Samuel Gawith Navy Flake

Storm-tossed seas, a howling wind, a ship with full sail beating into the wind and Jolly Jack Tar at the helm with his trusty pipe. Images which are conjured up whilst smoking Samuel Gawith's Navy Flake. A traditional offering of Virginias, pressed with just the right amount of latakia and flavoured with rum. Medium strength.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Virginia/Latakia
Contents Latakia, Virginia
Flavoring Rum
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
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

3.17 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 166 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2018 Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Few words to describe a navy mixture or a navy flake. Essential elements of a navy blend are: Virgina – some other tobacco (usually Burley or Latakia or both) – Rum, preferably Jamaican Rum (without any other flavor). Samuel Gawith Navy Flake is really a navy flake, with a harmonious proportion of the ingredients and a skillful dosing of the Rum. Latakia is in a leading role; Rum is perceivable in the background but it is well present; Virginia is the sweet humus on which the flavors of Latakia and Rum develop. This is a quite perfect navy blend but you have to remember that it still remains a Latakia blend. In my opinion a little less Latakia and a little more Rum and that’s it. Anyway an old “noble” navy flake with Latakia. In my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is more than 8 and three stars.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 04, 2014 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The Virginias are slightly grassy with some tangy fruit, providing a nice solid base for the light smokey, woodsy, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia. The Latakia will pop up a little more here and there if you cube cut it, but never enough to dominate. The rum topping is lightly applied, and doesn't tone down the tobaccos much. The strength and taste levels are medium.The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. No bite or harsh moments. This flake may necessitate a little dry time, but not too much, and you do need a little moisture to get the inherent flavors. Slow burning, cool and clean with a smoothly, mildly sweet and savory, consistent taste all the way to the finish, though you may have a little wetness at the bottom. Will require relights. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering after taste. Depending on your smoking habits, this is nearly an all day smoke with just enough strength to keep you interested if you wish to indulge more than once a day.

59 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 20, 2004 Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable
This is another masterpiece from SG, similar in appearance and presentation to their Balkan Flake, but quite distinctive. My discription of the appearance and handling of this tobacco is the same as can be found in my review of SG Balkan Flake. Here the latakia is used sparingly and submerged into the overall flavor of the smoke. Clearly, the Virginia has a top dressing which reminds me of plum, but that is a mere approximation. The result is that the flavor of the Virginia combined with the latakia and top dressing hits a pure and beautiful note that is sustained throughout the entire bowl. This is a mild and mellow smoke that will transport you far from the madding crowd. Somebody at Samuel Gawith is a genius. Most highly recommended. Paddy.
59 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 25, 2005 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
I don't know why I chose to order a bunch of Navy Flake tobacco recently. Perhaps because they all seem so different. I have read books, reviews, pipe board and pipe club "experts," etc, and I still can't seem to get a definitive answer as to what constitutes a Navy Flake tobacco. I've recently smoked three of these genre tobaccos from three different makers and gotten three totally different taste sensations. The only common ground seems to be Rum casing.

Gawith's version contains Latakia in subdued measure along with some varying types of Virginia. My tin was only six months old and perhaps that's why the Virginia didn't taste very "settled." The Latakia did come through lightly as did the rum flavoring.

30 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 23, 2011 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This one took quite awhile to show its strengths. I did not like the first half-tin but eventually I caught up to it. Certainly it seems straightforward enough but it let go of its secrets with reticence.

Nice looking flake... thick flakes that took well to fold-n-stuff. It performed best in that state and with minimal drying out. Too dry and it lost its sparkle, but somewhere halfway between tin moisture and tinder was best. No nicotine overload with this one.

This tobacco has one of the best finishes of any blend containing latakia that I've ever smoked. Even during the first half-tin when I was bored out of my skull, the finish on this was gorgeous. I think this is why I gave it so much attention - in order to get to the end! Eventually the high quality virginia tang won me over, with the wisp of latakia to make things interesting and complex. Never did taste any rum but I could smell it in the tin. A light smolder on this one rather than heavy clouds is the way to go. The flavor seems to open up better with the least amount of heat. This then becomes an almost chewy smoke with incredible depth. I can't quite rank it as a "top dog" but this is one that any VA lover that isn't afraid of a little latakia should try. I will probably pick up a couple more tins (if I can find them) and smoke on rare occasions. Man, that finish is to die for! If the entire smoke tasted like the last few puffs, this would be in the top 5 of my rotation.
29 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 02, 2013 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable
I am a SG flake lover. I also love rum, so I had high expectations for this tobacco. The tin aroma was strong Latakia. I did not detect much rum. As far as flakes go, this was not as difficult to stay lit as some others. Yea it goes out some but the pipe you smoke flakes in makes a big difference. If you are having problems with this, I suggest you get a pipe with a wider inner bowl dimension and one that is not too deep. Check out a Baronet Bruyere 320 EX, a fantastic inexpensive pipe. It sports a 1” inner diameter bowl which is great for flakes.

Back to the Navy Flake review. The smoke has a very pleasant sweetness on the tip of the tong from the rum. It is mild-medium with absolutely no bite and medium nicotine. Not sure of the room note. I definitely don't mind it in my car! My next step is to compare this tobacco to G.L. Peases' Sextant. I'll give this one three and a half stars. I highly recommend it and I enjoy smoking it.
27 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 26, 2012 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
This is an unbelievably satisfying and scrumptious tobacco. I was immersed in enjoyment from the moment I opened the tin. My nostrils filled with a literally mouthwatering sweet, smokey, savory aroma. Visually the strips of tobacco look to be chewy and tasty and match the olfactory experience. As others have mentioned previously, I felt the urge to tear off a bit and begin noshing on the stuff. Instead I rubbed it out and for a first run packed it into a favorite Peterson system pipe. It rubbed out moist but I never dry out tobacco. I like moist tobacco. Dry tobacco usually becomes bitter in my opinion. Lighting up my mouth was filled with smoke that was consistent with both the previous visual and olfactory information I had acquired. DEEELICIOUS! Lots of sweet n'smokey in a smooth viscus and non-monotonous manner. The flavor always stayed in the sweet n' smokey category but varied in degrees of bright and dark flavors. The latakia is only a seasoning here, this is nothing like a Balkan or English Oriental blend. It'a really on the other side of the "English" varieties. Just ripe sweet Virginias with a pinch of Latakia and a splash of Rum. Oh I suppose there is some of the famous (or infamous) Lakeland essence here also. The result is outstanding and a pure pleasure to smoke without a hint of harshness or tongue bite. I've since smoked it in a variety of pipes. It's best enjoyed in a medium size bowl with a bit of depth like my Blakemar Briars Straight Grain,bent billiard. I've smoked it in a nice Shalom Author and the lack of depth led to too much re-lighting. Most very highly recommended!
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 31, 2015 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
The tin note is difficult to describe, but it smells nothing like latakia. It is sort of acrid and somewhat reminiscent of Squadron Leader. As it is customary with SG, these flakes do come in different lengths and thicknesses. The thinner ones will crumble easily whereas the thicker ones are harder to rub out. The flavour is of a subdued nature, creamy and mature. if you could smoke a dusty and musty old book, this is probably what it would taste like. The latakia side of it is not as strong or pronounced as in Balkan Flake, but it gives you the same impression of aged tobacco. I am finding this smoke both mild and satisfying at the same time. I am not sure as to what function the rum flavouring plays in this mixture, or if I can detect any. Not a complex tobacco that will evolve in different layers and undertones as you progress with your smoke, but it is really good for what is. It is easy to smoke, will get stronger every quarter of your bowl and won't change its nature, or get sour, at any point in time. Despite the fact it has no nicotine kick, this tobacco seems better suited for afternoon/evening smokes. The room note is mellow and rich, and has a spicy note to it. This is good old fashioned tobacco and I'll be buggered if it did not please the most demanding smokers out there, so I am going to give it four stars.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 12, 2009 Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I love the presentation of this flake-big, meaty rectangles cut to fit the tin. Dark brown with little lighter flecks here and there, and also some strange almost powdery off-white discoloration. Just sugars leeching out; not mold. Mold is hairy! One can smell the Latakia and the rum, but these do not overpower the Virginias in either the tin smell or the smoke. A good smoke-when one wants a Gawith natural Virginia with a little Latakia and mild rum topping to make it interesting. A good change of pace, in other words. Like most Gawiths I've tried, best smoked slowly, but won't hurt you too bad if you don't.

Well, after finishing the tin just have to upgrade to four stars-can't see why not. A unique and satisfying tobacco, and one of my favorite uses of a light application of Latakia. I will have to get some more, and may try the bulk version.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 20, 2013 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable
Where to start with this one, it's a toughy. Bought it as part of a bulk order with the idea of leaving it enough time to dry out enough not to suffer from any relights from that famous SG moisture. After six weeks and several smokes in the past seven days, I now know I needn't have bothered.

The aroma from the tin is that of a mild rum, very pleasant. The flakes are nicely cut and have an nice healthy brown glow to them. Rubbing out is easy enough as is the packing. The lighting, well, that's where the problems start. Without drying, the tobacco does need a few relights. With drying - this is five weeks worth followed by three seconds in a microwave (yes, I was that desperate) - this improves only marginally. The smoke itself, well, what is there to say? It's just a sorry mess. For the first few smokes I got little bits of rum here and there and the odd whiff of a sea breeze, a fond reminder of a day trip to Whitby perhaps. It was a little dull but not unpleasant. However, as time goes by, the smoke has descended into some kind of intolerable awfulness that just can't be described, the taste of seaweed perhaps? Or the taste of French grapeshot maybe? This quickly descended into something unsmokable and, as a result, confined the remainder to the bin.

So, a very sad day indeed. The first few smokes, while dull, had a little promise. That little taste of sea air that pops up is to be admired, quite noble and ambitious of SG to try something like that, something a bit different. But this sadly, does not float my boat. In fact, it quite nicely sinks it. Which is fine by me because if I had a load of this stuff in the lower decks, I'd quite happily see it sink into a watery grave.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 22, 2017 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Samuel Gawith - Navy Flake.

I reviewed this years ago but wanted to re-post.

The flakes run the length of the tin, are around 2 cm's wide, and are of a medium thickness. They're quite a dark shade of brown with some light grain running lengthways, and the best part of the unlit blend is the moisture: 7/10 for any other manufacturer but 10/10 for Sam Gawith!

When I had my first bowl, years ago, I instantly noticed the thickness of the smoke: big plumes! The Latakia has a more subdued style than some of the over smoky, sharp, and caustic varieties. The Virginias form the majority of the smoke, giving gentle fruit, some sweetness, and a touch of hay. The rum is added lightly: there's no alcoholic traits, only a sort of molasses sweetness from it. Navy Flake burns steady, very slowly, and is cool.

I'd say the nicotine's a bit lighter than the majority of my fellow reviewers: mild to medium, and the room-note's not the best.

Not perfect, but I'll highly recommend it!

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Various
Age When Smoked: New and opened
8 people found this review helpful.
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