Samuel Gawith Sam's Flake

The 2nd in our Mayor's Collection. Sam's Flake is a combination of flue cured Virginias and Turkish leaf which after blending is pressed in the hot oven, cut and then treated to a light flavouring which adds another flavour dimension to the tobacco. Good smoke and room aroma with a medium strength.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Series Kendal Mayor's Collection
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Oriental
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring Tonquin Bean
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, 40g, 100g, 250g pouches, 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

2.94 / 4





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Displaying 21 - 30 of 88 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 30, 2017 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A sort of forgotten blend in the gawith lineup. It is the non latakia Oriental version of St James Flake. In other words, scratch the perique and add a combination of oriental leaf. Medium strength and very tasty. Can be compared to Pease's Regent's Flake among others. The Pease has more oriental leaf and is a bit stronger overall. This is very smooth, very slow burning but not too difficult to keep lit. Needs a twenty minute dry time though. All gawith blends have a certain quality of richness and complexity and this is no exception. The tonquin add is a minor player but like some rum adds it serves to meld the flavors and soften any harshness. One barely notices it taste wise. This is a great flake and deserves much wider appreciation.

one add: Anyone complaining about the different size of the flakes...which is very modest in actuality, is not deserving of smoking gawith products. this is a very old school operation (like 19th century old...maybe end of the 18th ) using nearly ancient museum quality presses and is done with care and attention lacking in modern corporate life. Long may they produce as they have for generations.

2nd add: I continue to find myself enjoying this blend. Its just so neglected and for reasons I don't understand. The tonquin is very mild and perfectly melded with the rich Virginia base. Its an addictive blend. Honestly 5 stars if I could.
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 15, 2015 Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Been smoking this blend for on and off last 2 years.The aroma of the tobacco is just amazing.My wife can't stand the room note in most of the blends with latakia or orientals but this one get her approval. As you open the tin you'll see just thin dark flakes and the sweet aroma fills your nose. The flake it self gives best result if you brake flake length wise to small threads and then fold those threads to should have by now a nice plug that you can insert gently into bowl. The plug is easy to lite and after few puffs you'll get this nice aroma from virginias,before you reach to the middle of the bowl the oriental leaf comes in and rest of the bowl is just pure joy to your taste buds. Only fault that I could find is that it is little too mild in strength...a very good morning smoke.
Pipe Used: Pete's,Savis,Stanwells and Big Bens
PurchasedFrom: local tobacconist
Age When Smoked: 6 months and straight from tin
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 07, 2013 Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
For me, this is a very good medium-strength (in terms of N, taste, etc). The flakes were fairly thin and easily worked, and a nice relaxing smoke. As for the flavoring: Orientals? Just enough to believe they are there, but I'm sure they add to the mild complexity of the blend. Tonquin, really? It must have been applied with a fairly light hand. If there had been just a touch of Latakia (which there wasn't; of course sometimes Latakia is considered an Oriental) this would have tasted much like a slightly darker version of the various Revelation replacements. I've hesitated between scoring this 3* or 4*, but decided if I had to think about it this much, I should rate it a 3. I will certainly consider buying this again.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 29, 2008 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
The strength of this flake strikes me as being mild to medium, yet after finishing a bowl, it feels like medium, yet I could easily smoke another, (which is what I'm doing now) I think I'll jus put it down to pure greed.

Taste wise, I'd say it was just a notch up from St James flake, which in turn, is one up from BBF (IMHO) perhaps somwhere around Marlin Flake.

A nice well behaved flake, smooth and easy going, rubbed out well, no problem with burn.

I must either stop adding these flakes to my rotation, or earn more money. My cave is either begining to look like a small tobacconist back room or a smugglers den.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 22, 2007 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
appearence: very dark, supple, leathery, humid, finely sliced flakes. tin aroma: well matured virginia plus a hint of earthiness from the turkish. no topping detected, must be added very sparingly. rather hard to light, as it's so moist, but 3-4 matches plus tamping gets it going. taste: this is wonderful! delicious! onctueux! a rich, semi-sweet taste of stoved first class virginia, with the tanginess subdued by the rather neutral, earthy turkish. a huge amount of cool smoke, very satisfying, and a good deal more strength than reported by others here, imo. dgt reveals some more turkish, and even more of the deep rich va notes.

must be one of the best tobaccos i've ever had (and i've never tasted anything similar). it brings the best of two worlds together: the earthyness of mixtures and the sweetness of virginias, without too much of the va tang nor the dryness of latakia.

sam gawith has done it again!
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 05, 2005 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is my first review, so an introduction is in order. I took up the pipe again about four yeras ago and have stuck to Latakia mixures almost exclusively (Odyssey is my daily smoke), but have ventured into VA flakes recently. I resisted flakes initially because i moslty smoke while driving in California and rubbing out a flake while avioding other drivers on CA freeways approaches suicide. My method, which works very well for me, is to tear off a few shreds of flake and fold/squish them into a large bowled pipe and fire it up with a couple of charring lights, then a final light.

I received this mixture as a sample from Mr Tillman's fine organization (thanks again). It arrived in the ubiquitous baggy and looks like most VA flakes, except there are Turkish flecks in the flake. I suspect they layer the VA with Turkish and then press the tobacco leaves, fement, then slice the tobacco into flakes before tining. It has a slightly cased aroma opening the baggy, but i could not detect an aggressively applied casing in the smoking.

If you want a change of pace from regular VA flakes, but not a Latkia mixture, this is it. It is very complex for a VA flake and smokes cool down to a dry heal. It changes in flavour as you go through the bowl and is very interesting, but not to the point of demanding your undivided attention. I will buy more of this flake, cellar some and have some more for smoking. It does seem to have an almost undetectible scent of that famous (infamous) UK floral scent. It doesn't bother me, but i do know it really bugs many of the reviewers. Just a gentle caveat.

Sam's Flake works well in 9 mm filter pipes (with charcoal) and my traditional Italian-made pipes. Doesn't seem too fussy about the pipe, but i didn't try small bowld pipes.

If you are VA flake smoker, you must try this one. One of the best i've tried.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 07, 2020 Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Sam’s Flake is a wonderful oriental sans latakia blend. The tonquin bean is not really a subtle flavouring but I wouldn’t say it overpowers the tobaccos, rather it complements them. It won’t ghost a pipe but I still like to have a dedicated pipe for smoking this flake, as for instance a pipe in which you’ve smoked Latakia previously tend to overwhelm the taste of Sam’s flake.

I also find the taste intensify towards the bottom of the bowl in a pleasant manner. It doesn’t turn the smoke acrid or harsh, you’ll just get more flavour out of it.

A new tin is fairly moist as is usual with Samuel Gawith and might need a bit of drying time. It’s easily rubbed out and can also be folded if that’s your cup o’ tea. It takes easily to the flame and burns slowly and cooly. The white smoke is creamy and you’ll get a lot of it. Without drying the flakes I found I needed to run a pipe cleaner through the stem about halfway through, otherwise it’s a dry enough smoke. No tongue bite whatsoever.

This is a tobacco that really shines after a couple of years of ageing in tin or jar.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Ginger’s Favourite 626
PurchasedFrom: Local tobacconist
Age When Smoked: Five years
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 05, 2020 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
SAM’S FLAKE: You may be wondering what is the difference between this blend and a simple Virginia/Oriental mixture. And actually I agree with JimInks when he writes the tonquin topping is very mildly applied. This does not mean that it isn’t a good mixture; on the contrary it is truly a refined high quality blend of medium strength. With the tonquin flavor appearing here and there. If you really want to taste the tonquin bean flavor try in this way: first – before smoking don’t eat anything and smoke on an empty stomach (or eat only some bread); second – before smoking don’t drink anything but water. You will be able to taste this specific aroma very well. Samuel Gawith is one of the few to offer the tonquin flavor and it is worth trying it (especially this one and 1792 Flake). For these reasons in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 8 and three complete stars.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 20, 2016 Mild Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
On opening the tin, an intense scent of hay and grass from Virginia greets you. Absolutely no whiff of Orientals, nor of any flavouring. Neatly arranged flake straps of yellow and brown colour, with very few black sparkles. Moisture in tin is unexpectedly low for a Samuel Gawith. This brand normally stands for soaking wet tobaccos. Still, it needs a little drying time before stuffing. According to the producer this mixture consists of Virginias and Orientals only, with an additional flavouring of tonka bean.

The main players of this mixture are the Virginias with flavours of hay, grass, earth and a hint of citrus. The Orientals are in a far background. They are here to donate some body, wood and a little spice to the blend, not to show up. They marry up well with the Virginias. IMO the tonka bean flavouring is unnecessary, but it has been done carefully. I care more about the traces of a floral note that I don’t like. Given the place of production (Kendal, Lakeland) it could be possible, that a cloud of dreadful “Lakeland essence” touched this blend unintentionally. These two alien flavours set back the natural tobacco aromas considerably. The nicotine level is low. This mixture is far from being characterful or deep digging. It does not stand out in any way. I shall not come back to it.
PurchasedFrom: Internetshop of “Synjeco’s Pipe Smoker’s Haven”, Brissago, Switzerland.
Age When Smoked: New, out of the tin.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 31, 2014 Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant
General Impressions:

Sam's flake is a solid Virginia forward Oriental blend. I like the light tonquin topping and the smoke itself is a simple light and go. The strength is on the mild side, and that is the one thing that keeps me from adding into my regular rotation. However, I will be keeping some jarred tobacco on hand when the occasional fancy strikes.

Initial Light I can taste the high quality Virginia's at the forefront, I think the may have used Best Brown as the Virginia base for this. You can barely taste the fruity/vanilla tonquin topping, it peeks in and out lightly playing with the Virginia. The tang of the Orientals reside firmly in the background.

Mid Bowl: The Oriental tang starts ramping up, but the Virginia still resides in the forefront. Tonquin is still playing peek a boo with the Virginia.

Finish: Orientals move solidly to the forefront, tonquin topping is barely detectable on the finish. Smokes down to fine grey ash with little dottle.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Reddit Club Pipe
Age When Smoked: Unknown (No date on Samuel Gawith tins)
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