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 1 - 10 of 46 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 23, 2013 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The toasty, earthy, nutty, woody, lightly molasses sweet burleys are the lead components. The Virginias offer a fair amount of tart and tangy citrus, vegetative grass/hay, bread, sugar, some earth, wood, floralness, mild tangy dark fruit, sour lemon light spice and cigar as supporting players. The very mildly applied rum is partnered with maple sugar, and hints of light licorice and creamy vanilla in the background. The Lakeland essence is very mild. Though the casings are not strong, they moderately tone down the tobaccos as they synergistically create a harmonious smoking experience. The strength and nic-hit are medium. The taste is step past that mark. Won’t bite or get harsh. It does have a few very small rough notes. May need a light dry time. Burns a little slow, fairly cool, and clean with a mostly consistent sweet, fruity, nutty, floral flavor from top to bottom. Requires a few relights, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering after taste. The room note is a touch stronger. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable for the veteran smoker. Will ghost a briar, and in time, a meer, too. Three stars.

Update: 1-26-2023. As with a 2016 tin that I have been smoking from, the current (2022) label description is ”Virginias and burley with flavors of rum, licorice and vanilla”. Past reviews at TR shows those flavors were advertised and noticed much earlier as well. In comparing the 2016 version to the 2022 production, l notice a few differences. The mild dark fruit is barely evident. The earth and wood are less prominent, and the grass/hay content is higher, indicating a change in the Virginias. The burleys are not quite as potent. The Lakeland essence is lighter, which allows the casings to be a step more obvious, and the blend a notch sweeter. The taste has dropped to medium. All other aspects remain the same as does my three star rating.

42 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2002 Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable
Since this review comes on Thanksgiving 2002, I would first like to wish all of my fellow reviewers a safe and fun Thanksgiving weekend. And I thank all of you for making such an interesting & educational website for a pipe and tobacco lover like myself. Enough warm & fuzzy stuff. Following is my review of Rum Flake:

Despite the description of an added casing of "Maple sugars," this flake burns cool, dry and sweet. I loved its power and strength too. If you can't tolerate much nicotine "kick" when you puff, avoid this flake or you'll get cross-eyed in a hurry.

A dash of rum is also included in this tobacco. But frankly, it is hard to detect. The tobacco was much too moist the first time I smoked a bowl. But even then it stayed lit well. After drying, the flavors really became more complex and leaped boldly toward my taste sensors.

This was delightful, and you can bet your turkey & dressing that I'll be purchasing more -- some for now and a few tins for the cellar!
26 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 06, 2015 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
One of the more interesting blends I've smoked. Starts with a good taste of Lakeland "perfume" which quickly fades to mild. In comes the rum and maple. The rum has a molasses flavor. As the bowl progresses the natural tobacco flavors come through. Mildly nutty Burley and mildly fruity Virginias. Due to the sweetness of the topping I can't tell how much sweetness might be coming from the tobacco. I smoked this in three types of pipe. I brought one of my briars out of retirement, a cob, and a clay I purchased just for this experiment. Here are the results.

1. Briar (Rossi Poker) - This brought out the rum and maple and minimized the natural tobacco flavors. The Lakeland scent started strong and quickly faded to mild.

2. Cob (MM Diplomat Apple) - This brought out the natural tobacco flavors and minimized the rum and maple. As with the briar, the Lakeland scent started strong and quickly faded to mild.

3. Clay (8 inch English tavern cutty) - This really brought out the sweetness with the rum, maple, and Lakeland scent coming through loud and clear. Couldn't believe how sweet it was. The natural tobacco flavors were very much minimized.

This was a fun blend to play with. Overall it's a very good smoke, and this is coming from someone who normally doesn't care much for Lakeland "perfume".

Medium in body and flavor. Flavoring varies from mild to mild to medium depending on the pipe. Since I have to choose one I'll go with the latter. Burns very nicely.
Pipe Used: Rossi Poker, MM Diplomat, Clay Tavern Cutty
Age When Smoked: fresh bulk
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 21, 2011 Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
G&H's Rum Flake sits high on my list of mild or subdued aromatics. Great looking in the tin (or bulk package), Rum Flake arrives as a medium brown, loosely pressed flake. Like most G&H Flakes, it's very easy to work with and versatile enough to allow for several preparations—rubbed out, folded and stuffed, rolled into a plug, etc. Personally, I tend to rub it out because I find that preparation best for releasing the subtle aromatics of the tobacco.

A whole lot of ink has been spilled discussing the flavor profile of this stuff. I think it smells heavenly—a lightly intense mix of rum, raisin, and maple. In the pipe, the maple flavor tends to come to the fore, but the aromatic intensity is sufficiently muted that there are occasions when I forget that I'm smoking an aromatized flake at all. Since I'm also a fan of G&H's Unscented Brown Flake (which may well serve as the tobacco base here), I'm fine with that.

The mildness of the flavoring here really does need stressing, given the name of the tobacco. Smokers looking for either intense rum aromas or intense maple aromas should probably look elsewhere. The maple here is nowhere near as intense as it is in, say, C&D's Autumn Evening, and the rum here is far more subdued that it is in tobaccos like Sutliff's Barbados Plantation or C&D's Blockade Runner. That's all for the best as far as I'm concerned, but others may find Rum Flake to be a misleading title.

As for the complaints about the “Lakeland” scents here: on occasion, I do get a wee hint of something floral, but complaining that this tobacco is heavy in Lakeland scents doesn't strike me as useful. Or true. This is wonderful stuff for smokers who enjoy rich tobacco flavor lightly enhanced with aromatic agents.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2011 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Another nice flake from GH. Rum Flake arrives a bit moist and it does have the soap like smell that GH is known for in many of their blends although not as soapy as others. I don't find that it translates to the flake. Rum Flake is somewhat sweet and I find the rum flavor to not be as strong as some suggest. Its not in the league of other spirits flavored tobacco like Pembroke or Cognac Mixture. The rum adds some of the sweetness. I prefer to rub the tan flake out and smoke it in a smaller bowl. While a decent flake out of the tin, it ages very, very well. The flakes turn very dark in color and while the rum taste diminishes, the sweetness increases. A few years of age on Run Flake and its a four star blend. Rum Flake is a must try for those that love Gawith Hoggarth flakes. Recommended.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 17, 2019 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
The presentation is lovely and rustic, seemingly 'old school' with the broken flakes typical of GH. The smell is kind of weird and perfume-like. There may be some Lakeland essence in this blend, or it could just be cross-contamination. The perfume doesn't come through in the taste.

Taste: sweet and bready, dry and nutty, molasses notes, maybe a touch of caramel. This blend produces lovely creamy smoke. Nice smell that comes off the pipe. The rum seems to add nice sweetness, maybe some wood.

Nicotine: I got a slight hit. I'd rate it medium. Strength is mild to medium. The smoke had some denseness which helped with the promulgation of flavors.

This may ghost your briar, but I haven't smoked it in any pipe consistently. I imagine it would do well in the sweetness of a corn cob.

I'd recommend it to the Lakeland smoker, or even the burley smoker, as long as you don't mind flavorings. There is enough sweetness to delight the Virginia lovers as well. It's not really an aromatic, to me. Tobacco flavors are on top of added flavors. I would buy it again as a treat tobacco maybe. It's also a nice intro into Lakeland tobaccos without getting heavy Lakeland ghosting, maybe, or heavy Lakeland flavors. A similar tobacco would be Peterson Hyde Park.
Pipe Used: Bent apple,bent brandy,canadian
PurchasedFrom: Iwanries
Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 05, 2013 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I found this on a second visit to various Lakeland flakes. This burns great, tastes delicious and complex. Enjoyed it in a small briar then a meerschaum and have stayed with that play. Probably one of the best navy-style flakes I have and will continue to enjoy. The rum is subtle and the other flavorings just seem to work well as the tobacco still rules the experience. It does have a goodly amount of nicotine so not too late at night is better.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 27, 2003 Medium to Strong Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a tobacco I buy in bulk and keep for months, smoking it sparingly over time, perhaps a bowl a week or every two weeks. It is a typical dark, pressed G&H flake with a maple sugar aroma and this carries over into the flavor of the smoke. This is a strong tobacco, and has that pleasant astringent sensation of nicotine on the tongue underneath the tobacco flavors. The combination of the sweet maple and the somewhat bitter, dark pressed flake flavor are unique to this tobacco. There is absolutely no bite. I like the dark pressed, scented Lakeland flakes, and I like this the best of all. If you like a sweet tobacco now and then, but you want the taste of tobacco, this is an excellent choice. Highly recommended. Paddy.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 02, 2022 Medium Medium Medium Tolerable
I picked up a tin before reading the reviews in my quest to find the rum flake /tobacco that I really would like as I enjoy rums as my brown liquor of choice.

That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by what I got. It has a faint lakeland scent that comes through from time to time. I picked up the maple/sweet/rum mostly in the first 3rd of the bowls. The rest of the time it was a nice burning medium flake that is complex in a good way. The room note isn't a favorite with my wife. My bulk is from 2021, so I'll be interested to see how this one ages and look forward to having it as a treat from time to time.
Pipe Used: various
Age When Smoked: 2021
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 03, 2021 Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
For some reason unknown to me, this tobacco is found in different countries in different packaging, with different labels and names. In American stores I have seen it with a label of dark green color, in the EU the manufacturer had to change the name of Jamaican Flake or R&M (Rum & Maple) Flake. Nevertheless, the manufacturer claims that in all the variants described it is the same blend.

Jars of this company's products, unfortunately, are not marked with the date of packaging. So we have to refer to the 2012 excise stamp. Judging by the smell, the tobacco has obviously been in storage for a while - the rum has weathered, and the maple syrup reminds of molasses. In addition, the bouquet has a very faint, but familiar Lakeland flavor (mostly rose oil), as well as the tobacco's own smell - a nut, some stale hay and, for some reason, rye flour.

In appearance, the slicing of the tobacco is no different from other G&H flakes - it's still the same sloppy and slightly broken, as if they were chopping tobacco with a knife by hand. The plates vary in thickness from a millimeter to two, and one plate at different ends can have different thicknesses. I can't say that it makes stuffing the pipe easier, on the contrary. The best variant for this kind of tobacco is a pipe with a wide bowl. The color of the tobacco looks like a long-lasted bitter chocolate, fully covered with a light coating: through the light flake of the shade of stained white oak you can see the veins of cocoa color. If you look closely, you can see very small sugar crystals glistening on the tobacco. The consistency is dense. The moisture content is moderate, no moisture when kneading.

The taste was quite unassuming: a nut, a little earth, a drop of rum, baked pear, bread from a mixture of rye and wheat flour, rose oil.

The strength of the tobacco is medium, and gets a little stronger as you smoke it. The tobacco does not bite, is soft, burns slowly and cool, while it burns - increases in volume, leaving a loose, but fine ash. Despite the apparent relative dryness, it leaves moisture in the pipe and even the mouthpiece. Nevertheless, I don't recommend a pipe with a filter - I had to take it out to taste the nuances of flavor.

The smoke from the tobacco has a fairly consistent but neutral tobacco smell with hints of rose and walnut.

Bottom line: an everyday blend for those who like burley with subtle hints. I personally don't particularly like it, but I can't help but note its harmony and lack of any distinct flavors or aromas.
Pipe Used: Peterson Irish Writers
PurchasedFrom: Online
Age When Smoked: 2012
3 people found this review helpful.
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