Dark Birdseye and Kendal Kentucky - Gawith, Hoggarth, & Co.

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beastinview

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 5, 2016
504
1
These two Gawith, Hoggarth, & Co. blends are somewhat similar, so I thought it’d be best to review them in tandem. I’m a fan of anything full-bodied with “Gawith” in the name, so it wasn’t long before I got around to trying these blends.
Tin Note, Preparation:

In the tin (or rather the bag, as these were both bulk purchases), these two blends quite similar. Both dark, leathery, fragrance with a hint of figgy-fruitiness about them, similar to that of a G&H twist—the sort of aroma that says “Beware, I’m strong!” before one even smokes it. Both are also finely cut shag, and seemed a bit moist to smoke, as is usual with G&H blends. I almost was going to dry them a bit, but recalling how quickly and aggressively shag cuts burn, I held off. I’m glad I did!
Smoke:

Despite their moisture, both of these smoked beautifully straight out of the bag. It seems that the moisture tames the aggressive burning of the shag, and adds a nice punch of flavor to both blends. Every time I have smoked them, it’s been one or zero relights, which is saying something, since with most blends I typically have to relight a lot. Both smoke very coolly.
Dark Birdseye

This is a simply beautiful, uncomplicated smoke. It has a strong earthy, spiciness to it that reminds me of the G&H twists, but with a surprisingly fruity note that pops out after the first ten puffs or so. It’s a fruity taste that almost makes me want to say grape—not in the way an aromatic reminds one of grape soda, but rather the grape aroma of very dry wine--the fruitiness without much sweetness.
Kendal Kentucky

Kendal Kentucky is almost like an inversion of Dark Birdseye. I’m not 100% sure as to the contents of these blends—but it almost seems to me that there is a little of the African grown Virginia in the Kendal Kentucky. I do feel fairly certain that there is Kentucky in the Dark Birdseye, since that is mentioned quite a few places. Anyway, to my Philistine palate, the Kendal Kentucky has an incredibly similar flavor profile to the Dark Birdseye, but it's emphasis is quite different: the smoky, spicy part of the smoke is predominant, while the sweet, rich, earthier note is faint. It's a bit more burley-ish. I ultimately prefer the Dark Birdseye, but the Kendal Kentucky is quite nice.
Nicotine:

Both are quite strong. The Kendal Kentucky gives the impression of being the stronger blend based on the flavor in the first few puffs, but I have to say the Birdseye packs more of a punch.
In Summary:

Both are great blends that capture what drew me to the G&H twist tobacco—the full flavor and robust nicotine—without any of the hassle of slicing the rope, drying, and relights. This makes them perfect for a carefree, quick smoke at work. They don’t quite knock the twists out of first place in my favorite flavors, but Dark Birdseye is just about equal.

 

hawky454

Lifer
Feb 11, 2016
5,039
8,843
Austin, TX
Dark Bird's Eye has become a new favorite of mine and I just recently stocked up on it (500 grams). Kendal Kentucky is also a stellar tobacco and I stocked up on it as well. I'm amazed at how many good tobaccos GH&Co. have, many of them not even available to us in the States.
Great review, as always! It seems that we are almost on the same path as I have just recently tried these blends, too.
Also check out Kendal Dark. It's another fine shag cut with a similar taste profile. I know you would like it.

 

beastinview

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 5, 2016
504
1
Yes, Hawky--we seem quite on the same path. Kendal Dark was another I had on my list--almost purchased some this go around, but didn't want to lose it in the mix.

 

ltstone

Part of the Furniture Now
Dec 30, 2015
503
50
You guys are a couple steps ahead of me, I have Brown,Black Irish X, Maple and Sweet whiskey which bites me like mad, it must be the flavoring as the ropes are usually very mild on the tongue.

 

georged

Lifer
Mar 7, 2013
4,104
7,185
KK and DBE are the Real Deal for sure. No foo-foo candy flavor overtones, lightly-scented-this-or-that gentleness, or concerns about delicate ladies being upset by the room note.
You want tobacco, this is tobacco.
The end. :twisted:

 

ray47

Lifer
Jul 10, 2015
2,384
5,246
Dalzell, South Carolina
I've been smoking Dark Birdseye for the past year, mostly in the morning to get my blood flowing. Two nights ago I smoked a bowl prior to going to bed at 11pm. I was up until 4am. Not a good blend to smoke before bed.

 

bigpond

Lifer
Oct 14, 2014
2,019
12
I agree that there is something in Dark Bird's Eye. I looked through my tasting notes and can't find the entry. going on memory, I believe I thought it was Violet oil, though it has been a while since my last bowlful.

 

markus

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 18, 2014
758
457
Bloomfield, IN
You guys have made these G&H blends sound really tasty, so I'm putting them both on my next order from SP.

I am finding that I enjoy these type of blends more often.
Beast, that's a really good review my friend. I have read a few of your reviews and I must say they seem to be getting better and I look forward to them more and more.
I like the format that you use, very informative and easy to read, thank you!

 

hawky454

Lifer
Feb 11, 2016
5,039
8,843
Austin, TX
You guys are a couple steps ahead of me, I have Brown,Black Irish X, Maple and Sweet whiskey which bites me like mad, it must be the flavoring as the ropes are usually very mild on the tongue.

That really sucks about the Sweet Whiskey. Did you try to dry it? Try drying it to where it's almost crispy and that might help with the tongue bite. If you like the ropes you will surely like these blends that Beast reviewed.

 

cobguy

Lifer
Oct 18, 2013
3,742
11
Nice reviews :clap:
These plugs are both very appealing to me as is Cob Plug and, recently added, Warrior Plug.
I love the depth, spice and kick delivered in a cool, slow-smoking plug. It seems that most like to slice it pretty thin and rub it out but I really enjoy making small cubes and gravity packing. Either way ... yum!

 

beastinview

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 5, 2016
504
1
Thanks for the kind words about my reviews. And yes, I would post on TR except my work has a firewall that blocks it as a "mature" site, being about tobacco and all. For some reason most websites on pipes are not blocked, however.
Wow at smoking Birdseye in the morning to get your blood going, haha.

 

ltstone

Part of the Furniture Now
Dec 30, 2015
503
50
Yeah I will try to dry the sweet whiskey more. I did dry it but only so it would not clump. I should be getting my package today with the Black Irish X and Maple twist. I'm really looking forward to trying those. It is said by many that the ropes are strong tobaccos but besides the Nicotine I find them very mellow, and smooth mmm the room note is good too.

 

beastinview

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 5, 2016
504
1
Yeah I will try to dry the sweet whiskey more. I did dry it but only so it would not clump. I should be getting my package today with the Black Irish X and Maple twist. I'm really looking forward to trying those. It is said by many that the ropes are strong tobaccos but besides the Nicotine I find them very mellow, and smooth mmm the room note is good too.
I quite agree. The black twists (I've only tried the SG XX so far) are a different story, but the brown twists are quite a nice, mild smoke. Perfect for relaxing. The same is true of the Dark Birdseye especially. The black twists are a bit more unique.

 
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