Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Dark Flake

A very strong, but very cool smoke is the result of combining in equal proportions only Malawi dark fired leaf and Indian dark air-cured leaf. No additional flavours. You can smell in this tobacco the smokey flavour of the dark fired leaf derived from its curing process of being hung above smoky fires, and the sweeter, yet still strong 'cigar type' flavour of the dark air cured Indian leaf.


Brand Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging Bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.33 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 104 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2012 Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong
They say this is unscented, but I still detect a slight essence of Lakeland in it. There's a minor cigar-ish taste, but it's in the background. Both the nutty, earthy, woody, lightly molasses sweet burley along with the earthy, smoky, vegetative, woody, moderately grassy, fermented tangy dark fruity, and very lightly tart and tangy citrusy Virginias can take center stage at various points of the experience. This is not just because of the complexity of the tobaccos, but because what is prominent depends on how you fill your pipe with this mixture. There's more Virginia present than burley, and the former also sports a herbal, almost hay note from time to time as well as some cigar and spice. While this is a filling smoke, I find that smoking it in a medium to large width bowl, e.g. pot, brings out the complexities of the blend better than a small bowl does. It won't bite or get harsh, but it does have some rough edges. Burns slow, cool and clean with a light inconsistency in its rich, deep, mildly sweet, floral, spicy, rugged flavor. Requires some relights, and leaves just a smidgeon of moisture in the bowl. The after taste and potent room note are long lasting, and this is certainly not an all day smoke. It has a lot of strength and a full taste. This also has a strong nic-hit, so factor that into the bowl size you use.

50 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 02, 2013 Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a daily smoke for me. The constituents are smokey Malami-grown dark-fired Virginia and Indian air-cured Virginia. Despite what some reviews say, G&H tell me there's no Burley/Kentucky seed tobacco present. Nor (in the unscented version) is there any of the Lakeland scents or topping. I can only assume that the people who say this is scented/flavoured are either reviewing the scented version, were supplied the wrong version by their tobacconist or have been led astray by African and (especially) Indian Virginias resembling but not tasting quite like typical US-grown flue-cured Virginia - the flavour of tobacco is heavily influenced by the climate it's grown in as well as the curing and seed type.

This is an old-fashioned "British Commonwealth" tobacco - strong tasting and very distinctive. It's similar to Irish Flake, but smoother, deeper, less "airy", more focused and I find it less "medicinal" (I've found recent tins of Irish Flake have had a really noticable "cough mixture" nose to them). I can smoke Irish Flake any time of day, but Dark Flake isn't a tobacco I'd go to soon after waking up, if that helps. There's a definite high-quality maduro cigar-like tang but none of the leathery notes of a (Cuban grown) Havana and it has a bit of a sweet edge to it. The Malawi fire-cured adds a smokiness which is quite unlike the thin and flowery Latakias. If it were a coffee it would be a dark roast, strong French-style blend.

As supplied it benefits from a bit of drying time, but not too much. The flakes are quite compressed, but not as much as FVF and are often broken. Rubbing it out results in small chunks of broken up flake rather than a ribbon-style cut. It burns slowly and gains intensity as it goes. I'm quite sensitive to Virginia bite, and don;t have a problem with Dark Flake other than a kind of "hot spot" where the stem deposits the smoke onto my tongue. A pleasant hot spot though, akin to sweet, mild chipotle chillies rather than a painful chemical burn.

G&H really do excel at this kind of unpretentious, straightforward, old-fashioned, intense flake in my opinion and this is for me the best of the best.
37 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 02, 2011 Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

For those that have had the misfortune to sample Condor Long Cut and have had to put up with that pukesome 'Floral Fairy Liquid' monstrosity of a scent that accompanies it, then I have some news for you.

Dark Flake is a slightly stronger version of the aforementioned maligned gargantuan winged Andes namesake.

Dark savoury VA/BU with (as others have noted) a cigarish after taste. A perfect toke for staving off the hunger pangs as long as you don't mind laying down afterwards. Or a brilliant late night companion with accompanying salami sandwich and 1990's action film, as the latters projections flicker around your darkened living room.

Then tamp the ashes out at 0150hrs and bugger off to bed, passing through the blue savoury haze, fully sated.

Only reason it doesn't score a full house is because it burns my nose hair. Other than that, a perfect replacement (and in bulk) for Irish Flake.

17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 05, 2003 Medium None Detected Extra Full Tolerable to Strong
My sample arrived dry, just a tad short of crisp, in fact. It was easy to load, pack and light. WOW! This stuff is unique. I needed only two or three puffs to be taken back to my Boy Scout days. Puffing reminded me of burning wood and campfires. Not a hint of sweetness here.

I can withstand blends packed with nicotine because my favorite blend is Dunhill's Royal Yacht, which is loaded with the stuff. So, this G&H Dark Flake did not give me a buzz. It just plastered my palate with a full Lakeland taste that only got stronger as I worked my way down the bowl.

Okay, I admit it. the stuff is good.
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 02, 2013 Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable
While "unscented," this typical Kendal flake is doused with a generous portion of the "Lakeland Essence" for which these blenders are so well known. It does not dominate the smoke, but it is always present. You may want a dedicated pipe for your Lakeland blends to avoid the ghost.

For me, this is a morning smoke with strong coffee, a good book, and a cool summer morning in a chair out back. Mild enough for a morning smoke, Dark Flake is nevertheless strong enough to keep you happy all day. Some tobaccos leave you wanting more. Dark Flake satisfies with just one bowl.

Negatives? It's not as good as Dark Plug. Yes, the Flake rubs out very easily to perfect thin ribbons. But I prefer to chop the plug into little cubes. And the plug has a deeper, darker flavor that never has a chance to fully develop if it is sliced into thin flakes before it is fully matured. But the Dark Plug is impossible to get these days, so I am happy with the Flake.

Of course the wife despises this one, won't let me near her with Dark Flake breath. So I just save it for when I am alone. It is still a four-star blend, even if it is not the Plug, even if it ghosts my pipe, even though my wife hates it.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 22, 2013 Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable
Probably my favorite Lakeland. Very nice strength and burning qualities, with full body, and non biting. The description is a bit misleading though. In Lakeland speak, unscented just means cased, but not topped. It still has the fairly prominent Lakeland floral. It is a bit cigarish, owing to the Indian tobacco component, but I like that. I don't have any problems with this burning to the bottom of the bowl, and I don't dry it. Recommended for those of you who like fairly strong Lakelands.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 03, 2014 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Gawith Hoggarth - Dark Flake.

On initial inspection the flakes aren't as dark as I was expecting from the name, they are a brown colour but not extraordinarily dark! The flakes have a good amount of water content which is pleasing as this means it requires no time to air.

When I taste this for the first time it immediately has a smoky quality almost like there has been a tiny amount of Latakia added, it isn't in the smoky league of say Sam G' Balkan flake but it holds the quality of some lighter Syrian Latakia. To me the taste of Burley isn't that easy to find, as I just mentioned it seems to have a smokiness associated with Lat', mind you though that may emanate from the fire curing! The smoke is of a thick texture, a quality I enjoy which is complimented by no bite. I find the nicotine in Dark Flake to be a good, it's satisfying without being too strong. The room-note is quite a full one so it requires an opened window so it won't offend other people in the room.

I give Dark Flake four stars but due to the richness of it I couldn't smoke it all the time, maybe a relaxing 'pre bed' pipe position would suit this!
Pipe Used: Peterson Sherlock Holmes
PurchasedFrom: G.Q Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: New
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 31, 2005 Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable
A darker stoved version of Brown Flake, this stuff is cool and packs a nice bit of nicotene. It does have a taste of the cigar now that others mention it and is certainly too strong for all day consumption. I have to say that I prefer Brown Flake and Its cousin Best Brown #2 to this, although it is still good. Very little Lakeland Floral here as well.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 20, 2019 Very Strong Very Mild Full Strong
This has become one of my favorite tobaccos and one I look forward to smoking for its wonderful flavor and formidable strength.

I had always believed it was a mix of Virginias (India) and Dark-Fired Kentucky (Malawi), but I've also heard that the tobaccos are all Virginias. The manufacturer describes them only as... Indian air-cured and Malawi dark-fired. Regardless, this flake is loaded with flavor and body, and hell yes, nicotine.

It takes a bit of work to get it rubbed out and lit but once you get it going, you'll find a blend that smokes cool and without bite. The flavors are dark-fired forward: smokey, floral, some "what is that" exotic notes, and cigar-like spice. Though labeled as unscented, there is a touch of the Lakeland essence, way in the background, but it only accentuates the floral and incense-like notes of the flavor and aroma. In a nutshell, it's like MacBaren's HH Bold Kentucky, but more exotic and "Gawith-y."

In terms of strength, it's top of the food chain. It's too good to deprive anyone, so you'll get no "experienced smokers only" jive from me. If you're sensitive to nicotine, smoke it in a small bowl. If you're a beginner coming from cigarettes and have a nicotine tolerance, this will be your friend. I think it's wonderful, but it's also worth seeking out and trying even if it's just to test the extremes of what's available in terms of commercial pipe tobaccos.
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: Fresh From Vendor
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 27, 2011 Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
In the pouch, this thin-cut, hard-pressed flake exudes a scent of dutch cocoa, woodsmoke, and grassy herbs.

An achingly grandiose mix of fire-cured virginias and dark burleys, this is powerfully spicy and potent. The virginias contribute a certain natural sweetness, though the overall impression, when combined with the herbal bitterness and silky texture of the burley, is not particularly sweet.

Complex in a manner that eschews subtlety, variation, or nuance, Dark Flake Unscented is a prodigious smoke that, while narrowly avoiding stolidity and boorishness, maintains a sort of unrefined sophistication. This was best in narrow gauge chambers.
7 people found this review helpful.
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