A combination of dark fired and air cured Virginias cut into a fine shag for easy smoking.

BrandGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended ByGawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured ByGawith Hoggarth & Co.
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Virginia
FlavoringNuts / Beans
Packaging50 grams tin, bulk
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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None Detected
Room Note

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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I'm in Love! I'm in Love! I'm in Love!

This Kendal's Dark is delicious!

Once again, thanks to a fellow reviewer (DrDNA) for gifting me some of this delightful weed. It is a long stranded shag cut that has a deep, dark presence with an enticing odor that somehow conveys the fact that it needs to be smoked. I obliged quickly and I'm glad I did.

Kendal's Dark is reportedly a Virginia with no mention of any Burley. I know that Esoterica's Stonehaven is a mostly Burley blend.... Yet, these two are very similar with Kendal's Dark being a "revved up" version of Stonehaven, IMO.

It burned dry and clean all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I did not use one single pipe cleaner during my smokes (two bowls back to back). I realize some of that had to do with the outstanding Ruthenberg I had the 'baccy loaded up in, but the tobacco itself also played a part in the dry smoke.

This tobacco, in addition to being full and loaded with semi-sweet flavor, also had a spicy note that leads me to believe there is some hint of added flavoring.

I don't have a clue who Kendal is/was.... But, I sure thank him for sharing his Dark.

29 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

The boldy earthy, nutty, woody, smoky, mildly sweet and spicy dark fired Kentucky is the star with the earthy, tangy and mildly fermented dark fruity, woody, floral Virginia in the background. I do notice an extremely light Lakeland essence in the mix. This is a very strong blend with a full taste and nic-hit, and should be smoked in a small bowl. Won’t bite, but if puffed fast, will sport a harsh note. The light rough edges are consistent as are the deeply rich and powerful flavors from start to finish. Being a shag cut, it burns a little fast, but cool and clean, and I recommend a sipping pace for this product. Hardly leaves any dampness in your pipe, and needs few relights. Has a pleasantly lingering, rich, deep after taste. Not an all day smoke.


28 people found this review helpful.

Smokedinacob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smokedinacob (10)
Extremely Strong Very Mild Full Very Strong

I just finished a two-month stint of smoking a quantity of Dark Birdseye, Kendal Dark, and Kendal Kentucky in rotation at various moisture levels, times-of-day, etc. in an effort to decide which one to start buying in bulk. In the end, although they seem quite different when smoked back to back, I can honestly say that if only any one of the three were available, I would lay in a large stock of it and be thankful.

The middle part applies to all three:

The cut is what I would call an "ultra-fine ribbon." Just wider than a true shag, but handles like a shag. I like how it dries out. I like packing it into the pipe. I like how it burns. It can burn really really fast if you truly pay no attention at all, and with tobaccos of this strength it can be unpleasant, but I am lazy and like how easy it is to get these ribbons to smolder compared to larger stuff. Just let it dry untill nearly breakable, squeeze it, light it, and puff easy.

Nicotine. There's a lot in here. It awakens the senses, calms the mind, and coats the mouth.

The flavor of these is decidedly dark and strong. Meaty, tangy, oily, a little sweet, fermented, a little smoky. Smoking these is not a multi-dimensional experience like a symphony. More like Sacred Harp sing--4 notes, wild and good and loud. Full on dark tobacco taste. For real. Rough around the edges, raw, old-timey. I have nothing to compare it to, really. I can only say that I really like it and will keep something like this aound at all times.

Dark Birdseye is my favorite. Kendal Dark is the most civilized of the three. It is mellower and even has the slightest Maduro note. It is also the least interesting. There is just the barest trace of of a lakeland baby powder here, which I believe is additive.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smoking pipes

11 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (393)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The cut is not so thin as 5 Bros or something like Drum. I would characterize it as very fine long ribbon. The color is a uniform very dark brown - almost black, and the pouch note is smokey and slightly sweet/agricultural. Mine was delivered slightly moist, but I smoked it as delivered and did not worry about drying it. I but found it smoked better firmly packed, and it seemed to favor wide bowls.

This is a strong tobacco. It is stronger than OJK for example, and that says a lot for some. You know your own tolerance for such things, but consider yourself warned.

The Kendal Kentucky has a fuller flavor in the first few puffs and there is a spicy "wow" quality, but this one has a consistent smooth full flavor with no Kentucky spice for me. The Kendal Dark Bird's Eye, Kentucky and Dark siblings have some cigar notes that pop up from time to time. The Kendal Dark cigar note is more of a maduro.

Compared to Kendal Kentucky, this is more mellow and it is earthier. The Kendal Kentucky has more spice in the snork. Kendal Dark has a full, think and very satisfying flavor that grows on you. It is easy to keep lit, and is an easy smoke. There is just a whiff of Lakeland taste every now and then and my batches had a little less of it in the Dark.

This is a great smoke, but it is strong and full-flavored. It will not be suited to every smoker. It is expensive for a cheap guy, but I do find I am fond of it. It is a solid 3.5 in that I sprang for a 500 g sack during a sale.

10 people found this review helpful.

DeathMetal.org Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeathMetal.org (231)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Many of us retain an affection for the old shag cut blends that were meant to be rolled or smoked in a pipe, but in the old world cigarette way, something you had after a meal or when work was done for the day. Shag cuts pack easily and burn well, and "Kendal Dark" is no exception. It begins with a spicy flavor of dark smoke after being crammed in the bowl, then deepens to a honey-molasses type flavor as the Virginias caramelize, and finally ends up as a kind of tangy sweetness that is very pleasurable to sip for hours.

Like other old school blends, "Kendal Dark" was not designed for the hobby smoker but the working smoker, or the fellow who had a couple minutes to dip his hand into a pouch, cram a pipe full and then spend the next two hours nursing it while he did something else. It is designed to be a constant series of little rewards, like sipping a sweet and spicy drink, not to distract but to smooth the work process. If that is how you smoke, this blend is a great all-day smoke, but for the more sedentary and hobbyist types, it may be a bit strong, as it starts with medium-to-strong Nicotine levels and ramps it up from there, so that by the end of the bowl you may be coated in a fine, cold sweat.

For me, this is tobacco at its best. It loads and burns like an OTC, has only a tiny hint of the incense-like flavorings that the UK tobacco makers use to cure and refine their blends, and delivers enough Nicotine to be a good friend and joy throughout the day, but not enough to put you on the floor. I mix it with "Five Brothers" sometimes to cut the smokiness and broaden the sweetness into a full harvest flavor.

10 people found this review helpful.

Haebar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Haebar (52)
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Kendal Kentucky is a fine ribbon cut, a "strong, cool, traditional tobacco". It is so finely cut that you can easily roll cigarettes with it. The smoke is of a powerful intensity, both in body and in nicotine strength. There is some depth if you wish to discern the aspects of the Virginia from the Burley, but mostly you get a bold body of rich tobacco flavor. It is a simple tobacco blend with an agreeable balance between the Virginia and Burley. For such a bold tobacco, there is a smoothness and finesse that was unexpected. Even so, this is a tobacco for experienced pipe smokers who know when to put the pipe down when necessary. I also experienced a little sweetness from the Virginia. The high point of the bowl was shortly after the second lighting, after the tobacco had been tamped down. The low point of the bowl is in the final stages when the tobacco is almost spent. Kendal Dark smokes cool and dry. It was smoked in an Orlik Captain Black billiard with a good cake.

Pipe Used: Orlik Captain Black billiard

Age When Smoked: Fresh from purchase

Purchased From: 4 Noggins

9 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Very Strong

As a huge fan of both Kendal Kentucky and straight virginias, I thought this one would be a winner for sure. Indeed, it looked like KK and had a lot of its flavor. But it rapidly turned bitter and sour. And the room aroma was absolutely nasty! I did not find this to smoke like Dark Flake at all.

I think this is mostly a dark-fired African "burley", as I don't taste anything resembling virginias sweetness in this mix. I like the shag cut, as it gives a shorter smoke, and I smoke a lot of Kendal Kentucky on my lunch hours. But this one took the saliva from my mouth and gave me hiccups even when I puffed overly slowly. I find nothing to save this tobacco from a one star rating. If you're looking for a nicotine hit, here you go. If you're looking for something refined and complex (or even tasty), look elsewhere.

8 people found this review helpful.

Hybrid12 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hybrid12 (26)
Extremely Strong Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is an exceptional offering from G & H. Its mild flavor will deceive you when the high nicotine content hits you like a brick. I smoke it in a pipe and sometimes in an ultra light cigarette to tame the kick of this tobacco. I would definitely recommend this tobacco not be tried by a beginner used to aromatics and would further recommend anyone smoking this have something on your stomach. The nicotine in this high quality tobacco will make your head spin for sure. I like Kendal Dark, Kendal Kentucky, but find Kendal Dark Birds Eye to be my own personal favorite of the G&H offerings.

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

7 people found this review helpful.

LiterarySmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LiterarySmoker (143)
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is another one I've been sipping in since the drop a few months ago now and I finally think I have a grasp on it. G&H Kendal Dark comes in bulk which is how I bought it or in a 17oz bag (which I may get next time).

There's not much to say about packaging but it is a very interesting tobacco to say the least. It comes in a dark brown, very fine shag cut. Some of the ribbons are extremely long. The smell is wonderful. Lots of barbecue, nuts, smoked wood, and herbs. This came dry enough to smoke, but me being inexperienced with a fine cut lead to some disappointing smokes for a while. I learned that this blend does best in a smaller bowl, and tightly packed. It lights really well and holds a light well when properly packed.

Now to taste. When lit I taste a wonderful melange of flavors. The Burley gives a lot of nuts, earth, wood and has a characteristic BBQ spice, but it's very well rounded and gives me a sort of perique-like effect on the retrohale. It's everything I love about the Dark Fired in the Dark Flake Unscented. The Virginias offer a nice sweet, bready and slightly tangy backdrop. This blend is held together with a very slight Lakeland Topping, it adds the barest floral and vanilla note which is, to me, almost undetectable as a separate flavor from that of the tobaccos. The burn rate is slow when packed right, and tends to smoke cool.

The taste is a medium-full. After you take a few puffs and set your pipe down the flavor pleasantly lingers but it doesn't take over your mouth like Black Twist does. The strength is strong. Landy N has come to take you for your favorite restaurant and a night out. She isn't as strong as Rustica or HH Bold Kentucky but it's up there. I usually smoke a strong one like Irish Flake or Bayou Morning Flake in the morning with my coffee, but the inexperienced may wish to have a bite to eat before sitting down with this. The smell is very Dark Fired forward with a light floralness, but your milage may vary. Not an all day blend, but a darn fine one.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Oceano Poker

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

5 people found this review helpful.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (125)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

It has taken me a year to come to terms with this powerful, unusual tobacco. Now I can't live without it. I don't dry it out much, but I tear the shag (now soon to be a 1.5mm ribbon because of silly legislation) for easier packing. And I pack it fairly tight, tighter than one would think for a shag and I smoke it very slow.

It has the smallest bit of sweetness from the VA, to go with the powerful smokiness. It is funny but as has been noted the fine shag cut seems to make this taste much lighter than the flake form (Dark Flake).

In fact the taste is rather non descript and it doesn't produce a lot of smoke. The trick is to smoke it very slowly.

I find this to be the perfect strengthener for wimpy blends. Because of KD's high strength and relatively neutral taste (there is the tiniest hint of Lakeland). So it is great for blending.

Similar Blends: Similar to all the GH shag/ribbons, yet they are all different. This is more "neutral" and lighter tasting than KK or DB..

5 people found this review helpful.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (84)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

I have been on a Gawith run for the past several months and this is by far the strongest and most nicotine laden example I have tried of the bunch. Being a shag-cut it was easy to pack and after a false-light and tamp I was off.

Wow! What a delightful, full, peppery, mature, smoke! Caution to the fast-puffer however, this Virginia will incapacitate you if you go too fast. Blowing some through my nostrils I find my eyes opening wider and I slow the pace even more. Halfway through the bowl the smoke really settles down to a mezmerising, almost meditative experience. A slight cigar-like flavor permeates more the farther down the bowl I progress.

It burns to a fine grey-white ash. I did not need a pipe cleaner the run of the bowl, (Probably due in large part to my slowing down as I progressed), and it left just a small dottle at the end.

This is definitely, IMHO, not a smoke for the beginner or first time Virginia smoker.

My first time I smoked this in an older Charatan Extra Large Pipe. Hmmm, maybe this is why after finishing it around Midnight, it took me roughly 2-3 hours to get to sleep. I plan to smoke it again in a large pipe but will do so in the early afternoon, not late at night!

5 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (401)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Unnoticeable

I was a little bored the other day and came across this one in my cellar. I bought this as a jarred estate tobacco dated June 2003 around 2011 or 12. I am not even sure if I have ever tried this, it is possible but I do not remember. This has had 16 years of mellowing time under its belt. It is a dark shag, with a slightly smell of (Tonquin). I am using this term as it has been described by others. Maybe a little fermented earth smell also. I have been smoking this and from the taste and the way it smokes this is one that I could probably guess was a G&H blend blindfolded. Yes, there is a slight essence to this one but not much. This smokes cool and smooth and I can detect that there is some strength to this blend but believe it has been tamed somewhat due to the age. This is an excellent blend that I would consider using the cliché ‘a working man’s smoke’ in that this is a quick picker upper due to the nicotine strength. but not one in my opinion if you were to want to relax by the old fireplace or your smoking room if lucky enough to have one. On an interesting note that I read from a few other reviews since mine is from 2003 it is indeed a shag cut which I can tell by looking at it. Around 2011 it seems the European Union made pipe tobacco manufacturers increase the width of their tobacco to 1.5mm ribbon as to discourage RYO smokers from buying the cheaper taxed pipe tobacco to smoke as a cigarette. Whether this still applies today I am not sure. It is a good mellow cool smoke and am glad it is in my stash.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 16 years

4 people found this review helpful.

GabrielCRT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GabrielCRT (115)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This is an awesome smoke with the first coffee of the day. This tastes to me like a maduro version of 5 Brothers. It’s very nutty and earthy with a big dose of spice and pepper. There is a subtle creamy sweetness with very faint chocolate notes. It can be a bit harsh and rough around the edges but never unpleasant. This might be the best coffee companion I’ve discovered so far.

4 people found this review helpful.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (106)
Strong Mild Medium to Full Strong

I am falling hard for the House of Gawith 'shag'-cut tobaccos.

Comparisons to Dark Flake/Dark Plug are apt: Kendal Dark seems to share a common ancestor with these two, but is thinner smelling in a jar. Sniffing, I find similar stale chocolate and tonquin notes, though, and at times, the suggestion of menthol, which doesn't appear in the taste.

Burns quickly as you would expect, and the flavour isn't as robust as the aforementioned flake/plug, but it's 80% there, and awfully convenient. Rewards slow puffing because the nicotine content is robust and it will turn ashy speedily. I prefer to enjoy Kendal Dark in a good-sized pipe, which allows that magical mid-bowl zone of the smoke to meander along.

I also recently plumped for an 8 ounce bag of the stuff, since the first 2 ounces went quickly.

3 stars from me.

Age When Smoked: Newish

4 people found this review helpful.

Hyperion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hyperion (1)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

As this is my first review I should probably take a few sentences to explain myself. First, although I like to smoke as often as possible, like most people I find myself only having fifteen minutes at a go for a pipe. Second, I have no interest in 'contemplating' whilst smoking: there is always something else to be done. Hence I have no time for aromatics or strongly flavoured tobaccos. Third, I look for sufficient Vitamin N in a tobacco to wake me up in the morning, and to soothe me after a few bowls. Hence, I have been smoking Kendal Dark almost exclusively for a couple of years now. The shag cut is convenient, and means a bowl never outstays its welcome. Moreover, a few bowls can be smoked in a short time. The woody, spicy flavours are noticeable and pleasant, but never distracting. The Vitamin N level is just right for a kick start and for an afternoon's work with a pipe as a constant companion. I am sure others will be able to point to other tobaccos with a similar combination of cut, strength and flavour profile, and fair play to you. However, Kendal Dark, so far, is the one for me.

Pipe Used: Various, including Parker Poker

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Mysmokingshop

Similar Blends: Gawith Hoggarth Kendal Kentucky, Gawith Hoggarth Dark Kentucky.

4 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2080)
Very Strong Medium Very Full Strong

Gawith Hoggarth - Kendal Dark.

The pouch doesn't reveal much of a surprise: a fairly dark, finely cut shag tobacco. The aroma's ever so slightly aromatic, nothing that would imply a large casing's been added, but a delicate one has been.

Because of the correct hydration this lights easily and delivers a full tasting smoke. Full, albeit basic; there isn't any flashy nuances, it's a simple smoke. The flavour I get coming through is mainly a strong/robust Virginia one, with bit of a fired touch. Although there doesn't seem to be any 'flashy' nuances to this, there is one that's 'not so flashy': after five minutes or so the smoke starts to become acrid, with the fired touch becoming burnt instead of fired. This taste also lingers on the palate afterwards.

If you smoke for nicotine this is a blend that's sure to please: very strong.

I can honestly see why some pipers would find this appealing, it sums up the term Old School to me: a no messing, full tasting, strong blend. For me though, it's too macho, I'll stick with my Black Frigate!

Not recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson Harp #03

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Gauntleys

4 people found this review helpful.

Smoke_Ring Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoke_Ring (158)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

Kendal Dark;

Star Rating = 3.75;

Rating Scores - 10 is the Best and 0 is the Worst;

Pouch Note = 10;

Room Note = 9;

Flavor = 10;

Bite = 10;

Burn = 10;

After Taste = 9;

Raw Score = 58;

Rated Percentage = 97%;

Comment = Very Smooth, Very Mild, nice Natural Tobacco Flavor, No Bite, White Ash Burn.

4 people found this review helpful.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (117)
Extremely Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

A shag cut blend of dominating dark fired leaf and some air cured leaf subtly making a pressence and thinning the blend a little. This is smokey-spicy with enormous nicotine strength that could make your head spin. I did find it too bitter as it smoked down the bowl. Being a non-flue cured blend strength on the palette is fairly cool. Simply too over the top and unrefined for me. The quintessential Sherlockian shag so, smoke this when the game is afoot.

4 people found this review helpful.

hrhf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hrhf (38)
Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Update 19 July, 2021 Now that I have a little more experience in the world of pipe tobacco, I’m revisiting this review to give it a more appropriate rating: two and 3/4 stars.

First a little back story, so you can better understand the type of smoker reviewing this blend.

I’ve been smoking pipes again for just over a month, after having stepped away from the briar for several years.

My palate has never been super refined, but I certainly know what I like. I’m a onetime daily smoker of cigars with a very Habanos-esque profile, both the authentic item, as well as Nicaraguan-grown cigars blended by Don Pepin Garcia and the like.

So, although I certainly enjoy bold fare, when it comes to pipe tobacco, I find myself drawn primarily to sweeter flavor profiles. Things like FVF and Best Brown are my current favorites.

But I also enjoy something a little more savory to break up the monotony. I smoke a couple bowls of Five Brothers every day.

So here we are: Kendal Dark, you are magnificent.

As we all know, when certain blends containing the name Gawith hit shelves, one has to act fast. I remembered this from my earlier smoking adventures.

And, sure enough, when I picked a pipe up again around last Christmas, shelves were mighty empty.

So I took to Reddit to ask for advice on non-GH blends that provide that bold, strong, change of pace smoke I crave day in and day out. The consensus was that I should seek Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired and Dark Kentucky.

So I ordered a couple of ounces of each to try the waters. Both were quite enjoyable in my book.

But around the time I was working on those, several GH blends reappeared. My experience with them was, admittedly, limited... so I tested the waters and decided to order a pound each of Dark Birdseye and Kendal Dark.

Both are great, as many here will attest. But, for my money, THIS blend — Kendal Dark — is more luxurious.

Smoking it just feels decadent and silky. It tastes, to my aforementioned unrefined palate, like a combination of espresso and dark chocolate. But smoother.

And, of course, there’s a little bit of that old Lakeland essence. But, hey, that’s part of the attraction to me.

So I’m going to keep using Kendal Dark (and Five Brothers) as my change of pace smoke. And, as I go along, I hope to keep cellaring a little... so that hopefully; eventually, I’m smoking an even better version of the new-stock version.

In closing, I’ve just got to say that, while Mac Baren’s HH blends are very nice, Gawith Hoggarth is the original gangsta. The measuring stick.

And, in my opinion, nothing beats Kendal Dark on the bold, savory end of the flavor spectrum.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Fresh stock

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired.

3 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (318)
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Dark, dark dark! Kentucky & dark fired VA together can be pleasant without being overly-bitter (there is a very light casing that helps, but it's barely noticeable, never mind being really identifiable). However, the shag cut burns v quickly, but not enough to cause problems. It's probably better as an 'add-on' to mild mixtures than on it's own.

Pipe Used: briars and cobs

Purchased From: gift

3 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a pretty good smoke. I just finished up a sample of this one that had been jarred and buried on a shelf. Of the shag cut Kendal blends that I have been trying, this one may be at the top to my tastes.

As I have said in a few of these reviews, I don't particularly like shag cuts. They are typically a pain to load and they burn fast. This one was a pain to load, but it burned fine. It is probably the more heavily (Lakeland) scented of these that I have tried, but it is no Ennerdale or anything like that.

And like the others, this one does pack a nice nicotine punch. It also smokes smooth and biteless like all GH blends that I have tried. This latter point makes GH, perhaps, my favorite blender. It seems everything they make smokes easy and leaves you satisfied, even if many of them do smell like an old lady's girdle. lol

Pipe Used: Dunhill Group 6 panel shell

3 people found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (148)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Kendal Dark is a straightforward blue-collar tobacco, strong, uncomplicated and honest. It probably isn't for the fastidious; I think it must be the kind of "evil dark shag" that Sherlock Holmes smoked. It reminds me a little bit of French scaferlati tobacco. Don't rush it or it'll burn hot and acrid. Pack it tight and smoke it slow and it'll reward you with a cool, dry and tasty smoke, but there's nothing fancy about it and you will find that it includes a large dose of vitamin N. The room note may diminish your popularity with family and friends. When I tried it first I didn't like it at all, but it has grown on me until now it's one of my favourite cold-weather smokes. If you like a strong, simple tobacco that doesn't put on any airs, you'll like this. Despite the "Nuts and Beans" mentioned in the blurb, I can't detect any flavouring. All I get is a natural and unpretentious tobacco taste. For a shag-cut tobacco it burns remarkably slowly, BTW: a big point in its favour as far as I'm concerned.

There is a version of this called Kendal Dark Thick Cut. Apart from the (very slightly) thicker cut I can detect no difference between the two. I share the view also that these tobaccos are rubbed-out versions of G & H's Dark Flake.

Pipe Used: Dr Plumb lumberman

Age When Smoked: Straight from the shop

Purchased From: My Smoking Shop (online)

Similar Blends: Dark Birdseye; Kendal Kentucky.

3 people found this review helpful.

JaWiBr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JaWiBr (557)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Package note of mildly tangy, mild barbeque and musty vegetation. Tobacco is a shag cut of brown, dark brown and a little light brown. Moisture content is good, a few pipe smokers will want to dry it a bit. Burns moderate to fast with few relights. The strength is strong and nic is medium to strong. No flavoring detected. Taste is medium to full and mostly consistent, with notes of sweet hay, spicy, sugar, bread, savory, rich dirt, nuts, wood, dry, floral, acidic, mildly sour, peaty vegetation, mild herbal, citrus peel/zest, a tangy dark fruit background note, and a very peppery retro. Virginias are leading with some support from the Kentucky. Room note is tolerable, and aftertaste is great.

Pipe Used: 2016 Northern Briars Premier Rox Cut #4 Prince

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

benhughes2552 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
benhughes2552 (8)
Overwhelming None Detected Medium Pleasant

Doesn’t have much pouch aroma, but is very tasty. Caution: DO NOT INHALE. Looked at the shag cut and thought “That’ll make a good cigarette”. After three drags I lost control of all fine and most major motor functions. When I recovered, I was in love. Also an excellent cure for a headache.

Pipe Used: Peterson kinsale, cigarette paper

Age When Smoked: Fresh, 10+ years

Purchased From: Just for Him

2 people found this review helpful.

Uncle Al Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uncle Al (17)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

This is a great, deep flavoured, satisfying tobacco for those times when you’re looking for something that’s strong and dependable. Take Kendal Dark Shag slowly. The more gently you savour, the better it is. Packs and smokes dry but can be moistened with (dark) spirit, which I recommend if you’re storing. Can be re-lit to a degree, but best finished in one or two smokes. I’ve used it as an all dayer. I’ve smoked it in small churchwardens - for those short, life saving hits – up to Oom Paul pipes, when I need something that offers long term comfort and resonating contentment. Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Large & small

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: 4Noggins

2 people found this review helpful.

A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (97)
Extremely Strong None Detected Medium Overwhelming

Well, it's strong. I'll give it that. If you want the novelty of smoking the single most nicotine laden tobacco that is readily available you need look no further than Kendal Dark.

If you want something with a bit more flavor or complexity, you may have to look elsewhere; but nicotine? No problem.

The flavor's raspy and smoky. Something in the way of a dark cheroot cigar. Dirt and pepper come to mind as the primary taste and more than a little ammonia. The membranes of the nose and mouth start to tingle and tighten shortly after lighting up. Kendal Dark almost immediately induces hiccups and a racing heart rate. It's not actually unpleasant, but it's wholly unlike what we've come to expect out of modern pipe smoking. The smoke doesn't last long enough to maintain this sort of rough treatment as that fine shag cut really does burn hot and fast.

All things told, I smoked over a pound of Kendal Dark in scarcely over a month's time, so you know that I gave it more than a fair shake. I am sure that all sorts of comparisons could be made between this and the dark, foul shag of Sherlock Holmes fame. Make those comparisons all that you want, but that doesn't mean that I would ever want to smoke this again.

2 people found this review helpful.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (105)
Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Reviewed as a cigarette tobacco: This is the best cigarette I've ever smoked. It's like smoked chocolate cake. Peat, mushroom, barbecue, woodfire, very autumnal notes. It's too heavy to smoke all day. This is a cigarette you enjoy after a meal. It's delicious, like an old scotch, something to savor and enjoy. This tobacco is probably equally good in a pipe, which is something I wouldn't say about many cigarette tobaccos. A real treat, A+

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (63)
Strong Very Mild Medium Tolerable

I found myself being particularly underwhelmed by this blend. That is not to say that it was an essentially bad tobacco, but given past reviews on here, I was expecting something spectacular. This tobacco was bought for me by my sister along with a few other tobaccos at Christmas, and this is the first of them that I have smoked, as I type I am finishing off the sample she got me (I think it was 25 grams). Straight out of the pouch, the aroma that hit me immediately was a farmyard aroma. Not an unpleasant smell, but one reminiscent of farmyards where the freshly laid cow pat mixes with cut grasses, hay, pollen and fresh air. A nice evocative smell of sunny afternoons in rural settings. The tobacco packs easily, and takes the light well, it burns consistently and needs little maintenance throughout. The cut is lovely for this tobacco, no lumps or clumps, separates into strands with no effort required. Burns to a fine white ash. It's strong, to be sure, but not the knockout punch that many appear to be labeling it as. That could be because I'm smoking it in a fairly small bowl. The taste is somewhat flat. It has an interesting sourness but also a tempered warmth to it, again, not unpleasant, but it appears that the Burley may well be the main player, with the Virginia somewhat muted. I detect a faint topping, but the tobacco is so robust that it's flavour comes through powerfully. I also didn't find the room note to be overpowering, but I only smoked it when alone, and would imagine that to a non-smoker it may be somewhat intolerable. I think it lingers as well if the area is a closed room (like mine - it's too cold to have the windows open at this time of year). As I have no opinions from others to gauge by, I have given this a 'tolerable' room note based on my guesswork.

Overall, I would give this 2.5 out of 4, but on my rating here, I'm going to round it down to 2. I just can't justify a rating of 3. I may well buy some in future & jar it, but at the moment I can only speak for this particular sample that I had, & I would recommend that it is tried, as it is not in any way really bad - just don't build you hopes up like I did for this one, as it's not - in my opinion - as good as a lot of the previous reviews made it out to be. Maybe I had a dud sample, but I think the likelihood is that I was just expecting far too much.

Pipe Used: Peterson Standard System 317 (smooth)

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokewise, Eastbourne

2 people found this review helpful.

Quiggifur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quiggifur (99)
Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

20230306 edit: Out of a Dublin meer, it's coming across much milder, in bite, and general DFK and Lakeland notes. Apparently I can't count on it for even a mild reliable Lakeland note when using my favorite pipes, and out of the meer, dark bird's eye was much better at providing the other DFK aspects which I love. A lot more plain burley taste throughout the smoke. I think I have to drop this down a star; it can provide a couple different profiles depending on what you're smoking from, how you smoke, and maybe the day of the week, but I think when I'm searching for any of them I'd probably choose something else which does it better. This is still very good, maybe 3.5, but I can't call it a 4 anymore.

Edit: After spending more time with some other tobaccos, the Lakeland/floral aspect is coming across much stronger, and it's coming across as less smoky. This may be more evident in the tiniest bowls, at the front end. In larger bowls, the floral essences may burn off quickly leaving more of the characteristics I originally mentioned. It is still incredibly biting. Reading more as a dessert tobacco than I initially pegged it, from this tiny clay and smoking little more than a pinch. Still 4 stars, just in a slightly different way than I had initially intended.

One of my favorites so far. Very strong, spicy, bitey if I don't sip very slowly. A good tobacco to help you moderate your pace; gets incredibly unpleasant if smoked too quickly. Moderate sweetness, sometimes I detect a slight essence of baby powder (Lakeland); not sure whether or not this is an intentional additive, or as I've seen speculated, maybe rubbed off from the processing equipment. Whatever Lakeland essence there might be is very light. Very smoky, barbecue character -- a flavor bomb. Everything I love about this tobacco lasts from the beginning to the end of the bowl. Regarding nicotine content, it's up there with the strongest tobaccos I've smoked.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (202)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Absolutely delicious. I simply adore these thinner cuts (shag) with Kentucky and burley. In this particular instance, Kentucky is added to the Virginia leaf, so it is not as "dark" in character as, say for instance, "Dark Birds Eye" despite the name. If packed properly, it seems to release plenty of flavour and I cannot detect any sharp or rough edges as I progress with my smoke. Some smokers tend to avoid these cuts because they think it is rolling tobacco disguised as pipe tobacco, but I do not agree with this statement. Not that it really matters what you choose or how to smoke it, but Kendal Dark seems to perform exceedingly well as pipe tobacco. I will most definitely buy it again, but what a shame the price tag is if you buy in the UK.

1 person found this review helpful.

Deckard Cain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deckard Cain (39)
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

I've never shied away from a strong tobacco, quite the opposite. I seek out strong tobaccos. At least as far as the nicotine content. This one does have a high nicotine content. It also has a Virginia flavor. And at times can taste almost like something I could smoke all the time. But this is absolutely not an all day blend. Yes it can burn your tongue, no big deal. But it has a real acetic, creosote quality to it, that can seem objectionable at the wrong time. Upon lighting it it seems pretty decent, but the smoke coming off of the bowl kind of irritates my nose and sinuses. I smoke pipes quite a bit everyday, so I have to be careful of my tongue. Not the stuff to smoke when your tongue is not in good shape! Again the nicotine content is decent, but everything from the spittle in your mouth to the residual smoke is much more potent with this tobacco. It is not that this has rough edges, or seems unpolished. This tobacco is just very traditional and strong. I love GW's big traditional blends, but this one is a little different. It's a little more hardcore. Now truth be told, if this was the last tobacco on Earth and it was all I had to smoke, I could appreciate it more and even look forward to it. This is not a good tobacco for smoking around other people, maybe not even good for smoking indoors. But it's a good satisfying blend, and treated with respect it can definitely have a place on my shelf. This is a big boys blend. If you are a hobby pipe smoker, or aromatics are your thing... Stay away.

I guess maybe I should add in a little straight talk. A lot of us pipe smokers here have used tobacco in many different forms for a long time, and have a serious nicotine addiction. If you don't enjoy nicotine then a lot of these blends simply aren't for you. And honestly the hobby of pipe smoking in my opinion probably isn't for you. But there was a time when men smoked pipes for a specific reason. And I think those men would love this tobacco.

Pipe Used: Cobs and morgan bonez

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoking pipes

1 person found this review helpful.

Liverpool 47 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Liverpool 47 (10)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Many reviews of this so this will be short. If you are looking at these reviews you must be interested pure strong tobacco, which this is. Perfect, easy to pack, light and smoke. Don’t worry too much about the nicotine. Just take it easy and all will be fine. I love these shag tobacco’s. Along with Kendal Kentucky and Dark Birds Eye this is a wonderful smoke. Just go for it. I haven’t looked back since.

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: GQ Tobaccos.

Similar Blends: Kendal Kentucky..

1 person found this review helpful.

riobrew Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
riobrew (80)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

This to me seem the same as Dark Bird's Eye. It just doesn't have the eye. Great smoke with lots of strength and favor. Not for the weak. Had a bowl of this and Brown Twist Sliced back to back. Well that was interesting. Luckily for me I had a full stomach. I really enjoy a strong smoke on cold mornings with a good dark strong coffee. The blend has a strong Skokie favor and deep dark woodsy taste. Reminds me of a good cigar. So if you can't find Dark Bird's Eye don't sweat it buy this and relax.

Pipe Used: GPSS 5 POTY

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Dark Bird's Eye.

1 person found this review helpful.

Rainer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rainer (4)
Strong Medium Medium Tolerable

This WAS my favorite blend. I smoke 500g every 6 weeks. Well, I just received a shipment today, and they've changed the packaging!

It used to come in an absolutely beautiful and classic paper/wax bag, that was a joy to dig into every time I used the tobacco.

Now it comes in a plastic bag. With a zip lock on it.

This is why you can't have nice things anymore.

Pipe Used: Falcon, Cob Legend, Clay

Age When Smoked: New from bag (plastic :()

Purchased From: 4Noggins

1 person found this review helpful.

DenizBeck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DenizBeck (323)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Gawith & Hoggarth… a house known for countless rope tobaccos, Lakeland mixtures and also their „Kendal“ blends. Sadly unavailable in Germany, I was lucky to get ahold of a sample of some of their ropes and mixtures.

Inside the sample baggie there’s a shag-cut of dark-brown, partly almost black tobaccos with few brighter, orange-yellow speckles inbetween. „A mixture from dark fired Malawi (Burley) and air cured Indian tobacco (Virginia)“ they describe. The Burley obviously prevails in this blend.

Dipping my nose into the bag got me interested…because the scent is quite inconspicuous. Some smokiness, some earthy-nuttiness…but really very mild scent that seems to be quite natural.

Kendal Dark’s aroma is full-bodied, and dominated by the Burley. Smoky wood, with some decent earthiness to it are the star players here. Enhanced by a delicious nuttiness, and a minor sweetness. To me, the Virginia are just sporting the minor sweetness and a slightly refreshing citrusy-sourness, to not only for flattening the edges of the bold dark fired Burley, but also to add another dimension and keep it from being boring.

Not too much depth in this blend, but I guess depth isn’t what one is looking for when smoking a Burley- or Kentucky-forward blend. This is just good, honest and full-bodied tobacco, that’s said to have a very mild nutty flavoring to it. If a flavoring is apparent in this, it’s extremely mild and blended in a way to only enhance the Burleys natural characteristics.

Progressing through the bowl, the nuttiness intensifies towards the second half of the bowl and settles the flavor-profile as being „Smoky, woodsy, nutty-sweet“.

Best to smoked slowly, as this baby can burn fast (due to the cut) and bite if pushed too hard. Slow cadence rewards you with intense and rounded aroma of Burley-goodness.

Kendal Dark, due to the nature of dark fired Burleys, does have some strenght to it and is satisfying to the Aficionado of full-bodied Burley- or Kentucky blends, but may be overwhelming to smokers who prefer mild smokes.

An easy, no too complex, but wonderful tasting blend with rich aromas.

I wrote an in-depth review on this in english language on: http://tabak-pfeife.com/index.php/tabak/sonstige-tabake/62-kendal-dark-gawith-hoggarth

Pipe Used: Old Dominion Corn Cob

1 person found this review helpful.

Rolf -The Dane Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rolf -The Dane (6)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Used in ryo Cigarette. This is an somewhat okay Dutch style half zware copy tobacco. Compared to the real deal this one is milder in Nic hit and sadly has an harsh Cigar like taste to it. The Dark fired taste is like the real deal half zware Dutch style. The cut is very fine ribbon and just a little wider than a true shag.

Pipe Used: Ryo

Age When Smoked: Fresh bulk

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Mix 2 parts D&R Ryback and 1 part Kendal Dark and you have an almost real Dutch Half Zware tobacco..

1 person found this review helpful.

jimyfafy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jimyfafy (10)
Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Strong

Too easy to smoke fast.I spent a day on this and found it to be very addictive.Won,t leave you legless but rather wobbly.Old woman had a few scathing words but said yer lucky on this one.If I stay outside she wont have me put down.Does anybody else have to put up with the abuse. I hope not!Smoke it slow and out of the wind. She said:When it comes to beatings baby you deserve the best: Good smoke!

Pipe Used: John Calice

Age When Smoked: fresh bag

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Dark birdseye.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is good stuff. I am surprised how good it is considering the cut which is like cigarette tobacco. Kendal Dark Shag has the distinctive tonquin (or, rather, its replacement) smell and taste but it's on the light side of things. I was anticipating tongue bite but it did not happen. It smokes nice and strong, does not ghost my pipes and builds a great cake too. I can understand why G& H stubbornly keeps producing this: because it's good.

1 person found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (218)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is another very good blend in the Kendal line. It is sweet and spicy. It has deeper notes here and there, some remain elusive. It is enough to keep my interest and I have only smoked 2 oz. of a 4 oz. sample. The sweetness is common to VA's I also get a little something that reminds me of cocoa way in the background and some notes of fermented grain as well. The spiciness must come from the dark fired leaf. The notes are not clear if that is KY or VA but I would think that there is some KY present here too.

It looks like Kendal KY, but the smell is a little fuller and it does taste different but there is a similarity there too. Could this be a topping that I am just not quite picking up on? Maybe that is what is elusive. In any case this is a good blend one that I have a couple of oz. left and with seeing what it will do in about 3 yrs.

Room note is odd as it is strong to me, I normally cannot smell what I am smoking but I can pick this up. The odd thing is the wife (who does not like smoke) seems to think this smells better than Kendal KY, which is not noticeable to me but always results in the door slamming shut. This one is worth revising down the road and if aging improves it it should be upgraded to 4 stars. It does not bite too much even when pushed

1 person found this review helpful.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (38)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The same basic blend as the unscented G&H Dark Flake/plug, only it hasn't been compressed etc. as part of the curing process. It's a lighter tasting smoke, not as powerful and it maybe burns a little bit hotter.

A useful tobacco if you like Dark Flake but want a quicker smoke than a bowlful of flake, or like shag cuts and are looking for something distinctive with a bit of depth to it. It doesn't lose all it's flavour outdoors either, unlike some tobaccos. As supplied it's generally smokeable immediately though some may prefer to give it a very short drying time. Just don't dry it out too much, British tobaccos are intended to be smoked a little "damp".

One thing - the cut is actually more of a thin ribbon than a traditional fine shag. In the EU pipe tobacco is taxed differently to hand-rolling (anti-cigarette laws basically) and EU rules were changed a few years ago to force manufacturers to cut pipe tobacco too thick to use as hand-rolling to force hand-rollers to pay for the higher taxed hand-rolling cuts. The flavour has therefore changed a little from years gone by, but not much. On the plus side it now burns a little cooler and a little slower.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Kendal's Dark reminds me of Peterson's 3P in terms of taste, but in less berry/fruitish and more on the date/fig side of taste. The strenghth in the nicotine is a bit strong for me but it does not ruin the overall experience like St-Bruno did. Despite the very fine cut, I did not experience any tongue bite. The combustion is excellent, a few tappings here and there, very lighty administered and it burn all the way down dry. As it was a sample gracefully sent to me, I will definitively order some.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

O-K, this is a quality tobacco- well-mannered and has a good taste....but it does not have enough nicotine for me, and I just find it a little boring.

Better than many tobaccos which are out there...has kind of a unique taste which is very pleasant....but still...just not enough of anything to really make me buy more. If you prefer something milder than the GH&C ropes, yet which possesses the high-quality of GH&C tobaccos, you'll like this.

Can't say anything bad about this....I just prefer their stronger stuff. Overall, a very good middle-of-the-road medium smoke.

Note: Another reviewer said that this is the same tobacco as Dark Flake. It is not! DF is a Viginia/burley mixture- this is pure Virginia. While I love virginias, I do prefer Dark Flake to this- as it is a little stronger and tastier.

UPDATE: This tobacco has rteally grown on me! As one gets used to it, the subtleties of it's flavor become more apparent (and that includes just a hint of that famous Lakeland essence) and I have to say that it is really unique and comforting. I ended up ordering more of this, and always enjoy smoking it; and while I do usually prefer GH&C products, I must say that I have since tried Sam Gawith's Lakeland Dark, which is very similar to this Kendall...only even better! But you can not go wrong with either tobacco- they are both great.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Extremely Strong Medium to Strong Extra Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Dark and spicy. A strong, tobaccoey, slightly burnt gingersnap cookie.

I'm convinced that the effects of nicotine in a blend are subjective,--but this is among the strongest (if not the strongest) I've smoked. Not a bad thing.

The cut is what I would describe as "fine ribbon". It's certainly not a regular ribbon; but its not so fine as, say, Kendal #7. I like this style of cut quite a lot. Easy to light and keep lit--and I like easy.

Again, this is certainly subjective, but I find that this tobacco is harsh on my throat in a way I haven't with any other tobacco. It's almost a constrictive effect. I can't imagine smoking bowl-upon-bowl of this.

I may experiment with this as a blending tobacco. I do like it. But I can't handle it in quantity.

1 person found this review helpful.

garydobbs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
garydobbs (20)
Strong Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

A stronger tobacco with light side proportions of 68% Virginia and a dark side of nearly 1/3, including 16% dark-cured Indian leaf, and a little Burley providing a full strength smoke. The dominant flavour is one of oatmeal with a complex top note that suggests rum and chocolate.

This is certainly a strong tobacco both in terms of taste and nicotine hit, but it is incredibly mild and provides a wonderfully full smoke. It goes well with a cup of coffee, each bringing out subtle flavors in the others and I found it smoked easily to the bottom of the bowl where it left a wispy white ash.

I've been experimenting with different tobaccos lately thanks to the terrific mail order service supplied by UKTobacco.Com and out of the many different varieties I've tried lately this is so far my favourite. My mix was supplied in a shag cut and although it felt a little moist in the pack it lit well and needed no drying out. I'm sure I detected a little Burley in the mix but the overall taste is that of classic Virginia leaf.

Tastes - oatmeal definitely and also a little almond and as I neared the bottom of the bowl the overpowering flavour became what I can only describe as a chocolaty rum. The nicotine hit is immense so I don't think I'd use this as an all day smoke, but rather one to settle back with of an evening while reading a good book. I also tried the tobacco mixed with a little English Cherry Tobacco from the same blender and found the result to be even more del

I must say I enjoyed this one and have to award it a five pipe rating, five out of five of course

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Very Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

This is (or rather was) a great shag tobacco, and conceivably the model for the "black shag" of Sherlock Holmes fame. Sadly as of 2011, due to some insensitive European legislation, it is now (certainly in Europe) a 1.5mm ribbon cut. So, just a few old fogies inconvenienced and 150 years of British tobacco tradition cast aside. No problem there.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Strong Mild Full Tolerable

I like this the least of the Dark series. The shag cut tends to make the blend overpowering. I prefer the Dark Flake Unscented, followed by the plug (so I can cut it as flakes), and this is my least favorite.

It is tasty stuff, and loaded with both flavor and nicotine. I do like it, just not as much as the more civilized Dark Flake Unscented.

1 person found this review helpful.

meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I find this tobacco very similar to Kendal Kentucky so my review is almost identical. The main differnces here seem to be that KD has slightly more of the soft dark sweetness and lacks the bitter dry edge of KK. This is, no doubt, due to the contituant leaves i.e. the sweetness of virginia as opposed to the nutiness of burley. However, these differnces are so small as to render these two tobaccos as more of a variation on a theme than anything else. I generally prefer savoury to sweet but in this case Kendal Dark wins out for me, just.

This tobacco is a bit of a trip down memory lane for me as it smells just like the tobaccos my Grandad used to smoke. I'll try to not let that cloud my judgement, much.

It smells nice in the bag (like all G,H&co. pipe tobaccos, it seems you can only buy this weighed out loose in England) and has an attractive, uniform, burnt umber colouring. Despite the shag cut I found this tobacco to be easy to deal with and lacked both the wimpy ability to put flavour across and the temperamentality I usually find in this kind of tobacco.

The flavour has been well described here; being (to my tastebuds) rich, slightly earthy with a hint of spice and softened with a natural muscovado sweetness.

Although this is a fairly strong tobacco I had no probelms with the occasional inhale because of it's seemingly complete lack of additives or flavourings (which always seem to irritate my lungs). I also tried rolling it in a cigarette paper and found it an enjoyable experience - retaining it's full flavour and being of a much higher quality than any other hand rolling tobacco I've ever tried, which is admittedly, a limited number.

I can't fault the stuff. If you like smoking full flavoured, natural and high quality tobacco and you don't like paying huge amounts of money for the privellage why wouldn't you smoke this?

1 person found this review helpful.

markh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
markh (4)
Overwhelming None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I think this is the same tobacco sold as "Kendal Dark Thick Cut", which is in fact a fairly fine to medium cut.

Another tobacco based on Dark Plug, or Dark Flake. I detect little of the lakeland floral scent. Burns well, a strong, cigar like smoky taste that the dark fired, air cured tobaccos are known for. You won't have to check to make sure its actually lit.

Its a very strong tobacco, very high in body. Even in a small pipe, carefully smoked it can be overwhelming. Because of its cut (fine relative to the flake/plug) it tends to burn faster and deliver more smoke.

I can't help thinking the a tobacco much like this would have been smoked long ago in England, in a little clay pipe. Its strong enough to have reduced Sherlock Holmes' "Three pipe problem" to only a single pipe.

My 4* recommendation is based on the type of tobacco. If you want to fill a large pipe and smoke it for a long time, this isn't your blend. A small pipe, very carefully and slowly smoked, is really nice. Not to mention that your pouch could hold several weeks or months supply!

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Tolerable

Kendal Dark:

No doubt this is high quality tobacco but.... and here come the buts... I just can't get much appreciation worked up for this stuff. I have to say this was an unexpected result for a Kendal tobacco offering but there it is. I am a big fan of the stronger blends like Dark Flake and the Twists and Ropes (as well as the lighter blends and even a few of the medium ones) but this one just doesn't seem to make it with me. I'm not sure if it is the cut of the tobacco which is a very fine string cut that burns quite fast or the component tobaccos that gives this result.

If it as has been suggested it is Dark Flake but to me it doesn't taste the same. It burns hotter than the others (Sliced Black and Brown and even Kendal Light).The flavor is passable and the nicotine and strength are as well. I am not all that fond of "passable" though and from a quality manufacturer like Gawith and Hoggarth (or anybody else for that matter)"passable" is barely acceptable.

For the first time I've given a Kendal tobacco a "Somewhat Recommended" rating and that's what I suggest for those who want a change of taste and/or pace. In truth it is not a bad tobacco just not the one for this smoker on a regular basis.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (somewhat disappointed)


Have since smoking Kendal Dark returned to my Dark Flake stash and I have to say that if this Kendal Dark is the same tobacco but in a fine shag cut it still does not taste the same. The Dark Flake which I enjoy is a much more accomodating smoke. I am not a novice pipe smoker and the difference in the cuts was allowed for as I went through the bowls of each and the result was the same.Dark Flake--an "8" or possibly an "8.5" on the 1-10 satisfaction scale and Kendal Dark still only about a "3" for me personally. Sorry,G&H, I do understand that every blend has its promoters and its detractors and a few neutral reactions but this one is not in the same class as Dark Flake.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (still somewhat disappointed)

1 person found this review helpful.

kg0mz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kg0mz (54)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Stronger than Kentucky Kendal, and smoky. Very cool. Mid-bowl it is not as spicy/sweet as the Kendal #7 Mixture. I think the #7 is the sweetest of the three what with the fire-cured VA. I am packing the bowl firmer and getting better results (a longer burn with consistent flavor). Also, somebody suggested dumping the ash and going easy with the tamper. I think that is right. Now that I know how to smoke these shags I like them almost as much as Irish Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Strong None Detected Full Strong

Supposedly the same as Dark Flake but in a shag cut. Maybe its just my imagination but this somehow seems a little sweeter.

Unfortunately being a shag it burns hot and fast. I recently received advice that this mixes well with Haddo's Delight to create a blend called "Haddo's Dark" and this is how I use it now.

3 stars on its own, 4 as a mixer.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This is an awesome shag tobacco. It is easy to light and smokes all the way down with few to no relights. Burns to a fine white/gray ash. Bitter/sweet with a bit of spice/heat on the tongue. This goes well with coffee in the morning it you want a real wake up call! I bet it would be wonderful smoked after a cold day outside with a cup of hot chocolate. I think the flavors would compliment each other nicely. Once the weather is a bit cooler I think I will confirm this theory. This may be redundant, given other reviews, but there is a bit of cigarishness to the flavor and aroma. Best smoked, at least for me, in a small to medium sized pipe. I tried some in a large Italian freehand and it burned way too fast. I couldn't control the burn even with slow puffing and it was not as enjoyable this way. It became a bit bitter and hot. Maybe it was because I had all my windows open and several ceiling fans going at the time. Nice amount of nicotine, though not as much as Dark Birds Eye which is another G&H shag type tobacco that I like. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a stronger full tobacco flavored smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

Nicolas7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nicolas7 (2)
Medium Strong Full Pleasant

I wanted to review the auld Kendal dark blend fine cut that is a hand rolling tobacco. That was a good tobacco not a long time ago. I don’t know why your online shop don’t sell the same quality or at the end of a year the quality drop with the strength smell coloration and kick of nicotine to fade ? Do you over produce for sales some bad blend or crop not arrived at maturation after fermenting stage ? This additional moisturiser smelling in all tobacco is what ? My rate now 1 or 2/4 max that was a good tobacco.... before

Pipe Used: None

Age When Smoked: Don’t know

Purchased From: SmokeKing.co.uk

Similar Blends: Dark blend.

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cajomu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cajomu (80)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I was rather disappointed with GH&C Kendal Dark. It had much less flavor and strength than most of the review led me to expect. Instead, what I got was a rather mild burley forward smoke with an occasional taste of dark fired leaf and very occasionally a bit of sweetness from the Virginias. The unlit tobacco smelled faintly aromatic, although I didn't detect any flavoring while smoking it.

Since KD is a shag, I loaded a large pipe with a lot of tobacco and packed it down rather tightly. This made it a bit difficult to light and keep lit, but provided a long smoke. I smoked it very slowly, which may account for my perception that is isn't as strong as others found it. The flavor was pretty consistent, although it was a little sweeter toward the end of the bowl.

I suspect KD would make an excellent RYO tobacco.

Pipe Used: Various large briars

Age When Smoked: Recently purchased.

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Similar to but lighter than GH&C Kendal Kentucky..

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LannarkGent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LannarkGent (145)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

This is a very delicious blend that pleases very much. This does not tire my test buds and is a nice change of pace . I look forward to smoking it again.

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