AK's Monthly-ish N00btastic Novella Review: GH Bob's Chocolate Flake

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.

mikefu

Preferred Member
Mar 28, 2018
1,258
1,645
Colorado Springs
Square Cut is, at least to my taste, much, much more of a “traditional “ Lakeland than Bob’s Chocolate Flake. Which makes sense, since a member of another forum has posted GH price lists pre WW II that list Square Cut. I haven’t seen any documentation that BCF was made until at least the 1970’s.

I can smoke Square Cut, but there are others that I prefer. Thanks for your input, I will likely throw some in the next order just to refresh my recollection. As one member here said recently, sometimes the Lakeland taste scratches an itch you didn’t know you had.
Yes, I concur that it is a lot more traditionally Lakeland than Bobs chocolate. I think the windex notes are rose geranium mixing with the chocolate and tonquin-like vanilla. But it’s quite good, and definitely scratches that itch.
 
  • Like
Reactions: danimalia and BROBS

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
3,968
6,791
Alaska
The flame sounds outstanding but a painting party seems like riot!
It is a blast! We just pick a Bob Ross episode and paint along. With much pausing. And much booze, haha. We do it with acrylics tho, which sucks cause his method really requires oils, but acrylics are much simpler and more affordable for the masses.
 

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.

hauntedmyst

Preferred Member
Feb 1, 2010
1,971
3,976
It is a blast! We just pick a Bob Ross episode and paint along. With much pausing. And much booze, haha. We do it with acrylics tho, which sucks cause his method really requires oils, but acrylics are much simpler and more affordable for the masses.

lol I'm doing this!
 
  • Like
Reactions: lightmybriar

trubka2

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2019
1,154
6,212
Nice review! Sounds like good stuff, I'll have to give it a try. I cracked a tin of SG Chocolate Flake last week, which sounds sort of similar. Still trying to get a read on it, but I think I like it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lightmybriar

gamzultovah

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2019
489
1,146
On Saturday I attended a Bob Ross painting party at our good friend’s house, which has become a yearly tradition around the holidays. It is a tremendous amount of fun. Plenty of beer, scotch, sliders, tacos, and even lasagna made the rounds and we generated a dozen or so very fun very unique paintings. Given the expected amount of libations consumed, and the fact that the kiddo was at the grandparent's place overnight, my wife and I decided to walk back to my parent’s house in Anchorage rather than drive an hour back home to our little valley in the woods. My parents are out of town, so I decided to enjoy a bowl of Gawith and Hoggarth’s Bob’s Chocolate Flake in the warmth of their great room, after a mile walk in -25F temps to get home, a leather recliner and a roaring fire were very welcome. If you care to stop reading here, given that brevity is not my strong suit, I will say: Bob's Chocolate Flake was absolutely incredible.

View attachment 15879
View attachment 15880

Upon arriving I poured myself a dram of Dalmore 12 and cracked a Founder’s Brewing Backwoods Bastard to enjoy on the side (a Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy-ish concoction, one of my favorites with about two years in the cellar). The aroma of BCF right out of the jar is quite unique. The tobacco smells less rich than I thought it would, with a tin note that is almost too muddled with variety to smell like any one thing. I do pick up the Latakia, but very very lightly. The topping is also there, but quite muted as well. There is also some aroma of the natural tobacco itself, mostly the Virginias, as any tin note of whatever amount of burley this might contain is wiped out by the rest of this mad hatter’s soup of ingredients.

So I broke the Flake up as much as possible, and loaded it into my new, as of yet unsmoked Meerschaum Lined Brebbia Sun 834. The charring lights went well, which surprised me given the lack of drying time I had given this tobacco, from a notoriously moist blender. 3 lights and away we go. The first thing I get is the Virginia and also Latakia, which really surprised me given that the Latakia seemed rather muted in the tin note. It certainly is less prominent than it would be in a typical English/Balkan blend, but definitely noticeable and much more up front than it is in, for example, SG Navy Flake.

The Chocolate topping is quite light in the early portions of this bowl, but there is a smooth sweetness that lurks behind the Latakia and Virginias, which are the major players out of the gate for me. TR says this blend contains some burley, but whatever burley is in here is either contributing to the overall profile without me noticing it, or is completely annihilated by the more olfactory beasts within. As I move through the middle of the bowl, the chocolate topping becomes more present for me. And in fact seems to get stronger the further I go into this bowl. Again, very surprising as in my experience with aromatics (typically much more topping than this blend mind you) it seems to be the reverse. I usually taste the topping more in the front of the bowl.

This blends is defying many expectations. Definitely seemed Virginia forward with clear but restrained Latakia smoky/spiciness up front, but through the second half of the bowl it is much more of a lightly topped Va/Bur type of flavor and it continues to get smoother as the Latakia's influence fades. Definitely quite a journey in one bowl and an extremely unique and satisfying blend. Shockingly only required one relight throughout the smoke, which may be due to the fact that this tobacco was purchased in bulk rather than out of the tin. I do have a couple tins, but I tried the bulk I bought first.

View attachment 15881

Overall, this is easily one of the most unique and best tasting blends I have ever smoked. If I reviewed on TR it would be a 4 star blend for sure. What makes it so amazing, aside from the fact that it is delicious, is that it changes so much throughout the smoke. That and the combination of ingredients in this blend are just incredibly unique. Not just the tobaccos and toppings, but the quantities at which they seem to be applied in this blend is just unlike anything I have had as of yet. I think this is truly a blend that could be enjoyed by almost any smoker on the spectrum whether they prefer aromatics, straight Latakia, or straight VA. It just has a little bit of everything but nothing over the top. An amazing blend, and one I would strongly recommend anyone try at some point. It certainly surprised me, and I am very glad that it did.

After this I proceeded to smoke some HH Pure VA, Solani Tropical Mango Flake, and get quite drunk. So it goes.
Great review. Now I want to get some. And a nice nod to Kurt Vonnegut at the end...
 

danimalia

Preferred Member
Sep 2, 2015
1,805
4,574
Yes, I concur that it is a lot more traditionally Lakeland than Bobs chocolate. I think the windex notes are rose geranium mixing with the chocolate and tonquin-like vanilla. But it’s quite good, and definitely scratches that itch.
Interesting. I get a Windex type deal from St. Bruno as well, and I'm kind of crazy for it. I'd seen it suggested that blend has rose geranium as part of it's secret sauce, too, so I guess rose geranium is something I really like. Going to get some Grasmere to confirm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BROBS

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
3,968
6,791
Alaska
Interesting. I get a Windex type deal from St. Bruno as well, and I'm kind of crazy for it. I'd seen it suggested that blend has rose geranium as part of it's secret sauce, too, so I guess rose geranium is something I really like. Going to get some Grasmere to confirm.
Forget grasmere. Get you some Ennerdale Flake! It’s the real deal...and quite good, if you like lakelands.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BROBS

mikefu

Preferred Member
Mar 28, 2018
1,258
1,645
Colorado Springs
Interesting. I get a Windex type deal from St. Bruno as well, and I'm kind of crazy for it. I'd seen it suggested that blend has rose geranium as part of it's secret sauce, too, so I guess rose geranium is something I really like. Going to get some Grasmere to confirm.
If you like rose geranium, I’d also recommend #7 Broken Flake for a VA heavy floral treat, or Conniston for a Dark Fired heavy blend, both with the same, or at least very similar topping.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BROBS and danimalia

danimalia

Preferred Member
Sep 2, 2015
1,805
4,574
Great job as always Alaskan... Did you get any comments on the room note or notice it yourself? I've been of a mind to try some of these topped flakes from Gawith (i.e. this, Firedance, Kendal Cream) for some aromatic type benefits but with a bit more substance and strength than most aromatics.
 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
3,968
6,791
Alaska
Great job as always Alaskan... Did you get any comments on the room note or notice it yourself? I've been of a mind to try some of these topped flakes from Gawith (i.e. this, Firedance, Kendal Cream) for some aromatic type benefits but with a bit more substance and strength than most aromatics.
Room note has always been a tough one for me. Other than aromatics, its tough to judge for me while actively smoking the blend. I tend to always smell the more notorious components. If it got Latakia, thats what I smell, DFK thats what I smell, topping thats what I smell, etc. If you put me on the spot BCF room note, to me, was VA with a little Lat. I didn’t pick up the topping in the room note, but someone not actively smoking Lat may have.

I almost always smoke alone, however my wife was with me this time and said “I don’t know, it smells like tobacco.”
 
  • Like
Reactions: lightmybriar

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.