Samuel Gawith St James Flake (Bulk)

Notes: St James Flake has the reputation for being one of the best flakes on the market. This moist flake containing Virginia and perique has flavours of hay with pepper overtones from the perique. This smokes well from the tin but if left to air becomes less tangy and cooler. This tobacco is pressed with a little added sugar which can crystallize on the surface.


Brand Samuel Gawith
Blended By Samuel Gawith
Manufactured By Samuel Gawith
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Perique, Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging Bulk
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.80 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 23, 2015 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Not sure why this is listed here because this is the same as the tinned version, and there is no difference in taste, unless you bought one or the other aged. The only difference is that the packaging is different, and the flakes are longer in bulk.

The very earthy, woody, slightly tart and tangy dark and stewed, sugary dark fruity, slightly grassy, vinegary and floral, mildly tart and tangy citrusy Virginias are the lead component. They also seem to offer a hint of chocolate at times if you look hard enough. The perique offers raisins, plum, and plenty of figs with some pepper as a supporting player. There is a very mild sweet topping, but it doesn’t tone down the tobaccos. There is a noticeable fermented quality to the sweetness, which likely comes from the aged tobaccos, the extra pressing and some stoving. It does need some drying time, but if you dry it completely, you lose a little of the flavor. I cut it in very small, almost cube size, mixed in a few short, slim strips. It burns slowly, requires some relights, and leaves just a little moisture in the bowl. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite or harshness even when pushed. Has a few small rough edges. Has a cool, clean, fairly smooth, tart and tangy sweet, spicy, mildly sugary, consistent flavor from top to bottom with a very pleasant, lightly lingering after taste. The room note is a tad stronger. Can be an all day smoke.

27 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 22, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
When a fellow local pipe club member brought his St. James bulk to one of our meetings to share, I initially didn't want to smoke any as I had smoked the tinned version and was not a fan of the large amount of Perique included. But, after some of the VaPer lovers made positive comments about the blend as they smoked it, I figured I needed to smoke a bowl. I sure couldn't tell any difference in the flavor, but then, the last time I smoked St. James out of the tin was a couple of years ago. I compared notes afterwards and the opinion was pretty much the same. The only difference being that the bulk that I smoked seemed to smoke a little cleaner with less re-lights than the tinned version. I somewhat recommend this blend to Va/Per lovers among us. It is a cautious recommendation because the Perique in this blend is absolutely over the top for me and judging from the previous reviews, may be a bit much for the average Va/Per lovers among us. Still, for those who love a Perique kick in the teeth, this is going to be worshiped.

As is the case with most all SG Virginia blends, the leaf is top-shelf and the presentation (in this case, flakes) is quite nicely done. The pendulum leans to the right in both strength and taste.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Sam Gawith - St James (Bulk).

The tinned Sam G' St James is one of my favourite blends so when I noticed this 'bulk' version on the G.Q Tobaccos website I just had to try some.

The smell from the pouch is identical to its tinned twin, pure hay and the flakes are the same in build/colour. An area that I am pleased to notice they differ in is moistness! Usually when I open a tin of Sam G' flake tobacco the word 'soaking' immediately comes to mind but these are nowhere near as drenched.

The flavour is superb, it just reminds me why St James is in my favourites list! I get a lovely Virginia taste with an evenly weighted Perique spiciness. The burn is very consistent leaving behind a white ash and it doesn't need hardly any re-lights. The nicotine is of a decent strength, in fact I can see this being a great morning smoke to re-fill my nicotine stores!

Most of its properties are the same as the tinned version but the one area where this is diametrically opposed is the content of moisture, they say you can't improve on perfection but this is an example of a rare occasion where perfection has been improved!

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Rattray's Six Friends
PurchasedFrom: G.Q Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: New
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 09, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
I don't know why it's taken me so long to write up my thoughts on this flake but sometimes I just forget to sing my praise of some old favorites. This one is definitely a favorite and I consider it to be one of the finest VaPer's on the market. This will give you low base notes with some sharpness from the Perique. It's of the yeasty bready kind of flavors rather than the light hay like notes you would find in lighter VaPer's. I enjoy dark flakes and low notes and this one satisfies on every level. The flakes are packed ready to smoke, especially in the box and that is usually uncommon with Samuel Gawith tobaccos, I've smoked a lot of this and have never had to dry it before I load up and I like my tobaccos dry because I get a lot more flavor that way. These flakes will age with grace but require no cellar time to produce an amazing smoke. Nicotine level is just about medium so this is perfect for all day smoking. I just can't praise this one enough!

6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 10, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I went fishing today and along with the usual hooks through the fingers and some worm slime mixed with dirt stuck under the finger nails, I also managed to have 2 bowls of St James Flake and since this was my first time smoking are my thoughts.

COOL......very cool smoke...and a deep richness one would expect from a blend this dark and sweet smelling. When I opened the bag and had myself a long deep whiff the raisin like smell tickled each nose hair and stayed around inside my head until I packed and started smoking the pipe. Packing was easy,this flake broke apart with ease and once lit there was plenty of smoke around me and the flavor was sweet..smokey and cool with a nice spiciness that grew the more I smoked it. There was never any bite and I had maybe two relights and I attribute that to reeling in and unhooking fish. This is something I could smoke all day but most likely save for when fishing or reading a book.
Pipe Used: Stanwell
PurchasedFrom: Allegheney Smokeworks's Bulk Bar
Age When Smoked: Unknown But did have some age on it
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 04, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I came to visit my last review as I just finished a two ounce jarred sample and I wanted to see what I wrote. This is something I always do now when I finish a container, just to see if everything was as it was.

It was then that I noticed that SJF was now divided into the tinned version and the bulk version and that I did not have any review in the bulk section. As my original review was based on both bulk and tinned, I just copy and pasted that review from the other page.

I will state here that as SG flakes go, I always prefer the bulk to the tin for two reasons:

1. the texture of the flake: SG tinned flakes are thick and rubbery making them hard to rub out; whereas the bulk is thin and long and are a treat for both the "rubber outers" and the "fold and stuffers." 🙂

2. SG tins blow. They tend to lose their seals more than any other tinned blend out there save GH & Co., the latter of which is probably worse.

So with that said, I note little difference in the taste of the two, but admittedly never have both open to test at the same time.

UPDATE 8-12-2016

Shortly after finishing off the sample reviewed below, I ordered a 250g box of this. I immediately set some aside to age and had the rest in a big jar that I just finished yesterday. I almost neglected looking at this review because I knew I had already reviewed it and could swear I gave it four stars.

Well, I am glad that I revisited this and I clearly did not have a big enough sample, because this is now one of my favorite VaPers. In general, I must say that Sam Gawith is one of the Virginia masters, so it stands to reason that a Vaper produced by them would be great. This blend is sweet and it is spicy. It is everything a vaper should be. If there is any criticism, it would be the same common to all SG flakes in that it is a little hard to light. Once it gets going though, it is just fantastic.

Original Review 6-23-2014

I had a healthy amount of this sent to me by a forum member who disliked the blend. This particular person does not like Perique in large quantities. This blend is a little heavy on the perique which suits my tastes well. I find this blend a lot like Fillmore by GL Pease in that regard.

The Virginia is sweet, but can be overwhelmed by the Perique at times. I do like this blend and will likely reorder, but I don't think it rises to four stars as I would prefer to smoke Fillmore or even, Dunhill's Elizabethan to this blend. I think the latter two have much better balance between the Virginia and the Perique.

This blend is definitely not for the beginner or someone seeking a Vaper for the first time.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 05, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
St James flake in its bulk form is new to me, although I have smoked St James Plug and found it very much to my taste. I ordered a 50g pouch of loose flake from CGars Turmeus Ltd, as they sell small quantities of loose flake and I wanted to try before committing to a 250g box. On opening the package, I was met with a lovely fragrant natural tobacco with a rich pouch note made up of sweet raisins, dried fruit and deep bready dark pressed Virginia. There was a noticeable tang of Perique and all in all a very appetising aroma that made my mouth water. The flakes were long cut, about 6 inches or so and not as thick or wet as the tinned Gawith offerings. This was my prime reason for ordering loose tobacco, as I had in mind something more user friendly that didnt need extended drying time to make it smoke right and I was not disappointed. Just over half of one of these flakes rubbed out and left for a short (for Sam Gawith) one hour drying time was just right to fill my Falcon Bulldog bowl with some shreds left over. Now to smoke it. The charring light and a true light and I was away for what turned out to be just over an hour of enjoyment, with only one relight along the way. It lit with about the same ease as the plug version and was a cool dry smoke all the way down to the bottom, with not a shred of dottle left, just the mythical white ash that we all strive for. Flavour wise, it was a good match for the Plug, with sweetness building all the way down and a good dose of raisin and stone fruit from the Perique and a wonderful bready rich Virginia taste that lasted all the way. Smoked with a gentle relaxed cadence, there is no overheating and no nasty tongue bite, just a wonderful classic VaPer experience. Room note is delicious to me, but I love the smell of Virginia and Perique. To sum up, if anyone wants to try St James Flake without the faffing involved with the tinned variety, this is a winner hands down. Top quality and easy to smoke. What more could you want or ask for in a tobacco ? An easy 4 stars from me and I will be buying a box when I am able to.


After a week of smoking this in my rotation it has proved to be a somewhat prone to bite in a chemical sense of the word, but not every time. I firmly believe this to be a personal body chemistry issue and I have experienced this before, noteably with Marlin flake. It doesn't mean I wont smoke it, or that I will deduct points, as it is a fine tobacco, but I will be using the Plug version as this has no such problem. Same leaf with a different process/handling (go figure). This can be a frustrating hobby but that is part of the charm.

Pipe Used: Falcon
PurchasedFrom: CGars
Age When Smoked: Fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 04, 2022 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Unnoticeable
Samuel Gawith St James Flake bulk - This is one my favorite Vapers . It has quite a bit of Perique it seems . Very spicy and fruity and sugary sweet . Earthy , tangy with a touch of vinegar . A rich tasting tobacco with a bit of nicotine for sure . It ages very nicely ! 4
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 21, 2020 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant
This was not "soaking wet",as some smokers state.Moist,yes. This was a 250 gr box Grassy on the nose,Perique odor not in front seat.Rubbed out and loaded immediately. Citrusy floral taste on first light,very nice.I like it,even though Perique to me means Haddo's Delight, or Oak Alley. I'm just jaded.Ordered three 250 gr boxes.Jarred two, left one in it's box. Stay off the STRONG stuff,and I will appreciate this even more.😏
Pipe Used: Smoked new.
PurchasedFrom: TobaccoPipes.con
Age When Smoked: Castello Great Line
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 10, 2022 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
I did not feel the difference with tin. In the narrow pipe, I chopped the particles with the Cigar Cutter, poured them into the bowl and gently knocked them to make the space close to each other. Basically, three or four times of ignition could be used to the end. Of course, don't forget the need for Tamper repair, now must eat at least one bowl a day.
Pipe Used: Briar
Age When Smoked: 1
0 people found this review helpful.
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