Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Kendal Dark

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


Brand Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured By Gawith Hoggarth & Co.
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Virginia
Flavoring Nuts / Beans
Cut Shag
Packaging 50 grams tin, 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

3.24 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 14, 2008 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 08, 2017 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 31, 2014 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)
PurchasedFrom: Smokewise, Eastbourne
Age When Smoked: New
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 19, 2022 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
PurchasedFrom: Smoking pipes
Age When Smoked: New
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 08, 2010 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)
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 03, 2020 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
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 07, 2018 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.
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