Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Bosun Cut Plug

With only slightly over 50% (54%) flue-cured Virginias from Brazil, Zimbabwe and Malawi, and 31% dark fired leaf, this is a fairly strong smoke. The addition of some sweeter sun cured leaf from Malawi, and the rich cigar type notes from the dark air cured Indian grade help to round off the blend. The special Virginia casings complement the top notes derived from the addition of sharper flavours including oil of cloves and rose geranium.


Brand Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Virginia
Flavoring Floral Essences, Spices
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging Bulk, 16 ounce bag
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.32 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 73 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 17, 2016 Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The various Virginia tobaccos are very earthy, slightly spicy and grassy, mildly floral and woody with a light smokiness, a bit of fermented ripe dark fruit and some citrus. The Malawi burley provides earth, wood, and some nuttiness as a supporting player. The noticeable cigar notes underscore the experience. The oil of cloves is lightly added with the rose geranium being the more prominent topping, both of which sublimate the varietals quite a bit, though they don’t drown them out. The strength is a couple of steps past the medium mark, while the taste is in the center of medium to full. The nic-hit is medium. No chance of bite, and has no harsh or dull moments. Burns a little slow, cool and clean with a fairly smooth and creamy, very consistent richly sweet and floral flavor from start to finish. Needs some relights, but leaves very little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste and a stronger room note, which lingers just a little, too. For those experienced in Lakelands, this could almost be an all day smoke in small bowls. Three and a half stars.

32 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 13, 2012 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
One of the best exemplars of the Lakeland style I've come across. This is one of those dreaded "floral" or "soapy" blends that trigger intense love/hate reactions. Personally, I love the stuff.

Like most GH products, Bosun Cut Plug is quite easy to smoke and doesn't irritate my mouth (I'm very sensitive to tongue bite, so this is a key point for me). The tobaccos themselves don't seem to be very sweet and in fact can tend toward bitterness. What saves this blend is the flavoring, which adds a bit of sweetness to the mixture. It's a more "flowery" concoction than, say, Ennerdale Flake but less so than Kendal Flake. The description says there is clove here, and while that's not the dominant note I think I can detect some....Overall, I am most reminded of an Indian dessert while smoking this. It's got both spicy and floral notes, and goes best after a large meal.

The strength is a little higher than medium. It's not a nicotine bomb like Dark Flake or Coniston, but it definitely has enough of that drug to satisfy most of us.

Very good stuff. Highly, highly recommended for Lakeland fans and not recommended at all for those who hate the "soapy" British flakes.
24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 13, 2012 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I don't understand why this isn't more widely popular. This is my very favourite tobacco. I smoke it in the evenings and when I'm in company, saving my daytime smoke, the classically English (but stinky) Samual Gawiths 'Squadron Leader' for when I'm alone. This tobacco, Bosun's Cut Plug, is the best of all worlds. I don't usually like cased stuff, but this is cased very lightly - a very deft, classy touch of genius on somebody's part. I mean, who would think of that casing? I'd love to know who he/she was. Respect.

The mix of leaf gives a tasty, balanced, satisfying smoke. The very light, natural- feeling, nuance of clove and rose geranium just takes it that little bit further into a complex, rewarding, sometimes ecstatic level of smooth, velvety, smoky bliss. No bite, no 'soap', excellent leisurely burn. This is the vintage sports Jaguar of tobaccos, and I'll drive it forever.
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 27, 2004 Medium to Strong Medium Full Tolerable
If you don't like the Lakeland style flakes then why bother with this one?

On the other hand, if you do like Lakeland flakes then this is a good one.

I'm a big fan of Kendal Flake and Rum Flake. Both are in my regular rotation. And I dedicate pipes to these blends, campers!

Bosun Cut Plug comes as broken stips of flake, packaged not in a "brick" like Rum Flake or Kendal Flake but in the sack, like Sliced Brown Twist. Beautiful tobacco, dark brownish black with flecks of reddish brown and a yellow spot here and there. Lovely tobacco, very high quality.

This tobacco smells much "spicier" than the Kendal Flake. Where Kendal Flake smells of rose/geranium/musk - and Rum Flake smells like a rum cake - Bosun Cut Plug smells (out of the sack) of clove and raisins.

It's amazing the differences in the flavorings and the mixtures of these flakes. Bosun is definitely spicy, a "rounder" smoke than Kendal yet not as full as the Rum Flake. Something about the clove in this tobacco adds a sort of perique tingle on the tongue.

Very smooth and consistent all the way down the bowl, no gurgle and a mottled grey ash. Like all of these flakes, the bottom 1/4 of the bowl gets a bit stronger but never nasty. Wow, this is a well done flake.

If you like a little spice in your Lakeland Flake, Bosun Cut Plug will fit the bill nicely. Highly recommended if, and only if, you like the heavier/stronger Lakeland flakes.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 12, 2004 Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Many thanks to the above reviewer (OSR,) for giving me a sample of G&H Bosun Cut Plug. I really can't add much as OSR covered all the bases, including the bit about the Clove perhaps giving the smoker a "Perique like tingle."

I like my Virginia tobacco to taste like tobacco. Yet, I also enjoy some added, discreet flavoring from time to time and Bosun Cut Plug delivers on both counts. Not as strong as my favorite G&H offering (Dark Birdseye), this one still packs enough punch to satisfy my craving for Nicotine. It does have that distinctive G&H smell in the pouch, which usually tells me that I'm about to smoke a quality Virginia.

Bosun Cut Plug is a delightfully cool smoke, burns reasonably well as the tobacco is consumed, and leaves a clean, dry ash. Thoroughly enjoyable.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 29, 2020 Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable
One I've smoked a few times over the years but never got round to reviewing here, Bosun Cut Plug is an absolute classic of the Lake District dark flakes. If you like your tobacco "hearty" then you really should give this a try, it's old school, rich and satisfying, something to comfort the hobnail booted and tatty jacketed.

The tobacco tends to come as a ragged mess of thickly sliced plug, I suppose they don't call it flake because there aren't many tidy flakes to be found, but it's not ready rubbed: you'll have to work it a bit before you load your pipe. It's very dark brown, well cooked in the steam press, moist and oily to touch. The aroma is woody like damp rotting stumps in a forest, leathery and earthy with a hint of fire and of course the clove and geranium hanging over it.

I recommend you don't stuff your pipe too tightly, this stuff needs room to breathe during combustion. You'll find it needs a bit of attention and work getting it lit, rather like making a campfire on the side of Great Gable the morning after a thunderstorm, not that I'd do anything as socially irresponsible as that....

Once lit up the enjoyment really starts. The scent is present from the offset but fades as the bowl progresses, the underlying baccy being hearty and delicious it shines through once you get going. It has a subtle rounded, earthy, chocolatey sweetness akin to Coniston Cut Plug (this characteristic being much more pronounced in CCP), and the flavour is predominantly woody, leathery and earthy. It may need a few relights, but it will burn slowly to a minimal dottle especially in a Falcon pipe. Nicotine content is satisfying but it's not a powerhouse.

I would like to compare this firstly to Kendal Bosun Flake. I don't think the latter is simply a tidier version of the Cut Plug, it's less sweet and less smokey, I think it's a different base blend. I would guess that Bosun Flake lacks the dark fired leaf present in Bosun Cut Plug. Next I'd compare it to Condor, which likewise has a woody and floral character. Bosun Cut Plug is sweeter than Condor (Bosun Flake is a closer match) and hasn't got quite such a nicotine punch.

This is a tobacco of the sort I usually smoke in the Autumn or Winter, but it's enjoyable on a rainy day any time of the year. Smoke it when footsore from hiking, after a hearty breakfast or a dinner of stew, and wash it down with a strong cup of tea or a dark ale. Enjoy!
Pipe Used: Falcons, Orlik "London Made" bent billiard.
PurchasedFrom: Various places over the years
Age When Smoked: 1 year at most
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 19, 2020 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
My goodness this is a fine tobacco! Pouch note is rich and inviting with the tiniest hint of florals and the same of cloves. I rubbed it out lightly and stuffed it into a bent meerschaum, lit easily and was rewarded with a stunning bowl from top to bottom. Required one relight and burned to a clean, white ash with no dottle. As soon as I finished the bowl I could have easily smoked another straight off. The taste is similar to St. Bruno without the engine oil. Very satisfying, full flavour of excellent Virginia's. I love my heavily cased Lakeland blends but I couldn't detect any soap or much of the florals in this and the clove is added in such a way that it showcases the Virginia's rather than overpowers them. Absolutely no tongue bite or gurgling with this one. I can easily see this being an all day smoke for me with a little time between bowls as the nic content is about right for me. I think this would appeal to those who find Ennerdale or Grasmere flake a bit too "Lakeland" this is a quality tobacco and I will be keeping a good stock in my cellar. I found the room note very pleasant indeed. 10/10 from me. An absolutely stellar blend! If you try it and don't like your first bowl then try it in a meerschaum : a marriage made in heaven!
Pipe Used: Bent meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: GQ
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 15, 2004 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I must admit that I get a little annoyed with reviews of Lakeland tobaccos that complain about soapiness and urinal salts. Part of the problem is that it makes me want to be a fan of all of them, not say a single bad word. Its all a little like reading a latakia smoker rant and rave about how bad cherry flavoured tobacco from denmark is. If I accidentally tried something flavoured with cherries and I despised it I simply wouldn't smoke it, and I certainly wouldn't write a review. My ranting and raving would mean nothing. Thankfully, slowly the quantity of reviews is beginning to bring the ranking of Lakeland tobaccos up to where they deserve to be. As a result I do not feel too bad giving this a lower rating then polemics would entice me otherwise. Now don't get me wrong this is a fine tobacco, it even has a nice virginia sweetness, but what is missing is precisely the flavour. This is a tobacco I would recommend to someone who had never smoked S.G. or G,H before. But it has neither the strength nor the exquisite flavours that one finds in Coniston Cut Plug, or Dark Flake Scented or 1792. I would say in fact that the flavour is somewhat disappointing. Out of the bag it smells wonderful, but the flavour quickly vanishes. It is the equivalent of Early Morning Pipe for someone expecting Latakia. One thing I have noticed is that in smoking the Lakeland tobaccos I have come to appreciate Latakia differently than prior. My taste buds have come to understand it not as tobacco but as a flavour. This is an odd discovery, it is both obvious and a little sacreligous. But thinking of latakia and even perique as flavourings, helps me to understand the way the lakeland flavourings work. Bosun Cut Plug I would say works, but not with the same intensity or persistence as some of its heavier cousins.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 15, 2018 Very Strong Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I bought this because it was said to smell like aftershave on a website, and I thought that would be quite the experience. Well, it doesn't smell like aftershave, but rather of raisins and cloves, or perhaps dried figs and cloves. This probably should have been labeled as the Christmas cake of all of Gawith and Hoggarth's tobaccos rather than rum flake, as this smells like Christmas. However smoking it is a different story.

It tastes as it smells while smoking, but becomes increasingly bitter down the bowl, until it becomes more cigarlike than any other tobacco I have tried, including cigar blends. It is alright but can leave a bad taste in your mouth that lingers all day. Nicotine is very strong but not so much so as the dark flake/plug or peterson's irish whiskey which is right behind dark flake. It is enough to cause nasea if you smoke it in the heat.

Would do better with less dark fired virginia but is a decent lakeland smoke. Clove oil ought to be more popular with blenders as it really shines here. The geranium however is a bit reminiscient with common rue which can offend some noses while intrieging others. Best smoked outside on a cool day.

Note: store bosun cut plug in a new mason jar. Its oils easily evaporate. If they do, it will taste similar to brown flake scented, revealing some tonquin. And takes away about half of its strength with it. Smoking it dried is still quite pleasant, but it looses its raisin and clove taste, becomes very floral, and half the nicotine. Fresh and/or wet, it is a head spinner. I do not recommend smoking it wet in the heat. The clove evaporates first. Rehydrating it however is very simple. Use about 2 drops of water, two drops of rose geranium oil, and a drop of clove oil per fist sized amount in a mason jar, then let it sit for a week.
Pipe Used: cob, peterson bent
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 26, 2017 Strong Strong Full Strong
Gawith Hoggarth - Bosun Cut Plug

Retyped: 29/04/'2021.

This has REALLY grown on me!

It arrives as a broken flake, sometimes the pouch includes a quarter that needs no rubbing but can be loaded straight in. The moisture's usually acceptable, being loosely pouched it can air.

The smoke has a strong floral, Lakeland, topping. With a few pinches of spice. This topping beats the tobaccos to first place. There's some gentle Va 'hay' and a bit of rugged Burley, but no 'strong' tobacco flavours. It burns excellently, giving a cool smoke. A bite-free smoke.

Nicotine: strong. Room-note: strong!

Bosun Cut Plug? A great blend. Highly recommended:

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Cob for this, but many over time
PurchasedFrom: Various
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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