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 81 - 88 of 88 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 27, 2010 Medium Mild Mild Tolerable
After opening a tin that is well over 2 years old, I was greeted with dark almost black flakes with a thin coating of what I would assume are sugar crystals. The tobacco was extremely moist straight out of the tin which brings me to an issue. My tin was only a 50g tin, but the tobacco was so moist that I feel like I was honestly short changed on some tobacco. The tin was filled 50% at best. I compared this to a tin of Erinmore Flake that I recently opened and had twice as much tobacco inside the tin. I also noticed what some of the other reviewers noticed in regards to the flakes being unevenly cut. This was not a huge deal to me. The tobacco has a nice fig, raisin, dried fruit smell to it and some type of topping / casing. I am not sure what is used to top / case this flake. The topping / casing has a slightly fruity smell to it.

At first I decided to rub this flake out and later to cut the flakes up into small piece and smoke. Both methods produced the same results for me. After firing this blend up, I find that it lights extremely easy and needs no relighting. Flavors of dark Virginia greet me with that casing lingering in the background. As for the orientals, there are none that I can detect. They may be in the flake, although during the visual inspection I could not see any pressed in with the Virginia Leaf. I suspect they are in the mixture but in extremely low amounts and the casing overpowers what the orientals would have to offer to this smoke. As the bowl progresses the Virginia just picks up steam and becomes a little stronger then in the beginning. The casing sticks in the background only to jump in and out every so often to let you know it's there. Towards the end of the bowl, it's mainly Virginia that you get. The casing is barely there at all. The blend burned very well, and did not bite at all.

I find that a smoker would be better served sticking with the other S&G offerings, FVF comes to mind here. I was disappointed in the lack of orientals in this flake. I opened the tin with hopes of finding a flake with enough orientals to give me a change of pace. In the end, one would be better to just stick with a straight forward Virginia and save themselves the hours trying to figure out the casing / topping used on this flake.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 12, 2008 Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
An interesting flake which I would say is SG take on Condor but more sophisticated. But that initial taste when lit reminds me of the early days when I smoked Condor but don't be put off by that. Sam's Flake has the good points of Condor without any of the bad ones, I really quite like it. I was attracted to trying this flake because it was supposed to be a Turkish blend but the Turkish note is minimal. I have just enjoyed 100 gram of SG Skiff Mixture which has a notable Turkish and Oriental taste with Latikia. This does not compare to Skiff and is a totally different experience. I would say, an old school English dark pressed Virginia with a slightly heady heather note mingled with a hint of St Bruno and Condor. A good mild mannered all day smoke which performs well in the great outdoors.

I am now into my third tin of this wonderfully even mannered tobacco and, do you know, I think this is going to be my favourite. I cannot fault it, it is also readily available at my local tobacconists in Leeds (Greens of Leeds). In fact the MD of SG was visiting Paul at Greens today.

One myth I should like to dispel and one which I think should be looked at by the forum and that is concerning room note designation. There is no such thing as a pleasant room note and the term is a misnomer. Most most pipe smokers are quite happy in the company of other pipe smokers and tolerate whatever each other is smoking. Non smokers, on the other hand find ALL tobacco distasteful and offensive which I can totally understand so to think that there are brands out there which non smokers will find pleasant is very misleading.

Update- Another reviewer commented on the variety in the thickness of the flakes which I something I have noticed and although I gather this tobacco is cut into flakes on a machine and I am mindful of the operators fingers I am not sure it rubs up very well. I am not sure what they can do but I will contact them to see if they can improve this. Sam's Flake, however has now become my main tobacco, I really find it very very good

Update 2- Regarding the unevenness of flake thickness I duly received a phone call from SG. They informed me that the machine they use is over a 100 years old and sometimes it misses a gear resulting in thick flates. OK this is the problem but it is not my problem and it is up to the manufacturer to address it's problems and come up with solutions for it's consumers. They did not offer to replace the faulty flakes which I thought was a poor show. Anyway, I will persevere and buy more of this flake but if the problem continues I shall move to a different manufacturer.

Update 3- just bought two more tins of Sam's Flake. Same thick flake problem experienced earlier which SG said they were aware of and had corrected so I am afraid it is goodbye Samuel Gawith. I just cannot imagine that tobacco companies can afford to loose customers this easy
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 11, 2008 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
Ok, this is my time to rant a little bit about the quality control at SG, for this experience happens alot with SG flakes. I got a flake in this tin that had to be 1/8 of an inch thick! Conversely, some were as thin as shaved ham. At first I didn't know what to do with the damn thing...should I get out my pocket knife and whittle some off of this loaf? Well I finally got it "rubbed" out and loaded up. You get what you pay for and It's not the most expensive tin, yet it costs enough to me. You guys at SG really need to work on this...its not frickin' rocket science..cut the flakes evenly dammit!

On to the review.

This flake was quite unremarkable. It didn't have a bothersome aroma or taste due to the casing, but it really just did nothing for me. The addition of Oriental leaf sounds good, but it didn't add much in the bowl. Too moist in the tin, but this is not a big deal. If you'd like something better from SG try Best Brown Flake, if you'd like something stronger try 1792 or Bracken Flake.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 23, 2007 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Tin: Vaguely mint floral, SF has predominantly an earthly, grassy, VA aroma, combined with something acrid, like tomato paste. It is quite similar in appearance to SG FVF, like very supple, soft and pliable beef jerky; dark brown, bird's-eyed, mottled and striated with light brown and blonde; only half as long as bulk FVF. SF comes folded in a nice gold paper. Chalky white striations give the appearance of mildew.

Dried out, it has a lighter hue, tan overall, and the blonde is much more evident; it is only partly dry after 4 hours, not bone dry.

Packing and Lighting: When rubbing the pressed/sheet-cut into smaller pieces, it has a stickiness and is a chore to rub out. It is easy to pack too tight. A two-match light, it does not produce excessive gurgle and pretty much stays lit.

Taste and Aroma: It has a grassy floral aspect; someone suggested catnip. It is difficult to distinguish between the subtle contribution of the oriental, versus topping. There is no tongue bite.

Nicotine: mild to medium

Room Note: pleasant, like the taste and aroma.

Overall: Not worth much special attention. 2.9 stars
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 26, 2007 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Works best in its own pipe, or as an occasional change of pace in a straight VA pipe. I tried smoking it in my Early Morning Pipe and it doesnt work well that way. The tobacco taste itself is good and pleasent, but just cant compete with the virginia/oriental balance of EMP. However the tobaccos in this blend are excellent on their own. I merely wish the complexity of the tobacco did not depend so much upon the topping.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 31, 2007 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
As others have noted, extremely moist straight out of the tin. I've found it takes exactly two lights to get it going -- the first, huff it just a bit to crisp it -- then tamp it down and then it'll light fine.

A very pleasant taste, not my favorite, but absolutely nothing wrong with this delightful blend. It has a "headier" flavor than my usual Va and VaPer flakes, but that doesn't mean "stronger".

Recommended for those who like Va's but could use some bass notes in the blend.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 06, 2005 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
Sam's Flake is quickly becoming my favorite Virginia tobacco. It's got the depth of quality VA flavor of, say, Best Brown Flake or Old Gowrie, with a secondary citrus-y note from the Orientals. The topping is gentle, probably something along the lines of honeydew. I do not detect any flavor from the topping when smoking. I concur with the other reviewers who suggest making sure the flake is dry, and to use a large bowled pipe. I break up most of the flake directly into the bowl, and then rub out a little as "tinder" on the top of the bowl. My wife commented that she likes the room note of Sam's Flake, something she rarely does. Well recommended.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2005 Medium Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant
Sam's Flake looks like finely sliced strips of beef jerky with bright specks interplayed throughout. I suspect the the bright specks are the turkish leaf used int his flake. The tin aroma betrays some sort of topping, though it is not overwhelming by any means.

When lightly rubbed out, Sam's Flake takes easily to the match. The first impression I got at first light was of some acrid turkish leaf plus something sweet VA-like. The tobacco quickly settles down, though, and it becomes apparent that Sma's flake is an aromatic. The aroma was quite pleasajnt to those around me, but I experienced none of the drawbacks normally associated with aromatic type tobacco - namely tongue bite, nasty muddy taste from below averaqe tobaccos. Instead, Sam's Flake tastes like tobacco and good quality tobacco at that! The spicy/sweet flavor stayted consistent throughout the bowl and it burned down to a fluffy grey/white ash. Sam's flake is a middle weight when it comes to nicotine content though some I know have told me that it gave them a little nicotine "kick".

I will be buying more of this though it will not be my everyday smoke.
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