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 - 11 of 138 Reviews
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
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
Aug 11, 2013 Medium to Strong Strong Medium Pleasant
Have been wanting to try this for a while now, and I'm glad I did.

A real old fashioned traditional pipers sweet flake is this. Quite sweet, but very flavourful without impinging on the underlying tobacco taste which is surprisingly firm. It isn't overly floral IMO, less so than some of its other stable mates.

Will be getting more of this to jar, and it will become a staple go to blend that will be ever present on my list of regulars. Probably one of my top 5 without a doubt.

Highly recommended if you're after a traditional sweet flake that has some good nic.
36 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 11, 2008 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
This tobacco is a flake, so this review assumes that you can smoke flake properly.

When you see this in the tin, wrapped in the plastic baggy, you might be disappointed...but when you pop the tape seal, you're hit with a deep, rich, plummy, rummy smell and you can see the darkness and complexity of the flake slices...a good sign!

When you've packed your pipe properly, be prepared for a cool, rich, deep, complex and varied smoke that gives forth clouds of smoke spiced with LIGHT scents of vanilla and rum, but doesn't bite the tongue or flare up in the pipe. Slow, steady smoking will bring a swirling mix of the casing (rum, vanilla, licorice) to your senses and delight you every minute! It burns down to clean, dry ash and lingers in the nose like a pleasant shot of rum and soft vanilla ice cream. EXCELLENT!

This is a wonderful tobacco and is going into the regular rotation. The people I was around like it, too!

This is nothing but an elegant aromatic with enough tobacco flavor to satisfy anyone, anytime.

HIGHLY recommended!!!
26 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!
25 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 19, 2011 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
After reading the reviews and the description, I'm not sure I got the right tobacco.

I found no trace of Lakeland florals, in either the bag aroma or the taste. There was very little sweetness and what little there was burned away before I got 1/3 of the way down the bowl. What remained was a moderately robust flavor that turned ashy. I was expecting considerably more sweetness and that may have biased me against this blend, but I think my expectations were justified based on the previous reviews. I would classify this tobacco as something to try but quite a disappointment to me. Certainly this is no "Christmas Cake". What it is to my tastebuds is a mostly non-descript mish-mash of tobaccos with a casing that was watered down the day my batch was produced.

This seems to have a following so by all means try it if it interests you. I may try it again someday but not anytime soon.
23 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
Jul 24, 2013 Strong Strong Full Strong
Rum Flake;

Star Rating = 3.75;

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

Pouch Note = 10;

Room Note = 9;

Flavor = 10;

Bite = 9;

Burn = 10;

After Taste = 9;

Raw Score = 57;

Rated Percentage = 95%;

Comment = Smooth, Strong Strength, Full Body Natural Tobacco Flavor, has a slight Sweet Taste, enjoyable smoke
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 01, 2011 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Look down one review. I think it's imporrtant to understand the intent behind the use of flavorings in many of Gawith and Hogwarts blends. As I see it they're neither necessarily supposed to reek of nor strongly taste like the flavor...which is there often to 'take the edge off' a very strong blend or enhance and meld with other Lakeland essences which may or may not be present and to varying degrees. In this sense they are condimental...they 'adjust' the flavors. This is especially true with the flavored twists (whisky, rum, maple, etc.). I also find it to be the case with blends like the Lousiana Flake, in which I can taste a faint Lakeland style floral aroma...but little of the touted Perique. But it's there. Rum Flake is perhaps the sweetest flake that G&H makes. It's fantastic, wonderful stuff. But the flaver reviled by the other reviewer is likely that light rum combined with the lignt Lakeland essence. If you like it...well and good. If claim the rum is from China. Sadly, if you don't like this one you likely won't like other forms of G&H the already mentioned Lousiana Flake...or Glengarry...or Brown Flake Unscented. Boy...they sure do make some amazing flakes.

Of course, I'm not saying anyone has to like 'em. We all have different it should be.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 12, 2006 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Is there such a thing as a bad flake from Gawith & Hogarth? If there is, I have yet to discover it. I have not tried any of their full strength offerings, as that type of thing is not really my bag.

I normally try and avoid tobaccos with any sort of casing or flavouring, but sailors have added rum to tobacco since ancient times, so I felt I should give this one a go. Having said that, I don't feel I should welcome the taste of rum first thing in the morning!

Well, it is simply outstanding and I recommend it wholeheartedly. It never overheats the pipe and smokes beautifully right to the end of bowl, which should appeal to the more thrifty amongst you. The quality is instantly apparent from the moment you light your pipe.

What is the perfect medium flake? Is it British, from the Old South, or could it possibly be Danish?

This is a first class tobacco with which to sweeten your by now, thoroughly confused briars. Even my most hated Dunhill Pot, seems to have taken on a new lease of life!
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 11, 2003 Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Very Pleasant
I got this tobacco, along with Bob's chocolate, Black Irish X rope, and Glengarry flake, as a chance to sample some of Gawith's tobaccos. As you will find if you read my other reviews of these tobaccos, this is the only one that really did it for me. This stuff is simply the best aromatic tobacco that I have ever tried. I can't say enough good stuff about it. While I could recognize that Bob's and Glenngary were of excellent quality, it was the flavoring components that didn't appeal to my personal tastes. Not so with this tobac! The flavor of maple sugar along with sweet Virginia and nutty Burley were perfect. I know that there is supposed to be rum in the mix but it really doesn't seem to be there. I think they should rename it Maple Flake. The casings never cover up the taste of very high quality tobacco in this blend, and all together it alway's makes me think of that elusive, rich, classic tobacco aroma that we all strive to rediscover. The same aroma that we remember smelling when we were kids and we encountered the smell of grandpa smoking his pipe for the first time. This is a cool smoking blend as well with great burning characterisitics. This stuff is classic and I will never be long without some on hand. That being said, if you are looking for a hearty, rich, and tasty aromatic that still delivers great tobacco taste, take this for a spin. Too rich for all day consumption, it will indeed be a treat on Christmas morning!
13 people found this review helpful.
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