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 - 11 of 259 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 18, 2012 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
It's all been said. Good stuff. The Latakia and lakeland touch is very soft, which works superbly well. Really its a VA blend, burley blend, lakelands blend and an English blend all mixed together and it still pleases. Nice.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 23, 2013 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The smoky, woody, earthy sweet Cyprian Latakia, and lightly nutty, earthy, woody, toasty burley come into play in small doses, as does a discreet hint of vanilla. The grassy, earthy, tart and tangy citrusy, lightly woody and tangy dark fruit sweet, floral Virginias are the most obvious tobacco components. The whisky is hardly obvious, but occasionally, you'll sense its presence. The chocolate flavor has a deep richness, but is mild enough that it won't steamroll over you. The Lakeland scent is lightly present, and not nearly as overpowering as it is in other G&H products, but it's just enough to help form a well rounded smoke. Overall, the toppings moderately sublimate the tobaccos. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is a couple of steps behind that mark. Won't bite or get harsh, but it has a few small rough edges. The flakes easily break apart. Burns a little slow depending on how you prepare the flake: cool, clean, and smooth with a very consistent, mildly sweet and savory, floral flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. The lightly lingering after taste and room note are very pleasant. Not quite an all day smoke, but it is repeatable.

66 people found this review helpful.
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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.
48 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2014 Medium Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I think that people are often caught off-guard by this tasty flake: It is unequivocally an aromatic in that it includes numerous non-tobacco flavorings and scents. But the term "aromatic," as used in the last few decades, come to imply "sweet and candy-like." Since this flake is predominantly flavored with chocolate, which is primarily used in candy, it is only natural that people should expect a candy experience from it. Then it hits them. This is _not_ candy. The chocolate is savory, as in a Mexican mole dish. The significant dash of latakia adds a smokey, earthiness to the experience. Background flavors of vanilla and something florid (lilac?) add complexity. The smoke is certainly sweet, but not candy sweet. This is an English tobacco, both in origin and in style. It is full, solid, and rich. Smoking this is not a delicate or subtle experience--pack it loosely in a large bowl and enjoy it with a strongly-flavored beverage. I have smoked it while drinking several stouts (really, what could be a better combination than Bob's Chocolate Flake and Young's Double Chocolate stout? the flavor profiles of the two are spot-on) and also with strong English tea. Be sure to give it a solid time to dry as it arrives quite moist. Since it's a dense flake, don't be surprised at a significant number of relights. Also, as others have reported, this stuff _will_ ghost your pipe, so don't smoke it out of a pipe for which the residual taste will be a problem since it will stick around for the next dozen or so smokes.
38 people found this review helpful.
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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
23 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
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??????
15 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
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!
14 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.
14 people found this review helpful.
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