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 96 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 20, 2014 Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Unnoticeable
Bob's Chocolate Flake by Gawith Hoggarth is superior tobacco, but it needs to be dried. I cut mine into pieces from small upto three millimetres, rub it out and then let it dry, perhaps leaving a little moisture. Sipped slowly this really is first class, deeply satisfying tobacco upfront with a subtle chocolate/cocoa taste in the background. Doesn't ghost. I always buy in bulk. Highly recommended, just remember to rub it out and let it dry.
Pipe Used: Lorenzo Oom Paul & others
PurchasedFrom: 4 Noggins
Age When Smoked: From packet
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 28, 2008 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable
Ahh, the soapy chocolate goodness of Bob's Chocolate Flake. The name sounds delicious, and one is left to wonder whether the actual product can deliver as promised.

Not a chance.

Ok, I don't mean that as an insult. The tobacco is indeed quite good, but I can't imagine for a second how the casings can translate into a discernible chocolate flavor. I can detect something approaching chocolate in the tin aroma--it's sweet and gives off hints of cocoa. But when lit, I get that familiar Lakeland signature cleansing variety. It wears off a bit, after the initial char, and doesn't take away from the essential goodness of Bob's Chocolate Flake. Just don't expect a choco-blast of the candy bar type.

The tobacco is rather stout for an aromatic, and Gawith puts the blend together in a superb fashion. The American ideal of an Burley soaking in sticky absolutely foreign to the design. I often wonder why we can't embrace the British formula to produce anything better than a cheap imitation, like No. 79.

The list of tobaccos that goes into Bob's Chocolate Flake has me scratching my head a little. There's a small portion of Latakia, which I completely miss, and a healthy supply of Virginias. But this tastes nothing like the Virginias I'm familiar with. As the bowl winds down, I'm left with an amalgamation more unique than I can imagine. I only know that I must seek out more Lakeland examples in search of another fine smoke.
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 21, 2015 Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant
Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.'s Bob's Chocolate Flake is a Virginia flake with a difference. The aromatics from Gawith & Hoggarth are applied with an old-school hand and are all-natural. No artificial additives, chemical compounds, or propylene glycol here.

Bob's Chocolate Flake is predominantly made up of Virginia leaf, so it's sweet--but not a grassy, hay-like, citrusy sweetness. In combination with the cocoa and chocolate flavorings, it has a deep, rich sweetness with a bittersweet edge. Some on the forum have likened it to dark chocolate, while others have noted affinities with espresso. I agree with both observations. For me it evokes a cappuccino with cocoa powder generously sprinkled on top. Nevertheless, the flavor is subtle and is predominantly detected in the side-stream aroma. While it is present on the initial light, and it persists throughout the smoke, it never detracts from, but rather enhances, the native virtues of the constituent tobaccos.

The other defining characteristics results from the addition of Latakia and Burley. While 8% Latakia might seem insignificant, it contributes an important component to the flake's flavor. The smokiness of the Latakia is present throughout the smoke, only deepening as the bowl progresses and adding complexity and body. The Burley grounds the blend, adding body and a nutty undertone.

Much has been made about the supposed "soapiness" of Lakeland tobaccos, and it is present here, but only faintly and ephemerally at the very beginning. Nor do I find what "soapiness" there is to be unpleasant (even in its more extreme incarnations, such as Ennerdale Flake), but rather see it as part of the blender's profile.

Nothing lasts for 150+ years without reason, and when I smoke Gawith & Hoggarth's offerings, I often think about how many others have had basically the same experience for literally centuries. It's really a kind of time-machine.
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I waited a while to review this one because every time i tried it in a different pipe is seemed to change a little. Overall the chocolate flavor peeked through 4-5 times throughout the bowl but never stayed constant. The floral presence did stay through out the duration. I assume this is the "Lakeland" flavor everyone describes. The latakia is there but faintly, it mostly shows up at first light. This blend has a good slightly complex flavor. It is very different from anything else i have ever tried. It burns all the way to the bottom without getting nasty or over powering. Not goopy or sticky at any time. I will definitely keep some of this on hand to put into rotation from time to time.

1-15-14 ***UPDATE: I am still experimenting with this blend and the more i mess with it the more i like it. Recently i have discovered if you really rub a flake out to the point it is light and fluffy by rolling it between yours hands and pack it evenly but not too tight you end up getting a VERY solid toasted marshmallow note for the first half of the bowl. I assume this is from the little bit of latakia and possibly some sweet virginias getting some room to breathe. Reguardless this is some good stuff, upgrading to 4 stars!
Pipe Used: Many different pipes
Age When Smoked: New
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 28, 2001 Medium Mild Medium Tolerable
What a wonderful blend. Bob's Chocolate Flake comes in a beautiful brown flake form with bits of yellow and black (the latakia no doubt) and it has a truly wonderful tin, err, bag aroma (it is available only in bulk, as far as I know). I prefer to smoke this without rubbing it out, just roll the flakes, stick em in the pipe, and lighit up. It lights relatively easily and burns very well. The mild chocolate flavoring overwhelms the tobacco at first, but quickly fades from the dominant taste upon the initial lighting to a complimentary flavor which works well with the naturally sweet virginias and the latakia. I am told there is about 10% latakia in it, which I wouldn't have guessed in million years but can definitely see it now that I know it. There is a very subtle smokiness to this blend which works very well with the the Virgninia base and the added chocolate flavor. Eventually the chocolate dissipates almost completely leaving just the tobacco to enjoy, the strength also seems to kick in a bit at this time. Bob's Chocolate Flake leaves a beautiful ash and I highly recommend this to any VA lovers or even to aromatic smokers who are contemplating discovering the world of virginia tobaccos. But enoguh of that petty stuff- what I really want to know is.... Who the hell is this Bob guy??????
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 10, 2011 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Bob's IMHO goes beyond the usual "scent" of GH and into more of an aromatic category. Bob's has a wonderful chocolate smell and unlike many aromatics, the tobacco taste is still forward over the flavoring. Bob's sweet chocolate tin smell carries over to the taste with a medium/mild chocolate taste. I don't detect much of the soap smell that GH is known for in their blends. GH claims that there is Latikia in the blend, but I couldn't find any Latikia flavor. I find Bob's to be a far better chocolate flake than Samual Gawith's. The flake is a bit moist and needs some dry time, but if rubbed out, it will dry quickly. I think this flake with age very well. Highly recommended.

UPDATE: I was able to get my hands on some Bob's from 2008, 2004 and the late 90's and this flake becomes deep, dark and rich with age. Outstanding!
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 23, 2014 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
My review of this is: It feels like you are eating this when smoked.

{Note: i got a sample of long flake. It was not moist, but was sort of "oily". It didn't have any sense of aromatic smell, just interesting.}

I loved it. What a surprise. I do Virginia flakes (with whatever works to taste like tobacco), the more rugged and full of nicotine the better, but this has stuff on it.

It feels on the mouth like you can eat it. There is a sweet syrupy almost oiliness to the mouth feel. Nice taste. Soft smell in the bag that isn't aromatic, yet isn't other than inviting, too.

For me it is a Five Star Flake.
Pipe Used: Corn Cob (best), Breir
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: Fresh 1 oz/$4.75 sample from the dealer
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 22, 2018 Mild Medium to Strong Full Pleasant
Summary: a mild version of the classic Lakeland flake with dark chocolate flavoring that creates a unique and enjoyable smoke.

Like most classic Lakeland flakes, "Bob's Chocolate Flake" starts out with a burst of rough flavor and then melts down into itself, producing a molasses flavor from the Virginias that melds with the warm Burley backdrop, the smoky leathery Latakia, and finally, a chocolate topping slightly offset by the old-lady-bathroom-mat geranium oil "Lakeland essence" madness. The key is in knowing how to smoke it: these flakes are designed for working men in motion in a cold, wet climate. Loosely fill the pipe three quarters of the way to the sides with the flake, then crumble the last ten percent on top as shake. Whip out your wood matches or trusty lighter and really go to town on it; give it the coal, repeatedly, while drawing in fairly strongly, in order to get the tobacco going like a campfire on a rainy day in winter. Now, sit back and make a seal with your mouth around the pipe, then breathe slowly as if you were fixing a teapot or repelling a Norman invasion. It helps to mutter along the lyrics to "Rule Britannia" or "God Save The Queen." What was at first a ragged stream of smoke becomes a soft, silky, and sweet flow of flavor across the tongue with occasional flashes of nicotine. This may not be a go-to for me, since flavored tobacco is difficult, but it is the closest that the UK has to "Prince Albert" and is quite tasty for what it is, plus rather creative in the use of the Latakia to bring out a dark chocolate instead of overly sweet flavor. This is more like a Tootsie Roll than a Hershey's Bar, and a large bowl will last you for two hours of pleasantly distracted smoking.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 20, 2017 Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
I'm not sure why I haven't reviewed Gawith, Hoggarth's Bob's Chocolate Flake before, given that it is one of my favorite pipe tobaccos. I bought a pound of it a year ago to put up but I couldn't help digging into my stash, and now half is gone. Oh well, time to order some more.

What I find so enjoyable about BCF is it's depth of flavor and dark notes. From chocolate to coffee to burnt sugar and molasses, it's one of the richest tasting tobaccos I know of. While it doesn't have any cigar taste, the closest experience I can compare it to is smoking a really good Nicaraguan cigar, like a Padrón Maduro.

This is definitely a burley blend, and I mean that in the best sense. Like any good burley, the taste is nutty, earthy, rich and creamy. The relatively small amount of Latakia is definitely in the background, but adds to the depth of flavor without hijacking it. The virginias are not very noticeable, other than to provide some sweetness (along with the casing, no doubt). There is also just the barest hint of Lakeland essence, which adds to the experience but is so subtle that even those who don't like Lakeland won't be offended.

BCF arrives a little on the moist side and therefore benefits from some airing out. It will take you a couple of lights to get it started and may require a relight or two, but it will burn completely to a dark gray ash and taste good to the bottom of the bowl. Given the quality of the tobacco, at a little more than $50 a pound it is a real bargain.

If you like rich tasting tobacco, you owe it to yourself to try BCF.
Pipe Used: Various briars
Age When Smoked: From fresh to 1 year old
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 10, 2018 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Tin note is very nice, it smells of yeasty tobacco with an added whiff of cocoa, whisky, almonds and a touch of vanilla or tonquin. Comes in broken flakes which can either be folded or rubbed out. They need some drying, but moisture is surely not excessive.

The tobacco lights easily and from the start there is a light floral Lakeland touch which intermingles very nicely with the, also light, cocoa flavoring. Latakia might very well contribute some smokiness to the taste but it is virtually undetectable per se. The Virginias are what I get most from this blend. Dark and yeasty but with grassy tones as well. Strength is just about right for an all-day smoke. What is more the smoke is smooth and cool. This tobacco for me has it all, it has flavor, it has complexity, it has excellent tobacco taste and the flavoring is only mild and very congruent with the tobacco flavors and delicious. It also leaves quite an agreeable room note and smokes to a very fine ash to the last shred of tobacco.

For me Bob’s Chocolate Flake is a fantastic medium strength tobacco that is so full of flavor that you cannot miss! A high quality and very well-crafted product with potential to mass appeal. Highly recommended to Viginia smokers. Could serve well as an introduction to the Lakeland style.
7 people found this review helpful.
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