 'chocolate' but top quality, rich, slightly bitter, meltingly smooth chocolate from a chocolatier of distinction, supplier to the Crowned Heads of Europe. I could merrily sit and smell this stuff all evening. I did, in fact. Now the downsides. The flake is cut quite randomly, thickness-wise. Not really a 'downside' I suppose, but it makes drying out harder to judge, as you need to dry out some flakes more than others. The drying out.... oh yes, you do need to dry this out well. Direct from the tin, it is stickily moist to the point of being almost unlightable, and certainly not in a fit state to rub out. Gentle or firm rubbing, it just sticks together in chunks. So, after several hours of gentle drying out (made my boat smell like Willy Wonka's factory, but that's no bad place to be) I tried it in a deep bowled briar, first rubbed out, then with whole folded flake. Both proved hard to light, and impossible to keep lit. But that could be me, I'm still learning. Given the heavenly aroma from the tin, I was expecting a chocolate overload in my bowl. Disappointing. No discernible chocolate flavour at all. Not an unpleasant flavour, by any means, and not sickly sweet either. But chocolate? I finally found some chocolate, but that was in the aftertaste, an hour after smoking the tobacco. Don't get me wrong, this is not an unpleasant blend, by any means. I shall soldier on through the tin. But the quest for the all-time favourite must go on.
Pipe Used: Jean Claude bent briar
PurchasedFrom: Burkitt's of Hove, UK. An emporium of the highest quality
Age When Smoked: 6 months
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 27, 2019 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
After trying Bob's Chocolate Flake by Gawith, Hoggarth & Co, I was really curious to try this because I never thought I would like Bob's Chocolate Flake, but I ended up loving it. And since I like Samuel Gawith flakes in general, I thought this would be fantastic.

It is and it isn't.

Don't come here expecting any sort of chocolate. I mean there are some nuances in there, but you really have to struggle to pick them up. Like quarks, the chocolate springs in and out of existence within seconds, it's really quite strange. But think of it like this. You go to a restaurant and order a huge platter of cheese nachos. What you get instead is a huge platter of nachos with just a few drops of cheese sprinkled here and there. About a 2% ratio I would say. Oh and there's latakia in this? I honestly couldn't detect any, that must surely be less than 5% as well.

All that said though, it's a good flake. It's your typical murky, woody Sam Gawith flake. Mine came with the perfect moisture which I found to be odd, but was pleasantly surprised. It smokes easy and cool, and the flavour is deep and satisfying. The virginia and burley's are obvious but like I said, if it didn't say that this blend had latakia here on this site, I never would have even thought about it.

I find it a bit odd because I was really hoping for a good balance of chocolate and tobacco flavour. Samuel Gawith knows how to make fantastic blends, obviously, and I guess I was hoping for something like Firedance Flake - a blend where you can really get the tobaccos and the berries that they used in that blend. But here it's pretty much tobacco full on. While not a bad thing, it's just not fit to be called "chocolate" flake in my opinion. The tin says Chocolate Flake, not "Maybe, once every 20 puffs, if you focus real hard, may get a whiff of the faintest chocolate you've ever had" flake.

Still high quality tobacco and enjoyable to smoke. Just don't come here expecting any sort of chocolate.
Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Local tobacconist
Age When Smoked: No idea
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 01, 2018 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong
This was the most boring Samuel Gawith product that I tried. I have smoked a lot of their products in bulk over the years, having long bouts with their navy flake, best brown, firedance. St. james etc.

There isn't much cholate to be found here, just the occasional whisper. Latakia is present but not enough to keep my interest. The rest of the tobacco is nothing to write home about either. Can get bitter if allowed to smoke too hot.

This might be your pick if you prefer a one note tobacco in which nothing really stands out, and in which the flavors are not very pronounced.
Pipe Used: cobs
PurchasedFrom: Tinderbox
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 12, 2016 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
The most disappointing thing about Sam Gawith's Chocolate Flake is that I found it harsh and disagreeable to my senses. I agree with reviewer anixi, smoking this also left me feeling unwell and it wasn’t for the nicotine. Anyway, whatever Gawith cased this with, as discreet as it may be, just doesn't agree with my constitution, so I'll make this short.

The tin note is fruity and sweet with a subtle trace of smoke from the Latakia. The room note was nice, the aftertaste not so much. Throughout the bowl, I got very subtle hints of the Latakia but could not detect the cocoa. Altogether, I found the flavor to be somewhat dull, which was also a disappointment. I expected a far deeper flavor, especially after listening to an interview with Bob Gregory who mentioned that Chocolate Flake is derived from Full Virginia Flake, which I love.

I can't recommend this flake, but considering the quality of the tobacco, I'll give it two stars because nothing that Sam Gawith produces, at least nothing that I have smoked yet, deserves my one star rating.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 21, 2012 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant
EDIT (23.04.2012): A month of rest in an airtight tin does wonders on this. cheap alcohol and artificial cocoa gone to be replaced with milk chocolate taste. But unfortunately I was down to 2 flakes when this change occured. Last 2 flakes were phenomenal, so I'm indecisive if I should buy more and test. If that's the case then I'll have to change my rating.

Dr. Scott was right about this, it reminds me a bit of Kendal Cream Flake too, which I hate hate hate hate hate (I can go on and on and hate forever)

Lets insert some Samuel Gawith cliche here: inconsistent cut, wet wet wet, few tobacco lots of empty space, dense and dark flakes, hard to rub, relight relight relight but no delight

tin scent was alcohol mixed with something pretending cocoa + vanilla but no chocolate there. it's as if someone poured ultra cheap copy of tia maria liquor over it.

it's supposed to be lightly cased or a light aromatic but I had difficulties tasting the actual tobacco. Also ghosts your pipe big time. Latakia? No, there's fartakia in it but not latakia. even if there was, I guess at some point latakia couldn't bear this stinky cheap liquor odor and took left to its mom's house.

Somewhat recommended because additional balkan flake to it makes it palatable. Otherwise not recommended.

And strange enough, people compare SG- CF to GH-BCF but it has nothing to do with bob's chocolate flake which I had liked very much, even though lakeland flavors do not appeal to me.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 11, 2004 Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
12/11/04 - Chocolate Flake (new tin)

Tin: In the tin, Chocolate Flake lives up to its name - big, pretty, dark chocolate brown flakes in typical SG style. A whiff reveals a bit of cocoa aroma, with full virginias underneath. The flakes have an oily feel to them, somewhat like 1792 Flake. Because of this oiliness, it's a bit hard to judge the moisture level, but at least a bit of drying is appropriate.

Pack: Rubbed out, the tobacco still feels a bit stiff (the oiliness again). It packs into the bowl reasonably well, but I needed a lighter touch than usual to avoid overpacking.

Lighting/Burning: Chocolate Flake lights and burns somewhat reluctantly, regardless of how much I let it dry out. Even on the occasions that I got a good first light, the pipe would die out a bit more easily than I like. I wouldn't call smoking this a struggle, but it's definitely not the friendliest tobacco I've come across either.

Flavor: Without a doubt, this is a VA flake - not an aromatic or a Latakia. The flavor is reminiscent of SG's Full Virginia Flake - lots of dark, low notes with little spice or zing. It's smooth enough, and fairly bite-free as VA's go. The chocolate flavor is pleasant and subtle (much less aggressive than the tonquin in 1792, for example). I can't taste the Latakia at all, though I can see how it fits into the overall richness of the flavor. The flavor seems consistent from the top of the bowl to the bottom.

Pipe/Technique: Chocolate Flake worked the best in my usual flake pipes - group 3-4 pipes with a medium to narrow bowl. A looser-than-usual draw helps with the burning. I gave this a few tries as a unbroken or semi-broken flake, but this only made burning problems worse, so I went back to rubbed-out (as I always do - I'm not very good at flakes).

Overall: I was really excited about this flake after reading the reviews, but it just doesn't work for me. Like FVF, I find the flavor monotonous. But even more so, something about the flavor is just muddy - the parts don't fit together somehow. Add to this the difficulty in getting a good burn, and the tendency to bite if you end up struggling with the burn, and I can't really recommend this. It's clearly good quality tobacco, and the flavor obviously works for some people, but not for me. 2/4
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 05, 2020 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Well, I loved how Samuel Gawith mixed latakia with vanilla casing/topping with the Perfection blend, so I thought this Chocolate Flake should be as interesting as the that one. Unfortunately, not as much. Of course, the components are also different, Perfection has latakia, oriental and virginia and CH Flake has burley, latakia and virginia, so burley is used instead of oriental in CH Flake. And the toppings are different, obviously.

First time I’ve smoked this it was a bit different. I was with a friend and he gave me to smoke a bowl of CH Flake. It was interesting, I liked it, and back then, I did feel a bit of latakia. I repeat: A BIT of latakia. I’m not into aromatics, but when latakia and the aromatic are blended by Samuel Gawith, they result into something amazing. But this one is not near Perfection. Anyway, my friend offered to give me some flakes to try at home.

Well, the flakes have been put into a hermetically sealed jar, kept away from light and at a constant temperature. It’s been months since I’ve put them there, months since I’ve had my first experience with this blend, so now I’ll write this review based only on these four flakes that I have. So this should definitely be taken into consideration.

I also have no idea about its age, since like most Sam. Gaw. codes easily come off from the tin and get lost, and the code came off from this tin as well.

With that said, lets open the tin!!

Dark chocolate! Yes, this is what I can perfectly detect from the opened tin. A dark chocolate smell, cocoa, some grassy notes but very subtle and some green wood.. The flakes are quite bright, showing a lot of virginia aaaand... sugar crystals! Lots of sugar crystals on these babies. Few parts of the flake are darker, which should be the latakia.

Folded flake:

The flakes were still very well hydrated, so I took a flake and let it dry for 30 minutes. I wanted to smoke it first as a folded flake.

I’m not an expert in smoking folded flakes, I usually rub them up, but this one was easy to fold and stuff the pipe. Problem was lighting it. I always have this problem with folded flakes. Maybe I don’t know how to fold them or how to fill my pipe with fold flake, but it takes some time for me to light it and keep it lit, no matter what flake tobacco we’re talking about. It’s not the tobacco’s fault here, it’s me.

However, after I finally lit up my tobacco and started drawing, I felt a cold smoke with just a bit of cocoa flavor and some virginia notes. It ended up burning very well, didn’t go off at all, wasn’t hard to keep it lit, the smoke was cold and smooth, but just very little taste. It’s not how I remembered it when I first smoked it months ago. It used to be stronger in taste, I could detect a bit of the latakia, the virginia and the cocoa and chocolate notes, but this time they kinda faded. Now it’s like a VaBur with some casing/topping. A good combination of the two tobaccos, with little hints of cocoa and some sweetness from the virginia, but the latakia is absent.

Taste is naturally sweet from the virginia, soft cocoa and chocolate hints here and there, smokes cool (doesn’t get hot at all and doesn’t bite).

Room note is pleasant.

Folded flake (second one):

Once the flake started burning equally, it all went well. Burns very well for a folded flake, and indeed the taste changed when it began burning properly. A sweet natural aroma of the virginia is easily detected, a bit fruity at some point, some notes of cocoa and chocolate are there as well. Still no sign of latakia. It’s like a virginia with cocoa casing/topping and some burley.

I left it in my bowl so I could finish some work. As the flake sat more in the bowl (over 12 hours!!) I was surprised that the taste was more pronounced. Sweetness, chocolate and cocoa notes, some hazelnut and almond notes, also reminds me a bit of Amaretto Disaronno taste. Delivers a cool smoke. Virginia is the star. No latakia taste.

Room note isn’t very strong, but its very pleasant.


Very easy to rub and fill the pipe, obviously easier to light but lets get to the point.

It’s quite dull and flat. Again, sweet virginia taste, haylike, and just a bit of cocoa and chocolate in the back. Cold smoke.

Final conclusion:

As I said, I’m not a fan of aromatics, but I kinda like this one. Not as much as I liked Sam. Gaw. Perfection but it’s still a good smoke, good tobacco, decent blend. I’d place this in the aromatics section.

Smells better than it tastes. Smokes well, doesn’t go off or get too hot, but still, it s very mild. Tasted better in folded flake

Nicotine wise, I’d say it’s mild to medium, most probably thanks to the burley which gives it a little strength.

I love to smoke it with a ice cream frappe or a cocoa & milk at night. It might go well with some Sheridan’s. A pleasant smoke for someone who doesn’t usually like aromatics.
Pipe Used: Peterson Sherlock Holmes Original
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 12, 2016 Medium Mild Medium Tolerable
Apparently I live in an alternate universe where every Samuel Gawith bulk box or tin I open contains tobacco at an entirely acceptable smoking moisture, so I load up pipes without a care in the world. No different with Chocolate Flake.

After it's lit, with this blend ... that is where the trouble starts. I'm just not sure where it fits in. The Latakia content is consistent with a light blend, so the VA/Bur component overwhelms it. This is not a problem with a better blended flavored Va/Or/Lat like Perfection, where everything gets a turn in the spotlight. The Virginia doesn't stand out like Full Virginia Flake. The Burley doesn't sing like Kendal Cream. The flavoring isn't outstanding like Firedance.

It just doesn't do anything particularly well. Two stars, and an E for Effort.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 12, 2015 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
Like all of Sam's flakes it comes a little moist for smoking, so I like to pop the tin and leave the flakes inside for 24 hrs before jarring. The tin note is fantastic, it smells like quality drinking chocolate. Being a dense flake I rubbed it out before smoking.

I find the chocolate flavour subtle and it weaves in and out of smoke, when it appears it's a very nice genuine milk chocolate flavour. The latakia doesn't really jump out at the taste buds it's sits in the background adding a hint of richness to the smoke.

Unfortunately I also find an acrid note to the smoke which stays through the bowl, I find this rather unpleasant and for me it ruins the smoke. Pity because I apart from the acrid flavour I enjoyed the flake. I might just put a couple if tins away to cellar and to see if it looses that acrid note.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 11, 2015 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I picked up a tin of this and wasn't too crazy about it. I am thinking that I am just not into smoking chocolate although I do like to eat it. My experiences with chocolate so far are Boswell's chocolate cream, Molto Dolce (chocolatey) and Mac Baren's Honey and Chocolate (despised this one). This was different from the latter two in that the topping was more subtle. Something that I would usually like in an aromatic.

I did not really pick up any of the smokiness from the Latakia, so it must be used sparingly. There is no doubt some Lakeland essence in this that takes the chocolate in a different direction. Otherwise, the tobacco is great like one would expect from SG. Thick flakes in the tin that are well presented. A little difficult to light when fresh.

I am at odds on how to rate this one. Personally, I am at a two star, but objectively it is probably a three. I am holding fast at two stars though as I find this blend odd. I can see where some will and do love this blend, but I think that this is a narrow niche in the pipe world. I know that I won't buy this again, but I may come back and revisit this review after I have had a chance to smoke GH's bob's Chocolate flake of which a tin rests in my cellar.
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