Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. Balkan Flake



Brand Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blended By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Manufactured By Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Virginia
Flavoring Other / Misc
Cut Flake
Packaging Bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.92 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 25, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
The leathery, floral Cyprian Latakia is smoky, woodsy, earthy, musty and a little sweet, and is well complemented by the grassy, mildly citrus sweet, bready, floral Virginia, which forms the base of the blend. There’s a light sweetness that seems to come from a topping or a casing of some kind. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. Won't bite or get harsh, but does have a few rough edges. Burns cool, clean and a tad slow once dried a little with a mostly consistent, mildly sweet and more savory, floral flavor that translates the lightly lingering after taste and stronger room note. It's a little smoother than the G&H Balkan Mixture, and isn't a lat-bomb. Lacks the complexity to stand out. Requires some relights, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. Two and a half stars.

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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 17, 2016 Mild Mild Very Mild Unnoticeable
This tobacco me seems a lot artificial. It is obvious that in the blending is a lot of effort, but for such a reputable company, I expected much, much more. Texture, flake, look and smell promise much more than after I lit my pipe. First I feel some artificial - " chemistry laboratory" smell that unfortunately remains all the time smoking my pipe, which can not be precisely defined, something like an old soap. I admit that I am "latakia freak", but this mixture/flake, unfortunately has nothing special for impressed me. In the absence of better tobacco, you can smoke it, but certainly I will not dare to buy it a second time. I give it two stars only because of the reputation of the company ...
Pipe Used: Peterson, some old meer pipes
PurchasedFrom: Fox, London
Age When Smoked: new from shop
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 05, 2021 Medium to Strong Strong Full Tolerable
Not one for me I'm afraid. I'm loathe to mark down a latakia blend because I know that for many this is a love/hate thing. I get vexed with reviews of lakeland blends by pipers who obviously just don't like that style and never will. It's like someone who only likes red wine marking all white wines as "not recommended". But here goes...

To put things in context... I'm a big fan of GH tobaccos and particularly their flakes. I don't like "lat bombs" but do enjoy tobaccos where latakia is used subtly, for example Peterson's Early Morning Pipe and particularly GH Navy Flake.

This is a quality flake. Not too moist. It rubs out well, lights easily and smokes well. No tongue burn. All good so far. But the latakia content is just way too high for me. I decanted into a jar, left it for a couple of months giving it a shake from time to time... and used a dope-style grinder to make sure it was well rubbed out. I just tried to smoke a bowl in my Falcon bent and had to abandon half way through... my tongue was coated and I had to wash my mouth out.
Pipe Used: Falcon bent
Age When Smoked: 3 months old
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2021 Medium Extremely Mild Full Strong
During a recent shelf inspection, it turned out that I happened to have different packages of the same tobacco quite by accident. I found this fact to be a great opportunity to open both packs and compare the experience. Unfortunately for me, the newer tobacco was not in a tin, but in a pouch. But I guess the difference for fresh tobaccos is not much.

Another thing that bothered me somewhat was that the blend I found was from the Balkan group. I'm not a big expert on latakia-based blends, plus I'm wary of "latakia bombs". But the manufacturer claimed that this mixture is quite harmonious. And, as they say, curiosity killed the cat.

So, let's compare. In the blue corner of the ring is a 40-gram bag of Balkan Flake with a 2016 excise stamp. In the red corner of the ring is its big brother, a 50-gram can of the same tobacco with a 2012 excise stamp.

2016: The open pouch smelled brightly of the tar smoke of Cypriot latakia, earthy and slightly musty, plus sandalwood, black pepper, coriander, musk and treated fresh leather. And that was it. I was surprised - where's the virginia? I poured the contents of the pouch into a tightly sealed jar and let it stand for a couple of days. The smell of latakia became lighter, with hay notes of Virginia showing through. Nevertheless, the latakia strongly prevailed. No flavorings described by the manufacturer could be found - if they were, the latakia, literally, ate them.

The tobacco is sliced in a typical way for this manufacturer - blunt knife and how ever. The thickness of the plates ranges from one and a half to three millimeters. It would be hard to fill such slices if they were well-compressed. But the plates crumble easily. The color of the tobacco is the darkest chocolate, with occasional flecks of a slightly browner hue. The resinousness of the tobacco is elevated, despite the slight dryness. The tobacco is easy to light.

The tobacco flavor is almost pure latakia, spicy, slightly sweet, and not too strong. There is no complexity in this composition - black and allspice peppers, coriander, and a very light touch of chocolate. This blend is clearly designed for a lover. It is probably good to scare away mosquitoes by sitting on a terrace somewhere in the evening and smoking with a sip of whiskey. Despite the medium strength, by about halfway through the small pipe a slight nicotine kick caught up with me. The tobacco smokes dry and not too hot, does not bite, but has some "roughness". The ash is dark gray in color, there is a lot of it. There is no moisture at all.

The smoke is dense, with a woody, earthy note and the smell of tar. It hangs in a dense carpet, and the air of the room is saturated with it for a long time.

It's for 2012 now: Surprisingly, the open tin, in addition to the same tar smoke of Cypress latakia and earthiness, black pepper, coriander and leather, gave a slight fruity note of virginia. But more than that, the more harmonious aroma included a light scent of violets and a subtle vanilla note, as from the powder. There it was, the hidden leekland!

The color and consistency of the aged tobacco was almost indistinguishable from the fresher tobacco. So I just stuffed it in my pipe and smoked it.

It was quite different. The tobacco was sweetly bitter, with a more overt note of baked fruit over spicy, spicy latakia. The deceptive lightness of the blend also caught up with a slight nicotine kick. It was certainly the same blend, but the flavor and aroma were much softer and more harmonious. As I smoked, the sweetness was almost gone, and by the end of the pipe, the tobacco was reminiscent of the 2016 blend in a softer way. The smoke from the 2012 blend is just as dense and persistent, but in addition to the latakia, there's a distinctly sweet Virginia feel to it.

What's the bottom line? First of all - definitely, all other things being equal, the 2012 wins this contest.

And in general, the blend is clearly not for everyone, and it won't be in my collection. But I know that fans of Balkan blends will be happy with it. Especially if you set aside the purchased jar to sit for a few years and use it with black coffee or whiskey. Just don't forget to kick the family out when you smoke it, and air the room well afterwards.
Pipe Used: Peterson 999
PurchasedFrom: Online
Age When Smoked: 2016, 2012
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