Samuel Gawith Celtic Talisman

Bright Virginias, burley and black cavendish with a dash of kirsch and vanilla gives Celtic its light and aromatic personality.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Black Cavendish, Burley, Virginia
Flavoring Alcohol / Liquor, Cherry, Kirsch, Vanilla
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin
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

2.76 / 4





Please login to post a review.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 90 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 09, 2014 Medium to Strong Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
First of all, let me remind my fellow Americans that it is "Seltick" Talisman like the basketball team in Boston or Glasgow's second-best soccer club, not "Keltick" like we were uneducated young hipsters in a Portlandia sketch.

Secondly, I must qualify my remarks by saying that I detest aromatic blends. But I generally enjoy most of the Samuel Gawith blends I have smoked, and I enjoy trying new things, and so here I am with a very fresh new tin of CT delivered last night.

After two bowls, I must admit CT is a very pleasant surprise. Upon opening, the aroma is sweet, unidentifiable, and overpowering. I was almost afraid to smoke it. I expected it to be a goopy mess, but it was in fact a little on the dry side. It lights easily and requires little effort to keep going. I am normally sensitive to tongue bite, but no tongue bite here. It left only a dry powdery ash in the bottom of my cob.

The smoke tastes exactly like the aroma. If you don't care for the flavoring, too bad. The underlying burley is bland and may not satisfy fans of Virginias or English blends.

The nicotine dose is a typically healthy Sam Gawith buzz. Plenty of Vitamin N to satisfy you.

The biggest selling point may be that it has the most pleasant room note I've ever encountered. This is a great smoke to enjoy in public or around nonsmokers.

I've never bought a second tin of an aromatic, but I will be going back for more Celtic Talisman.
Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: That online store...
Age When Smoked: Probably just a month or two...
21 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 31, 2012 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I'm not a huge aromatic person, but this is awesome. A cherryish taste, maybe a bit liquer, on very fine quality tobacco. Nice cut, burns well, satisfies my nic craving in the morning with coffee. The tin smell is fantastic, similar in intesity to some of petersons products, but the flavour is not overdone.

If I can ever find this in stock, I'll buy more.
18 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2009 Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Since a long time, my first re-encounter with Samuel Gawith products. During early 1990s I found three of Samuel Gawith products in their line excellent value for money (one which was Commonwealth Mixture although too strong for beginner, another was more suitable, the Squadron Leader, and third was a fairly flavoured one). Then I thought, Samuel Gawith tobacco is always worth of the money and never let you down... (If they had done the same way last 200 years, they certainly can not be wrong)

Some time ago I heard that they had new tobacco, and finally local importer got some of it, the new Celtic Talisman... Old memories about excellent quality tobacco, kept expectations high as I opened the tin...

Indeed.., high quality tobacco and high quality cut, British certainly know how to cut the tobacco (instead of Scandinavian's too thin "shag"), and that contributes a lot to excellent burning characteristics, as will not burn too hot.

I found the tobacco in fresh tin too moist (as had also been the case with other SG products nearly 20 years ago), and had to let small amount of tobacco to dry for sometime. About 10 minutes after handling the tobacco, the cherry casing reminded about its existence, and although mild, fairly persistent...

I used my Peterson 303 system pipe (one without filter) to assess this tobaco, and first notice was that pleasant tobacco to handle, and easy to pack into the bowl. First layer loose, second more dense and third layer firmly pressed.

Lighted with first match (but needed after a while another flame to relight), although tobacco was still bit moist, did not have any attempt to bite, and not temperamential at all. Really well behaving tobacco, and remainded truly pleasant smoking experience... Afterwards.., I noticed that from first impression of relatively mild taste and feel, turned out later with fairly good nicotine kick, and that occured about 15 minutes after had finished the bowl...

Later experiences... Noticed that Celtic Talisman did not leave any sticky substance in the bowl of my 303, but fairly persistent "cherry perfume" appeared to 303 while finished the whole tin, and needed several bowls of another tobacco to be used before faded away from the pipe.

The Celtic Talisman tobacco should be allowed to dry slightly, as it improves while keeping it in tobaccopouch for while, moist tobacco fresh from tin will not burn well, and might even pack too tight into the bowl, if not careful.

Ladies liked the room note, although I mainly prefered to smoke outside. Apparently this is the type of tobacco with satisfies both the smoker as well as the others. Nowdays a certain way to get a favourable attention...

But one thing to remeber..., dedicate some aromatic pipe for this tobacco, as it really remains in the pipe some time afterwards...

Excellent high quality tobacco, neat tin and good value for money. This is the pipe tobacco which can be recommenned to those who like to impress ladies with "good taste" in selecting pipe tobacco. It is tobacco which never let you down... One additional masterpiece from Samuel Gawith...

Full four stars ****
13 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 26, 2008 Mild Very Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Certainly, the tobacco quality is good, but the casing is not, this blend tastes like strawberry chewing gum, I regularly smoke and love heavy aromatic blends, there is some balance to be respected when adding fruit syrup to tobacco, this blend is, IMO, completely imbalanced and was a waste of money.
10 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant
Bright Virginias, Burley and Black Cavendish with a dash of Cherry and Vanilla flavoring. The Virginia is typical Gawith deep Lakeland style and the Burley was somewhat toasty in presentation. The light Cherry/Vanilla infused Black Cavendish made the overall presentation fun and not at all aromatic in the "American" style. I really like this blend.
9 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 06, 2014 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
This is the first sam gawith tobacco i have tried and i have to say im impressed very much. First of all i have a soft spot for aromatics, always have always will. Im glad sam gawith have gone the european aro route were delightful flavourings are added to great tobacco and both work together in harmony. Anywho opening the tin its a tart cherry and i swear i can smell rhubarb. The tobacco is very thick ribbons which pack and light easily. The cherry and vanilla flavours although they are there they arent in your face. And they work extremely well with the flavours of the virginia and burley. But this is an aro with balls. I wouldnt recommend this too total novices as the nic can creep up on you. All in all a great tobacco especially if you like a good aromatic baccy.

Update 8th may 2014. I would like to add some side notes to this review. I still class this as a four star tobacco but during my time smoking i have learned a few things. Packing must be just right not to compact as due to the tobaccos moistness will not smoke at all and not too loose as it will smoke rather too well and become hot and bitter fairly quick.

But once you have the packing right, the extra work care and attention this tobacco needs makes it all the more worth it. It is a truely delightful smoke.

People looking for a heavily cased american candy store aromatic wont find it here, it is in the same tradition of european aromatics very virginia and burley foreward with a dose of black cav to carry the flavours. The said virginia and burley taste wonderful as there flavours come and go during the smoke, the cherry is there to complement the flavoura not override them. I say cherry as i dont really get the vanilla but its no bad thing as the flavours i detect are more than satisfying.

The style of the aromatic as ive said is a european aromatic, think along the same lines as borkum riff, your looking at roughly 60%virginia/burley with the rest being cavendish.

To sum up my review and side notes, i think sam gawith have took the aromatic and reinvented it. There is enough tobacco flavour to keep the purist happy but also just enough added flavour to compliment the tobacco and keep the aromatic fan happy. The best thing about the tobacco is even though it takes the extra work care and attention is it pays dividends in the bucket load when you have it right. Yes it can be a pain but the fact that the extra work needed pays off so fabulously is the reason i havent downgraded the score. When it goes right it is an absolutely stunning smoke and has earned its four stars from me solidly.

Update 27th of may 2014.

I know this review may seem long winded and for that i appologise but i do like to share my discoveries which i feel makes an excellent tobacco better. Yesterday i went to the seaside ajd given it was a nice day i thought id take my pipe and the last of my celtic talisman. I carried it in my dual pipe and tobacco pouch. Anywho i had the bowl and the remnants that were left were about half a bowls worth. I planned when i got home to transfer the half bowls worth back to its little airtight tub. Well i forgot and tidying up this morning seeing my pipe pouch i took a look at the tobacco it had dried considerably. It was almost crunchy and was about to throw it away but something told me to pack and light and im glad i did. It was delicious the cherry was a touch subdued and the tobaccos fkavours were star attraction, zesty sweetness from the virginias and a touch of burley nuttyness meld that together with the tartness of the added cherry and you are onto an utterly exceptional smoke. That drying out although not intentional did it wonders. So i you find celtic talisman try it as is and then dried and im sure you will agree the resultsare exceptional as the drying time in my oppinion will make it a tobacco that will please the aro fan and pure tobacco flavour fans alike.
Pipe Used: falcon bent with alco algiers bowl
PurchasedFrom: specialist whisky and cigar merchant pitlochrie scotland
Age When Smoked: new
8 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 12, 2016 Mild Medium to Strong Medium Very Pleasant
In one of his radio interviews, Bob Gregory mentioned that Celtic Talisman was a mistake - someone mixed a batch of something wrong, and then they sold it.

I guess it's popular, since they still make it, but it tastes like a food chemistry experiment gone wrong. The flavors come off as lab-grown to an extreme, the worst of the cherry cough drop taste that I hate from childhood. Any tobacco flavor is buried under sweet aromatics.

Somebody out there loves this, more power to 'em. Hobbit's Weed makes for a far better cherry aromatic if you're looking for one.
Pipe Used: various
Age When Smoked: fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 04, 2008 Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
Through my tobacco journey I have enjoyed a lot of blends and more importantly learned what I like and what I don?t like. I have learned my tastes gravitate towards more Va ? VaPer ? Va/Burley ?Va Blends and flakes. Although I prefer a more natural tobacco taste with minimal flavoring added if none at all, I have always been on the lookout for an aromatic that still had good, quality tobacco, good taste and frankly some nicotine. I sort of gave up on finding such a blend.

Until now.

Folks, this is as close to the perfect Aromatic/Va-burley I have smoked. It has a fantastic Va taste first and foremost, while the burley and Cav are supporting actors, all on the stage of a cherry flavoring that is not assertive, masking or overbearing. Then the cherry on top (sorry for the pun) it has a good nicotine balance, siding on the lighter side of Medium.

My first advice, please treat this as if it is from Mac Baren. By saying that I mean, let it dry out for 24-48 hours first before smoking it. Straight out of the tin, it can nip the tongue. (I tried it, and I advise not to) This is the only downfall I have found through the half of tin I have smoked.

In the Tin ? The appearance is black, brown, and bright ribbon strands; some chopped, some longer than others. The aroma is fantastically cherry liqueur.

1st light ? Immediately you are aware of the Virginias and it is top notch flavor of Va that dominates this blend. The Cherry/Vanilla are there but not as storng as the natural Va taste. No problem lighting it the first time, once tamped you are your way.

Mid bowl ? You realize the dual play between the Va and the Burley and the taste is a tangy cherry with crème. The Virginias are tangy, and tend to ?sting? the back of the nose but not in a bad way. Something like horseradish. The Nicotine is rising but never goes to far. The unbiased remarks on the room note is, very good but cherry is not mentioned, more of pastry or baked goods. If you made cranberry nut bread and added cherries to it, that is what this is like to smell and to smoke. The Va, Burley and Cav create this ?malted? bread affect and it is all I can do not to chew the stem. (I promise I am not over exaggerating)

Bottom Bowl ? The cherry flavor has backed down, but not dissapeared and you left with a great natural taste where they all have blended together to create a creaminess in the mouth. The tanginess is still present. The nicotine has sat right a level where this could be enjoyed all day, but you know you always know you are smoking something with depth.

I can see this being a great all season, all day smoke for me for a very long time. 3 stars, could have been 4 but the there is a very small tendency of tongue bite if not prepared and dried.
6 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 23, 2017 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable to Strong
This aromatic blend differs a lot from the other S. Gawith's blends.when you open it you instantly get cherry and the base of burley and virginia is not detected to me.a bit moist but no drying is required.needs a few lights burns medium.the flavours are balanced between the topping(vanilla is really on the backround) and virginias.also a nuttyness comes out if you go hard on it.the nicotine level is low so you can start your day with it.leaves the proper moist.for me it's recommended not highly though.i have also to add that the flavour is natural though the room note is very tense.
Age When Smoked: When opened!
5 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 16, 2014 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant
This is a great aromatic blend. The first one that I have found that I have really enjoyed. Opening the tin, I could smell the cherry as I opened the paper. It was a little moist so I let it sit out and decided to load another pipe with Black House. The casing at this point must have gotten on my fingers and it bleed over into a topping on Black House. Those of you who like Lat. and a good aro just think about Black House with cherry flavor over the profile but not overpowering it! What a treat and it was there for about the first 1/3 of the bowl. Anyway, back to CT. Loading was simple lighting was surprisingly simple too. Cherry at the match and cherry was about all I could taste. Oddly, while I normally like to taste the tobacco this was rather enjoyable. To get to the vanilla flavor I had to back way off and sip lightly and slowly. Then there was a faint cherry-vanilla flavor much like a cherry-vanilla coke. It smokes dry too! So well I did something with CT that I have never tried with any other aro. When the bowl was gone I just loosened the fine grey-white ash and dumped it and while the pipe was still warm loaded a second bowl. No need to run a cleaner down it just load and go. This bowl too smoked completely dry! Oh and I should also say that it tastes just exactly like how I remember my great-grandfather's pipe smelled. It took my back to my earliest childhood memory and kept me there for the whole bowl. Thanks SG for the great trip down memory lane!

Now for the lack of the 4th star. I smoked this for three days at night as my primary blend and had went through a little more then 1/2 of the tin but had to leave town and so I came back to it a week later. I am not sure if the tin lid does not fit well or what but that fabulous flavor of deep cherry was gone. Could this be why they never have released it as a bulk buy? I am going to buy another tin and jar what I will not smoke in a week as soon as the tin is opened to see if that will hold the casing better. If it will this blend is worth the extra effort and I will increase the rating to 4 stars. If not I would still recommend it to other cherry lovers.

Update 8/6/17 . . . The jar idea works very well. It will keep that fabulous deep flavor. No need to look further for a cherry blend (although I know I will). This is well worth the extra effort. Upgrading to 4 stars as stated above.
5 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.