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 - 10 of 12 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
Jul 17, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Gawith Hoggarth - Balkan Flake.

The unlit tobacco is really appealing, the flakes are fairly thick with a dark brown colour and they give off a very leathery aroma which does make me feel a touch disquiet towards it (in a good way !). On the negative side it is quite moist so I recommend it's given some extra time to air a little. Due to the thickness you do have to be a touch pertinacious with the preparation of this one but the smoking of it is indeed a remuneration for the hard work!

Mine takes to the flame with ease and gives a steady/even burn leaving a white ash without the smoke being too hot. The flavour is really nice, yes it contains Latakia but the Latakia doesn't steal all the limelight by being overly smoky, it is very noticeable but not too heavy, leaving room to appreciate the Virginia in the mix with its lovely hay notes but to be honest even though it says that there is a little added flavoring I only detect the tobaccos. To be fair the Oriental/Turkish isn't that noticeable, more of a gentle flavour you have to look for ! Vitamin N is a good level for me, medium and tongue bite remains elusive for the whole bowl for me, even if I really strain it hard as if to implore it to bite it remains redundant ! The room note is very pleasant, albeit quite heavy, so this is a tobacco to only smoke in the company of other enthusiasts! This one would be a perfect "end of day" smoke accompanied by a good single malt and a piece of relaxing music, or a can of lager and Coronation Street if that floats your boat!

4 stars from me.
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 03, 2014 Medium None Detected Full Very Strong
It's an odd thing; but, despite the favourable reviews that this blend has received - I absolutely hated it. I found it harsh, hot, and bitter; also laborious to rub out and keep lit. On the strength of my experience so far - definitely not recommended. I suspect, though, that I got a bad batch; or maybe my palate was having an off day. I'll try some more of it when I can summon up the nerve, and write a fuller review. BTW: it's a Lat bomb (at least I found it so), and the room note is just plain awful.

Update, June 21 2015: Nope, I just can't like this. I'm in a minority, but I still find it a harsh, hot, bitter lat bomb. Some things just don't suit some individual palates, I guess.
Pipe Used: Peterson billiard
2 people found this review helpful.
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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
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 15, 2015 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Unsurprisingly, pretty much the same as GH’s Balkan Mixture but in thick flake form (I did want to try it to be sure). The tobaccos are some very good VAs mixed with a good dose of Latakia. The topping is a very mild one which tastes to me of something similar to pine resin. However, the effect of the topping (on me anyway) is akin to menthol, and the effect grows stronger as the bowl goes on, which is why I gave the flavoring the higher number. If that combo sounds good to you, give this (or the more readily available Balkan Mixture) a try. If not, stay away.
Pipe Used: meers
PurchasedFrom: My Smoking Shop
Age When Smoked: fresh from retailer
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 21, 2014 Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Another great flake needs to dry for a while nice mild smoke loads of lat burns nice and slow no t bite at all one of my fav balkan smokes of all time
Pipe Used: Peterson tankard and barrell rustic
PurchasedFrom: Smokeking
Age When Smoked: New
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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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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 24, 2021 Very Strong Very Strong Very Full Very Strong
I decided to buy and try this mixture in a pouch of 100 g. After opening the pouch, a powerful smell of Latakia: the smell of fire and fragrance. This mixture is dominated by Latakia. The flakes are wet, I recommend waiting 30 or more minutes before filling the pipe. Since this mixture is strong, I used a 9 mm charcoal filter and a small size pipe. I sat down. A cup of pleasant aromatic black coffee with cream in the fresh air. It is immediately feeling that the mixture is strong with a powerful bold aroma. You need to slowly fill your mouth with fragrant smoke to feel the aroma of the mixture. After certain amount of time, dizziness is coming. I recommend sipping the blend. The blend is for evening time after a heavy dinner, I think. I recommend it for experienced connoisseurs of tobacco mixtures, especially who is a heavy Balkan & Latakia fun. To reduce the flavour and strength, I have added Sutliff Matured Red Virginia 515 RC-1, it has resulted pleasurable both for my palate.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Dolomiti 320 KS 9mm
PurchasedFrom: an online Russian tobacco shop
Age When Smoked: unknown
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 17, 2019 Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is the tobacco that made me realize I'm a Balkan/English man. I ordered it as part of a large order and It was the one I was least excited to try. 6 months later I finally got round to popping the jar and stuffing it in my pipe. It blew my tiny little mind! Creamy, smokey, deep, succulent and as had been said before Pine resiny. Best enjoyed with a decent Rioja, this is only one of two tobaccos I consider a 4 star blend.

I obviously ordered more once I had ran out but the next lot was much lighter in color and much more pliable. Maybe a younger batch? Who knows, luckily the new stuff is almost as good but If you come across the black, crumbly flakes then let me know.
Pipe Used: Peterson's Briar
Age When Smoked: new to 6 months
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