Samuel Gawith Bracken Flake may have ruined me for all other pipe tobaccos. You better make sure you are sitting down when you smoke this one! You can even catch a buzz just from the tin aroma. The tin aroma reminds me of Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Tequila. It is a rich sipping Extra-Añejo tequila aged in oak barrels. The tequila has a full, mellow flavor that combines floral, agave, vanilla and Cognac-like flavors. You can take this not only as a recommendation for the tequila, but for SG Bracken Flake too. Opening a tin of Bracken Flake and taking a whiff gives me the same experience as opening a bottle of Cuervo Reserva de la Familia and doing the same. Bracken Flake smells like it has this fine liquor in it.
I owe another note of thanks to "Mate" for recommending Bracken Flake at the same time he told me to try SG Commonwealth. (Correction: Mate told me to try Balkan Flake, but I am giving him credit for this one too.)
Bracken Flake gives me more rich flavor than I have ever experienced from any tobacco. Python writes of many flavors in his reviews, and even articulates how the flavors change while he is smoking. I have not experienced that until now.
While smoking Bracken Flake the initial tastes I get are like sipping whiskey, scotch or bourbon that has been fermented in oak barrels. I also experience rich dark chocolate. Staying on the liquor and sweetness theme, halfway through I get some butter rum, like a rum cake.
In Python’s Review of Bracken Flake, he mentions the possible taste of Tonquin. That Pipe Brainiac is always coming up with cool new stuff I didn’t know about and have to look up.
It’s the extract of the Tonka bean, much like vanilla is extracted from the Vanilla bean, and it has a very strong and distinct aroma and taste. It naturally contains a fairly large amount of coumarin, an active blood-thinner that is poisonous in large amounts. However there is little if any coumarin entering the blood stream when tonquin is in tobacco that is smoked.
Cool. Maybe I don’t have to take a baby aspirin in the morning anymore. I can just smoke Bracken Flake instead.
As Bracken Flake’s name implies, this is definitely a flake tobacco and it has the hardiest, chunkiest flakes ever. You cannot rub this out with your hands like you may be used to with other flakes. You end up with hard 1/8th and 1/4 inch chunks at it’s finest. That’s ok, as it smokes fine. I even tried the fold & stuff method and that worked well too.
|A look inside my almost empty tin reveals the very dark flakes.
Click for a larger image.
|Here’s an extreme close up of the SG Bracken Flake.
Click for larger image.
Brand: Samuel Gawith
Blender: Samuel Gawith
Tin Description: None on the new tins.
Website Description: We have blended a carefully balanced selection of Kentucky & Dark-Fired leaf to give this medium to strong flake. For the pipe-smoker who seeks a satisfying smoke, then experience Bracken Flake, with it’s unique and alluring aroma, brought about by the application of a long-used essence.
Country of Origin: UK
Curing Group: Fire Cured
Contents: Virginia, Kentucky
Packaging: 50g Tin
Room Note: Strong
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
(tin looks different in their picture, but it is the right stuff)