Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Rum Flake

The 'Christmas cake' of all our tobaccos. A very rich, sweet fully flavoured blend. The main feature is the high proportion of naturally sweet sun-cured tobaccos in the blend - over 40%. Only 30% Virginia leaf, with the rest of the blend coming from burleys and dark-air cured contribute to a strong, but rewarding smoke. The whole blend is cased in maple sugars to further enhance the natural sweetness of the sun cured leaf and then rounded off with a dash of rum.
Notes: Due to EU regulations, this is now sold in those countries as "Jamaican Flake". Since 2016 and perhaps earlier, the tin label on the back states ”Virginias and burley with flavors of rum, licorice and vanilla”.


Brand Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Burley, Virginia
Flavoring Maple, Rum
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, Bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.03 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 138 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 23, 2017 Medium Medium Medium Unnoticeable
This pipe tobacco has a short story behind it. Where to begin? Several years ago I frequented a popular Cigar and Pipe Store that has and is still around for over 30 years. I do not get to go there as much as I use to but it is a nice place to relax with tables, chairs, couches, coffee maker, etc. and has a huge selection of pipes, tobacco, and cigars. I was in there on my regular Sunday morning, window shopping the pipes in the display case when a nice lady came in with a box of pipe tobacco, one of many I was later to find out. I started talking to her about the large box of pipe tobacco, and learned that her husband had passed away. It was his hobby she said, and I detected some obvious sadness in her voice. This gentleman during his life time had a huge cellar of pipe tobacco unlike anything I have ever seen. She was there to sell the jars and tins of his pipe tobacco to the proprietor of the shop. She offered me a few jars before she handed them over to the shop owner and I graciously and politely accepted a few not really knowing or paying much attention to what I selected and thanked her. Over the next several weeks I also purchased some of this gentleman's pipe tobacco from the store. One of the two jars given to me was 16oz of rum flake that was packed so tight I could not believe how he did it as the flakes were perfectly arranged in the jar and was dated 10/02. This Thanksgiving eve I decided to try this one. 15 years ago this man stored this pipe tobacco and now I am about to use it. Not to sound melodramatic but I feel a little sadness when I smoked this one this evening and could not help but wonder about this man. In an odd way I feel somewhat of a connection to this gentleman who from the way his wife spoke about him really enjoyed his hobby and past time and hopefully wherever he may be he knows I consider this gift a great honor. My collection is not the largest but I know I have more pipe tobacco than I will ever consume in my lifetime. Probably due to the fact there is 'always' a blend out there I have not yet tried. I am 58 and hopefully when I cross over, whoever gets my stash will enjoy and respect it the way I have respected his. Now to the review. It had a great rum/maple smell to it right out of the jar. I loaded it in my Peterson 307 that I normally use for rum/whiskey pipe tobacco, Irish connection I guess. As I fired it up I detected the 'essence' I hear about but it faded quickly and it really smoked good. You can tell by the taste, feel and the way it smokes this is a real quality pipe tobacco. I had two bowls this evening with my coffee and will have some more tomorrow. Not much more I can add other than I am lucky to have it.
Pipe Used: Peterson 307
PurchasedFrom: Gift
Age When Smoked: 15 years
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 26, 2016 Medium to Strong Medium Very Full Tolerable
Im partial to Gawith Hoggarth tobaccos. Period. I smoke several of them all the time. And this is one I smoke semi regularly. Its very rich, but not cloying in anyway. I dont fully understand some of the negative reviews. Look, I get that GH tobacco is not for everyone, but if its not your thing then ok. But its difficult not to appreciate the institution that Gawith Tobaccos (both houses) are in the pipe smoking world. If gawith goes out of business, god forbid, I might give up pipe smoking (ok, an exaggeration but not by much). Rum Flake isn't the strongest of their blends, and in fact its more like a tad over medium in the nic dept, but flavor wise its strong. The flavor is creamy and spicy both, but the tobacco taste never leaves. And the base note is that air cured Indian leaf they use for most of their blends. Some of their other blends (Ennerdale for instance) do sort of obliterate the tobacco taste, but not RF. I think Rum Flake is among their best IMHO. But its not an everyday smoke. This is very old school, like all GH blends and not for the smoker who likes Danish aromatics or light burley blends. Just don't bother if that is your preference. But Id at least give it a try....start with something like Grasmere maybe, or Best Brown...and move on up to Rum Flake and eventually try Dark Birds Eye and even Bosun Cut plug. You might like them. Then if you are truly out of your mind, try Black Irish Twist or brown bogie. The later two are made for serious hard core hope to die pipe men, or shipwrecked sailors or just crazies. But joking aside, none of their product is ever anything but of the best quality.
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 14, 2015 Medium Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant
I'd personally not label any of the Lakeland's as cloying or syrupy, but this is probably the least soapy of all in that particular range. Even though the Lakeland essence is quite apparent, it is not as much in your face as the other ones. Most people seem to complain these flakes are somewhat rough round the edges, but how a flake is being cased should not be a measure of the level of sophistication or class per se (not withstanding all the Danish blends). The fact these flakes are lightly cased can only mean the stress is being put onto the tobacco itself and not so more onto its aromatic qualities. On the other hand, it seem to evolve quite nicely as you progress with your smoke, going from mild to medium to somewhat full. I can tell the Virginia leaf does not come here on its own, but I am not too sure what other tobaccos might be present in this blend. I guess a Burley tobacco of some sort, probably flue cured, but I cannot tell for sure. Despite the thickness of these flakes, they are both easy to crumble and pack your bowl with. I cannot detect any tongue bite and these flakes seem to be very forgiving and easy to smoke. I have thoroughly enjoyed this tobacco, so I am going to give it 4 stars.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2009 Very Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
How anyone could not like this stuff is beyond me. It's one of the few virginia blends that has such a good taste and fullness that I don't feel the need to be a fast puffer. I think it is an excellent blend! It has a full delicious slightly fruity taste from the very start, and just gets better as you work down the bowl. When I got to the bottom I was tempted to reload and go again. It leaves absolutely no tongue bite, at all, could very well be an all day blend and it left a great taste in my mouth. I had it with dark roast coffee and was in heaven. I will for sure keep this on hand all the time. It may become my go to tobacco. Try it, I highly reccommend!

I am returning to this blend now 6 years later and just finished smoking a tin of this blend. My opinion of this blend has not changed. It is an excellent blend and once again I am enjoying every bowl of it. This time I dried it to an almost crisp moisture level and it made it even better. I am a real fan of this blend. One difference I have noticed is that the flkavoring listed on my current tin differs from the description on this site. My tin says the following "Virginias and Burley with flavors of rum, licorice and vanilla. No mention of maple at all.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 13, 2006 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
This tobacco is interesting. The flavour of the tobacco is much like that of Samuel Gawiths "Best Brown", but is swetened and spiced by the rum and maple sugars. The blending has been carried out most artfully, though, so that the differing flavours are almost impossible to distinguish, but blend together into a wonderful smoking experience.

It lights and burns easily, and smokes dry, with no bite unless puffed too fiercely. Breath smoking is ideal, and brings out the most subtleties of the smoke, but it is certainly more forgiving than the pure virginia flakes. The flavours are complex and interesting, yet mild and unobtrusive- you can sit and really enjoy it, or just puff away at it while doing something else. The flavours are tobaccoey, in the sense of a lightly stoved virginia, and with a sweetish fullness. The rum taste might appear if you really look for it, if you've been smoking it in the same pipe for a while, but really it just lives in the background, to enhance the taste of the tobacco.

I do not find this to be extremely strong, like St Bruno, but it is by no means a weak tobacco. Neither do I detect any soapiness, this is not a scented flake, as such. It is certainly not an aromatic in the vanilla cavendish sense of the word. Well reccomended to virginia flake lovers, or to people who want to try Lake District tobaccos but dislike the heavily scented ones.


After enjoying this tobacco it became one of the first baccys that I would buy some more of after finishing a packet. While I lived in Preston this became one of my "staples" in a way few other tobaccos have. I enjoy Latakia, I enjoy Perique, and I enjoy the soapy Lakeland flakes too. But all of those are something I like variety in, while Rum Flake seems to just sit in a category of its own as something I can smoke every day without getting bored of. When I moved down South and couldn't find it in the tobacconists I rather forgot about it, but obtained some by mail order last week. It's still as delicious as I remember, I'll be getting more soon!
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 22, 2014 Medium to Strong Mild Mild Tolerable
Tin Note: First whiff of this blend I thought of those rum and whiskey filled chocolates in the shape of bottles you usually see around the holidays.

Initial Light: The flake was in cube cut form ( or as square as i can get it) and i packed it rather lightly at first, so i think this is the reason i had a hard time getting it lit. I just kept repeating the false light process and packed it down more until finally I got it going. at first it tasted kind of soapy.

Mid-Smoke: At this point I had to relight the pipe three times and I was getting a little bite due to the heat it was smoking at, so i gave it a few minutes to cool and picked it up again. I don't know whether it was do to the bite i was getting ,but the smoke seemed rather strong for my liking.

Bottom of the Bowl: At this point it was a completely different smoke, it was cooler, the taste and feel was smooth and creamery. However it wasn't enough to sway my feelings on this blend after all it was a good 45min to reach this point.

Room Note: I asked the wife and I got a rolling of the eyes which in my book translates to tolerable but your an idiot.

Dottle: The dottle was impressive, i give this blend credit that it did smoke down to ash with minimal moister in the pipe and no gurgle throughout.

Smoking Duration: 1 Hour yes i went through 1 Hour of this tobacco all in the name of science.

Overall: I will revisit but I don't see myself stocking this up in the cellar.

For the next time i smoke it:

-Pack it tighter -Use a smaller pipe -Try fold and stuff method -15min dry time was sufficient but maybe ill try an hour.
Pipe Used: Trypis Dublin 3/4 Chamber
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: Fresh
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2014 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable
Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. - Rum Flake.

Quite robust, dark brown, flakes. The rum tastes sweet, with only a little alcoholic piquancy. As well as the rum there's the suggestion of perfume/flowers, which reduces the rating. Rum Flake behaves well in the bowl, giving a bite-free, cool smoke. The nicotine's medium and the room-note's tolerable.

Rum Flake? The slight floral note turns me off. Two stars:

Somewhat recommended.
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 01, 2012 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Another solid flake from G&H. This one is darker in flavor than Glengarry or Brown Flake No. 2 and the floral notes are a bit more noticeable. The tin note is that of spiced rum, prunes, honey and an ever so slight sweet-hay almost oat-like aroma.

Charring light brings forth a swell of flavors and an underlying floral essence. Throughout the bowl the interplay between the tobacco and Lakeland flavor is perfect. The floral notes seem to come and go, making for slightly more complex aromatic experience than G&H's less perfumey offerings. I don't get much of the rum and maple flavors, but there is an underlying sweetness that supports the tobacco flavors beautifully.

Rum Flake has a very refreshing quality to its flavor. It's fairly full tasting yet smoking it leaves a very light foot print on my palate. So far one of my favorite G&H flakes.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2009 Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable
If Mac Baren made a 'full' mixture that didn't bite this would be it.

**Updated 08/05**

I've changed the way I smoke this tobacco. I no longer roll the flake; I cut it up with scissors into small pieces and then further rub it out until it's almost powder. The depth of the flavor is more abundant to me when prepared in this fashion which results in a mellow and even more "round" full smoke. I will also let the flake dry on a plate before cutting and rubbing out vigorously.

Oddly enough, this tobacco has a hint of that "soapy" flavor that one finds in many of these Lakeland style flakes. It's not overwhelming, it's kind of charming. I will be smoking the bowl and all of a sudden I'll get an awareness of that 'taste' and then it's gone.

The tobacco burns slow, cool and dry. The nicotine edge that this tobacco has is just right - it's not over the top like Dark Flake and it's a little less pronounced in nicotine than the Kendal Flake is.

A friend of mine in Florida introduced me to this tobacco. He's a former cigarette smoker and has sworn by this tobacco for several years. Once when we swapped pipes he sent me a sample of this and I laughed at him! No way would I put this foul 'soapy' stuff in my pipe! But being an adventurist (and former cigarette smoker) I decided to try it and was simply amazed.

The sweetness of the maple in the tobacco is like Mac Baren on steriods but not in an aromatic way. Rum Flake smokes all the way down, just like it started - a very steady and heady smoke. No wet smoke, just let the flakes dry out a bit before loading.

A buddy of mine (at the Chicago Pipe Show) filled up a pipe with this. He told me that he (a cigarette smoker) had a problem with blends biting his tongue. After finishing the bowl he came up to tell me that this blend was wonderful - and he bought a couple of 'bricks' of it to take home. He came up to me the next day to thank me for introducing this to him.

I keep this on hand at all times, it's highly underrated but it does have a hint of that soapy flavor that so many abhor.

Unique and Thoroughly Enjoyable!
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 05, 2007 Mild to Medium Medium Very Mild Very Pleasant
This is actually a pretty good blend, but one I probably won't smoke again. It has a wonderful aroma and nice, albeit mild flavor. It is a bit like a cup of coffee, bitter-sweet with the occasional maple note from the casing enhancing it. Unfortunately, it is simply too mild for me flavor wise and I'll probably go back to my bosun cut plug. This is a good tobacco, just not for me.

Update: It became more bitey and the taste went flat, going to have to down this a star.
9 people found this review helpful.
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