Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Bob's Chocolate Flake

The main characteristics of this flake come from the 8% latakia included in the blend and the smooth chocolate aroma. Brazilian, Zimbabwe, Malawi Virginia leaf make up 82% of the blend providing a mild/medium smoke cooled with the addition of 8% Malawi sun cured and 2% Malawi burley. The latakia cools but does also add strength and aroma. The cocoa casings and chocolate top flavors are rounded off with vanillas and other flavors providing sweet notes.
Notes: Due to EU regulations, this was renamed and sold in those countries as "Bob's Flake".


Brand Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Burley, Latakia, Virginia
Flavoring Cocoa / Chocolate, Vanilla, Whisky
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Mild to Medium
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.00 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 47 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 07, 2008 Mild Extra Strong Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
My first acquaintance with Bob's Shock-olate Flake was a horror. It was the first time I tried a Lakeland tobacco, and I was not used to this characteristic scent G&H add to most if not all of their blends. I admit I also didn't bother to dry the tobac very well which it definitely required. The result was a disgusting, over-perfumed, nauseating smoke that made me think I had loaded deadman's deodorated armpit hair in my pipe. Think of lighting up grandma's favorite bra if you find the former association too offensive. A horrid experience it was indeed. Long before the glow had reached the middle of the bowl, Bob's Chocolate Ache was out of my pipe, forever I thought.

No wonder I kept away from this product since then. But after gradually getting used to the G&H Kendal soap, I found I could try once more to make sure I did not have a faulty sample. I was told that the bulk version which I tried sometimes can contain a trace of lavsan which can ruin the smoking experience. So be it, one year passed and I have obtained another sample to commemorate the anniversary of Smoking the Famous Bob's Formaldehyde Fake.

The result this time was different. Dried out, the weed lost at least some of its tonquin aroma, and was smokable. I was also more careful with packing, and lightly packed BCF can even be nice. But I really can understand the one-star reviews. I'd have given minus four after our first encounter.

So here are some suggestions for the ones in doubt:

1. Make sure you're really ready to accept tonquin in your pipe. It's definitely not for everyone. If you have not tried Kendal weed before and want to experiment, start with Samuel Gawith production. Most of it has only got notes of the Lakeland scent (be sure not to choose Grousemoor as the first one though as its loaded with the perfume, although more of a grassy than soapy kind, and forget about 1792 for the time), as opposed to Gawith & Hoggarth's blends that I find are bathed in tonquin.

2. If you find that you don't object to Kendal perfume try Bob's Chocolate Flake, also known as the Beelze Bub's Chalklit Make among some of us. Practice shows it can even become your morning smoke.

3. Check the tobac carefully so that your beloved pipe doesn't get traces of whatever G&H use in production, be it lavsan, church candles, panties... I'm sorry

4. Dry it out.

5. Dry it out again.

6. Rub out some.

7. Pack very lightly.

8. Light up and see if the above steps were actually making any sense.

Two gravestones for this zombie as I can only recommend it to adventurers like myself.
47 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 26, 2004 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
I am updating and upgrading my opinion of Bob's Chocolate Flake after having consumed a bowlfull at a recent meeting of my local pipe club. My first dance with this flake was from a sample in a baggie. This time, I tried it from a tin that had aged for about five months and the results were much better. The tobacco was a little too moist, and that made the rubbing out process a bit difficult. Normally I would let a blend this moist dry for about 12 hours, but, I was eager to dig in. The blend stayed lit well and rewarded me with a semi-sweet smoke that tingled somewhat like Perique when I blew the smoke through my nose. (There is no Perique in BCF. I'm only offering a comparison.) I never tasted the Latakia even though the description says it contains 8 percent of that particular leaf. I did get a wafting from time to time of chocolate and vanilla - but, way in the background and it was expertly balanced in order to provide the smoker with a true tobacco taste.

BCF did have a nice nicotine kick, and that was a plus in my book. I will purchase a few tins and cellar them for several years. I think this mostly Virginia blend will (like Raquel Welch,) age quite nicely.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 23, 2009 Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
I, too, struggled with this blend. Trying to do too much is often not a good thing, and I can only categorize this tobacco as an attempt to bridge smokers of widely varying tobacco styles. The latakia was unnecessary but what I found the most offputting was the Lakeland florals. Sorry to be so trite but it tasted like soap to me for the first third of the bowl - like I had sucked on a dryer sheet.

I got the strong impression that without the florals and the latakia, this would be a very strong offering from G&H. But then it wouldn't be Bob's Chocolate Flake, would it?

All in all, I found this to be a blend of high quality tobaccos blended to a somewhat tragic end. It's something I think most people should try, however, as there seems to be differing opinions - and strong ones on both sides.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 18, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant
i will not do a standard review because i think there are enough already, just a few extra notes. I enjoyed the soapy flavour because thanks to these reviews, and the previous bowl or two i have smoked of this flake, i was expecting it. I still call it soapy but mean that in a way that distinguishes it from other blends/brands, rather than a bad thing. I doubt everyone is going to enjoy this blend however, it is fairly mild all round, and if that soap smell puts you off i cant see you getting into it. Packing it light as suggested was a good idea, i also rubbed it out fairly militantly and left it strewn out on a paper towel for an hour or so before i packed it.

the middle of the bowl hinted at a presence of latakia, but if i was not aware it was in the mix i may not have even noticed.

I also cut off one slice of a petersons 3p's cube and rubbed that into the mix, i think this probably provided the nic hit i noticed when i finally left the beanbag an hour and a half later. Accompanied successfully by a few cups of lapsong souchong tea.
Pipe Used: churchwarden briar
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 14, 2017 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable
A good friend of mine Petros offered me a bowl of this blend.when you open the tin you get a descret chocolate cocoa smell combined with dark fruits.rubs easy and some drying out time is needed for sure.packs ok lights ok and some re lights are needed.when smoking the flavours are natural but a little confusing to me.the chocolate cocoa taste is the main player with dark fruits and get some vanilla notes and latakia are really in the backround.i didn't get any alcohol flavours sorry.burns cool, natural and slow to total ash and very little moisture at the end of the bowl.the nicotine level is medium.the only negative that i found is that it has lots of flavours combined and this is not always good.not an all day blend to me.
Age When Smoked: Rubed and leave it to dry out a couple hours
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 23, 2011 Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I don't regret my purchase. But it is strictly an experiment, a bit of fun not to be confused with the serious smokes with which G, H & Co. are usually associated. I am not a fan of flavoured tobacco, or flakes. But variety is the spice of life...

It comes in a plastic bag inside the tin, no doubt to preserve the aromas. The moisture level is perfect. The flakes rub out easily with one hand. The tin aroma is a little chocolate, a little vanilla, a lot of something else. The Latakia is nonexistent. It is a flavoured Burley flake.

It smokes easily, no bite, does not require more than the initial light. The taste is not chocolate, but an artificial floral scent without even a hint of sweetness. I will not finish the tin. A couple of bowls is plenty.

This one is for the lovers of aromatic smokes, but it is a notch above the usual stuff.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 18, 2007 Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
This is a funny little tobacco from a blending house that seems to pride itself on funny little tobaccos. I love blends of the English Lakeland tradition, but I think that they are best left to Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.'s big brother Sam.

This is a thin flake of light and dark browns that rubs out into long, thickish, hard to manage pieces. The chocolate aroma is, appropriately, I suppose, quite noticeable from the very beginning.

Even for a flake, this is hard to light and keep lit. I found myself cursing it once or twice for this very reason.

Bob's Chocolate Flake boasts a whole host of different tobaccos that went into its blending, but they really don't make much of a difference. At no time could I taste the much touted Latakia and though there is a host of other African grown leaf, I really don't much care. The main flavor comes from a rather half-hearted attempt at the classic Lakeland floral topping, containing some hint of chocolate, yes, but I have never thought that tobacco and chocolate went together all that well to begin with. On the whole, the stuff tastes like baby powder or, at least how I imagine baby powder would taste. That chunky quality made it very hard to smoke the pipe all the way down, also and I know that I emptied a few bowls with quite a bit of waste at the bottom.

Kendall, Cumbria is, far and away my favorite town in England and I find it hard to besmirch any institution associated with it. That is the only thing that earned Bob's Chocolate Flake another star.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 30, 2021 Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Smoking now:

I’m a few bowls into this as it took me a while to gauge it. What this is not is a chocolate flavored aromatic. It’s more of a Virginia Latakia Lakeland blend with slight unsweetened coco notes.

The bag note is fermented hay. Some barley, yes barley, smell too. Very barn like aroma. Maybe a slight coco note too. Broken loose flakes that I let dry for a considerable amount of time.

The taste is predominantly Virginia. A dark fermented hay like Virginia. The Latakia is hardly noticeable but I can tell this isn’t a straight Virginia for sure. I pick up the musty herbal smoky Latakia on the retrohale. The Lakeland essence is there however mild but when combined with the Latakia I actually don’t mind it. There is a cereal or toasted grain quality to this smoke as well. Pairs well with coffee. This I did like. If I didn’t know it had chocolate in the name I would not call this a chocolate blend. Maybe the room note is chocolate but I can’t attest to that. The second half of the bowl the Lakeland flavor makes its presence known. Floral, grassy, perfume, and not my cup of tea but tolerable compared to something like Ennerdale Flake. Burns cooler and smoother than a Virginia normally does, down to ash with little moisture. No bite, slight mouth tingle. An exotic departure from my normal Virginia or Latakia blends. It’s a three star blend even if it’s not in my wheel house. I would “somewhat recommend” it to someone who wanted to try a Lakeland blend.
Pipe Used: Cob
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 18, 2020 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I bought this tobacco to taste test against SG's CH flake and although it is a very pleasant and smokable offering in MHO it cannot compete with CH flake. I feel it important to state that the tobacco I tried was purchased loose and not in tin format. Up on opening my pouch I found quite sizable flakes with a perfect moisture content for smoking straight away. On the nose I found coca as opposed chocolate as there is no real sweetness there that marries very well with a background scent that will be familiar to any Lakeland smoker. I tend to smoke my flakes rubbed out so treated this one no different. Lighting was straight forward and uneventful and I had no problems keeping my pipe lit. The first half of the bowl delivered exactly what the pouch nose promised and as I moved into the second half of the bowl I found the coca and mild Lakeland gave away slightly to allow the tobacco flavour to come through more. All in all a very pleasant experience but not earth shattering and not quite up to competing with SG's chocolate offering.
Pipe Used: chacom calabash
PurchasedFrom: My smoking shop
Age When Smoked: New
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 04, 2017 Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable
This tobacco came packed in A plastic bag packed inside of the tin. The flakes are somewhat shaggily cut. I enjoyed the fact that the latakia comes across lightly and actually complements some of the sweeter top notes nicely. This is one of those rare instances in my experience where the condimental and judicious use of this aromatic herb enriches the blend magnificently. The topping is more notable in the room and note then in the taste. The room note is more pleasant than a Balkan, but significantly less pleasant than your run of the mill aro. I do not appreciate any soapiness in the taste of this blend.
Pipe Used: Random Italian bulldog
PurchasedFrom: Iwan ries
Age When Smoked: New
1 person found this review helpful.
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