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 - 11 of 55 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 27, 2022 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 06, 2007 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.
32 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 23, 2017 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.

31 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 22, 2018 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.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 30, 2014 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
PurchasedFrom: smoking pipes
Age When Smoked: fresh
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 18, 2017 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 24, 2015 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
PurchasedFrom: 4 Noggins
Age When Smoked: Fresh from purchase
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 05, 2010 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 04, 2014 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.
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 05, 2021 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
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 21, 2015 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.
5 people found this review helpful.
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