Samuel Gawith Bothy Flake

A traditional blend of pressed Virginias with a hint of latakia and a dash of Highland malt whiskey make Bothy Flake a medium strength, aromatic and easy smoking tobacco. A Kearvaig Pipe Club Tobacco.
Notes: By K&K: Bob Gregory doesn't know how many "Bothies" (small huts) there are in the Highlands, but he estimates about 40 of 'em. The good thing about these cabins is that they are allowed to smoke here. You can do everything in such a hut: You can make a fire to keep yourself warm, eart the leftover food, and drink the leftover drink. The prerequisite, however, is that food an drink be stocked up again for the next hiker. "These little huts have saved my life once" says Bob. "Many years ago, with m father I spent two nights in the Cairngorm Mountains in the wet, cold and windsy weather. My father had sprained his foot and could barely walk. Our luck was the Corar Bothy who gave us shelter during the storm." The Bothy Flake is a thanksgiving to these small huts. Consisting of a full Virginia tobacco with a small share of latakia from Cyprus. The flake gets its smoky-peaty undertone with the addition of a typical Highland malt whiskey essence, which is highlighted by the latakia. Medium in strength and aromatic with a full-bodied room note. A genuine Highlander!


Brand Samuel Gawith
Series Kearvaig Pipe Club
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Virginia/Latakia
Contents Latakia, Virginia
Flavoring Whisky
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.42 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 45 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 15, 2016 Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The pressed Virginias are earthy, woody, slightly vegetative and floral with a deep stewed fermented, tangy dark fruitiness, and are the main players. There’s a light spice note from them, too. They say there’s a “hint” of smoky, woody, earthy, sweet Cyprian Latakia present, but I find it to be more noticeable than that as it well compliments the Virginias. The Highland malt whiskey, though mildly applied, is rich in flavor and melds well with the tobaccos without sublimating them much. The various flavors are very consistently smooth, creamy, and lightly savory from start to finish. The strength is medium, while the taste is a couple of steps past that mark. The nic-hit is a slot behind the strength level. The flakes are fairly moist, and may need some dry time, though I have smoked it without doing so. Either way, it’ll burn, cool, clean and slow, and requires a fair number of relights. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. Won’t bite even if pushed, but I find a slow cadence heightens the enjoyment of the deep richness of the smoke. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste and slightly stronger room note. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable.

43 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2015 Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Bothy Flake comes in very moist condition and smells like peaty single malt out of the tin, just as promised. I let it dry for a whole day and rubbed it out before filling the pipe, but still needed some patience to light it properly.

Once accomplished this is a lot of fun to smoke for the individual components are distinguished and harmonically melted at the same time (if that makes any sense). During your smoke it not only smells fantastic, but there is quite some complex development going on in taste. My first impression was smoky, peaty Latakia taste, which instantly smoothens out accompanied by subtle sweetness of the Virginias and malty notes till mid bowl, ending in a pleasant, slightly piquant finish, as if there was Perique in there.

The use of a charcoal filter cuts off some of the fascination, a paper filter that doesn't block the airstream was fine though.

There was not a single Whisky blend out there, that managed to fully convince me to deserve its name. Thanks to SG that’s a thing of the past. Happy aging everyone!
Pipe Used: Various with and without filter
Age When Smoked: fresh
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 20, 2014 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Samuel Gawith - Bothy Flake.

As always with Sam G' it's too moist! I leave mine out in the morning for a few hours prior to smoking to allow the flakes to dry some. If we forget that usual Sam G' niggle this is a good tobacco.

The first thing I will point out is that I find any added flavours very mild, there is a slight tang of whiskey but not overly noticeable at all. The tobacco flavours are superb, the Virginia is unequivocally the main player in this game, with the Latakia offering a light smoky background flavour making it by no means a 'Lat-Bomb'! It burns quite consistently not requiring re-lighting if it isn't left unattended and the actual smokes discernible points outside of flavour are great. The temperature? Quite cool. Nicotine? Well this would suit most kinds of smokers, not that strong as to intimidate taste only smokers, yet if inhaled it is enough to satisfy those who smoke for N. The burning of the tobacco, this depends upon having the patience to let it dry. When I smoked this without allowing it airing time the dottle left was immense but once it's been given a good airing period the burn is very clean and straight to the end. The room-note doesn't harbor any aromatic whiskey side, it is a steadfast Virginia one but not too heavy.

I was really excited when I saw this blend and even happier after my first smoke as it is the usual Sam G' quality, four stars easily.
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: G.Q Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: New
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 14, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is without doubt a great smoke, on opening the tin you get a good whiff of the Whisky soaked flakes' which in its self is real mouth watering moment, i then gently broke the flakes up and let them sit for 20 mins, then loaded my Savinelli 645 ' once lit i was greeted with the unique taste of whisky and Latakia & a slight peppery background, And it just got better & better as i gently puffed away down the bowl. Iv'e now been smoking Bothy flake for 4 wks' every day all day just to find its weak point' but i can not find one, I highly recommend everyone to try this "OUTSTANDING" blend, all i can say is well done to' Bob the blender Gregory at the brown house in kendal UK' & also to Sergeant Matron from the KPC on getting together to bring this to the market for our pleasure. You will not get any tongue bite with this, & it burns to a nice ash.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 22, 2020 Medium Mild Medium Tolerable
I bought some Bothy Flake as a farewell gesture to the wonderful Durham Pipe and Tobacco Shop in the indoor market at Durham, UK, closing down after twenty-eight years, during all of which I have been a customer. The market manager apparently does not want to let the site go to another tobacconist. A sad day indeed. I thought Bothy Flake a very impressive tobacco, with a just about perfect balance struck between Virginia and Latakia tobaccos and the (genuine) whisky flavouring. It burns slowly, it doesn't bite, and it leaves no dottle to speak of. I wonder if readers will know what I mean if I say that it's a very traditional 'Scottish' tobacco? Like almost all Samuel Gawith tobaccos it is improved by a little drying time, and the room note is nothing to write home about (that's Latakia for you); but, with these small quibbles, it's a very fine addition to the Gawith stable. Never again will I be able to buy it from my old friends in Durham, but I shall certainly buy it again. Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Comoy's Canadian
PurchasedFrom: Durham Pipe and Tobacco Shop
Age When Smoked: Fresh from the shop
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 28, 2016 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I looked in my cellar wanting to try a new flake and came across Bothy. I didn't remember anything about it when I decided to crack it open. I was greeted with a stunning and unique aroma, strong and malty with a big blast of ocean spray behind it. And yet even despite this obvious clue it still hadn't kicked in to me that this was cased with whiskey. But it was immediately evident once I lit up.

Unlike other reviewers, the moisture level was just right for me. Though the flake was thick, which is usually not a good sign for an SG flake, it folded well, and lit and stayed lit pretty well.

I'm currently enjoying my first bowl. I expect to enjoy many more. I'm breaking a rule of mine to never write a review after trying a blend for the first time, but I'm moved to do so this time because why wait when I knew instantly that this is an outstanding flake. The first puff was delicious, as was each succeeding puff.

This is the only tobacco I've ever tried that finally gets a whiskey casing right: it doesn't sit on top of it, but integrates in deep and subtle ways with the virginias and the latakia to make them all dance and frolic in great harmony together. SG's copy is absolutely correct: this is very much a delicately flavored virginia flake, and the latakia appears as a hint -- but a necessary one that works as an amazing catalyst to bring the marvelous dash of whiskey to life by gently taming it, the smokey nuances of both working harmoniously together. It's a brilliant balancing act.

I'd go so far as to say this is the best first bowl of a new blend I've ever had. (I will follow-up this review after I've finished the tin to see if I still feel the same way.)

I anticipate this becoming one of my default all-day smokes.

I'll definitely be cellaring more of this wonderful flake. Another major winner from the master blenders at SG!

UPDATE 05/05/17 I'm on my fifth tin. Every tin after my first contained very damp flakes. I was prepared to lower my rating to 3 stars, and sometimes even 2, because the flake was so damn moist that by the time it dried enough to smoke without constant relighting the flavor lost its magic.

But rather than give up I tried something I've seldom done, because the results were seldom good: I microwaved it for half a minute. Not only did it dry quickly (of course), but the flavor really popped -- and without relighting.

This is the first time I can honestly recommend using the microwave. Now instead of being frustrated with a thin stream of smoke from constantly relighting a damp flake, I'm getting billows of flavorful smoke. I'm glad that I found a way to really make this flake come alive for me. It has re-earned its four stars.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 09, 2020 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant
I bought a tin of Bothy Flake last year and had been saving it for a rainy day because seemingly half the reviews say this tobacco is the perfect rainy day blend. Now that we are in the second day of a week of wind and rain in coastal Southern California (a rare treat), I decided to pop the tin because it is the closest we get to the British Isles type of weather.

Dark clouds, heavy wind, pouring rain, and the sound of seagulls were the background for my smoke.

The blend lit and I settled in for a long smoke. Bothy Flake seems to be predominantly Virginia, infused with peaty Scotch, and a hint of Latakia. Now this is different from a standard aromatic because it is a meaty blend; most aromatics make me feel like I am smoking air. This blend is technically an English blend, and it is immediately noticeable that it is similar to Esoterica Pembroke; although that has a cognac topping, and has a heavier topping than this does. This one has a peaty, whiskey essence, which is now my favorite room note out of any tobacco I have. I lived on a sailboat for three months, and it reminds me of the smell of the wood inside the cabin of that sailboat (I think the small amount of Latakia adds this). Maybe a hint of salt water as well. This would make a better “sailor blend” than Black Frigate, which is good, but not as good as Bothy Flake. This blend just hits the spot, and warms you, much like a good Scotch does.

Some slight floral notes, but it’s not a Lakeland. I think the floral notes (which are only noticeable at certain times throughout the smoke) help contribute to that old, salty sailor essence. This blend makes me reminisce on a time I never lived in, and perhaps that is an indicator of Samuel Gawith’s dedication to quality, old world style blends. Other tobaccos made in England give a similar feeling: Esoterica blends, and Germain’s Rich Dark Flake come to mind.

This is a blend I want to put into a giant bowl and just sit with for hours. I am hooked. I expect to have many more bowls of Bothy Flake during this week of rain.
Pipe Used: Stanwell Bent Apple
Age When Smoked: 1 Year
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 27, 2016 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable
This is a really good smoke in briar, cob or clay. In briar and clay the Latakia is somewhat muted allowing the Virginias to have a bigger role. The Scotch is more tangy and less malty. In a cob the Latakia is about equal in influence with the Virginias and the Scotch is more malty with just a little tang. It's damn good either way you go, but I prefer the cob. Just seems a little better balanced. Burns best for me fully rubbed out. Does require drying time. A very nice flake. Better than 3 stars, but closer to 3 than 4.

Medium in body and taste. Flavoring is mild in briar and clay, closer to mild to medium in a cob. I'll go with mild to medium since I prefer it in a cob.
Pipe Used: Ropp pot, MM Mark Twain, MF #4
Age When Smoked: fresh
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 24, 2018 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
A well done English-Lakelandish-Flake! The tin note is that of musty, peaty Latakia and Whisky, quite intriguing. But then the Lakeland - which is very mild, yet everpresent - joins in, which I don't like too much.

Surprisingly my tin was rather well conditioned, being ready to smoke right out of the tin, but it benefits from drying imho. In the pipe it's a smooth Virginia+Latakia blend with nice body and the rich qualitites of Latakia, being smokiness, musti- and peatiness, as well as woodsy and ethereal notes. The Virginias balance the Latakia out very well and add mild sweetness to the smoke. The Whiskey topping is rather mild and sometimes you'll find yourself grasping for it, when the Lakeland-Essence subdues it quite a bit.

Sadly I don't like the Lakeland essence too much, but nonetheless it's a blend I'd recommend to lovers of English-, Lakeland- and Boozy-typed blends - Bothy compromises them all! 😉
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 21, 2018 Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Samuel Gawith's flake blends are unique and this one is no exception!once the tin breaks a wonderfull malt whiskey aroma accompanied from fruits and smokey notes comes out.the flakes are deep brown and dark, moist almost manageable either to rub or to fold as they are.even if dried properly the lighting is not easy and several relights are needed while smoking.while burning the flavours are very natural and pleasing.the virginias are the main player offering dark fruits ,some citruses ,frorall and earth notes.latakias are descreet but obvious being smokey,earthy and spicy.the topping is there till the end without subtlimating the tobacco flavours.despite that the topping is malt whiskey the smokey notes gave me a feeling that i taste smoked whiskey some times.burns cool and very slow with some moisture being created at the end of the bowl.the room note is tolerable and the aftertaste pleasant.the nicotine level is medium.not an all day smoke.i recommend filling a churchwarden pipe with this star and relax while smoking it!
Age When Smoked: Rubbed and dried out for an hour
7 people found this review helpful.
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