Gawith & Hoggarth Dark Flake Scented: A mini review.

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mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
4,794
1
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
Let me start this review by stating that I could have sworn I ordered Dark Flake Unscented and not the scented variety. Perhaps the Scouser on the other end of the telephone was a little hard of hearing?
I first realized something was amiss when I opened my package containing six new to me blends, the smell that emanated from the box was one of heavy perfume and as five of the blends were in tins the only culprit could be the single plastic wrapper. Sure enough I had 50g of Dark Flake Scented and I was not best pleased!
It was a few weeks afore I got around to trying it out so I did my usual routine of rubbing out and drying for a couple of hours. The somewhat straggly, still damp and very dark brown flakes rubbed out ok but were very sticky and somewhat coarse. The scent by the way was pretty overpowering. I loaded up my McQuade bent bulldog and attempted to light the stuff. My goodness, this has to be the most awkward blend to take a light. Finally it got going with the coarse shreds coming alive and climbing out of the bowl. Huge plumes of smoke confirmed I had a burn going.
Initial flavours were nothing but perfume, no tobacco taste whatsoever though I had read that they tend to kick in mid bowl. Why oh why would someone go to the trouble of blending a tobacco only to soak it in perfume? The mind boggles :crazy:
I persevered and after countless relights the perfume did start to recede but was always present. Come mid bowl I could indeed taste some tobacco but what tobacco I couldn't really say. As for the maple and liquorice flavours noted by many reviewers they were simply not there for me.
Fast forward a few weeks and I am now smoking this in a smaller L. Roux poker after giving the already rubbed out tobacco a fleeting blast in my coffee grinder and very little has changed. Still many relights are required and still that damned perfume spoils what could have been a good smoke had I got what I originally wanted i.e. the unscented version.
This blend certainly has its adherents but I am not in that particular club and nor do I wish to be. A 2/10 score is a generous one.
Rather worryingly and perhaps stupidly I have since ordered some Ennerdale & Grasmere flakes, both of which appear to be drenched in the very same perfume as DFS is, the latter being the strongest.
This here tobacco trialling game is a fun one but just occasionally one gets it hugely wrong as I clearly did here.
I am tempted to think that as a pipe maker will rusticate a flawed stummel, might not a tobacco blender pour perfume all over a blend that didn't quite turn out as expected? I honestly cannot think why else they would do this. Flavoured tobacco does of course have a place in the market and I have enjoyed many, but this is way OTT.
Now for a bowl of Condor to put things right :puffy:
Regards,
Jay.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,051
354
Dark Flake Scented is one of my all time favorite tobacco blends. I finally got a hold of some Dark Plug and it just doesn't do it for me, I have to have my Dark... scented! Anyway, I know it's an acquired taste and over the top for some folks but honestly if they made an Extra Heavy Scented Dark Flake, I would buy a pound. I can't get enough of the stuff! To be honest, maybe I'm just becoming immune to the essence they put on their tobacco but I really don't think that it's that heavily scented and I smoked some back to back with Condor RR and I have come to the conclusion that Condor has stronger top dressing. The main player that I get in Dark Flake is bergamot and boy does it shine! Love, love, love it!
I am enjoying your reviews, keep em coming!

 

beastinview

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2016
504
0
DFS is lovely stuff, but some are more sensitive to the Lakeland essence than others. I and the others guys at my pipe club found the Lakeland quite faint on this one. Wait til the Ennerdale arrives, and then you'll see what a STRONG Lakeland is like.

 

samon

Member
Aug 23, 2015
158
0
If you have any left over that you just cannot bring yourself to smoke I may be interested in buying it off you, if the price is right. :)

 

mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
4,794
1
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
Samon, thanks but I only bought 50g in the first place so hardly worth the effort. I'll likely tip into the jar where all my nasty baccy (Early Morning Pipe, Nightcap, Balkan Blend etc.) live. One day I might open that jar and have the most amazing blend of all time...or just a pile of rubbish :?
Regards,
Jay.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
2,008
65
Your experience here reminds me of when I tried Samuel Gawith Grousemoor, mostly just essences and not much flavour, though that blend certainly has its fans too, maybe I just need to play with it more.

I think Ennerdale is somewhat unique in that the toppings are strong enough to give it Aromatic flavour rather than just a smell. It's also a different variety of floral essence, Ennerdale and Glengarry are the ones I have noted as giving a significant amount of sweetness, where Kendal Flake and Grousemoor were more just "flowery tobacco".

It sounds like Dark Flake could be really good after a year in the cellar though, if the tobacco gets adequate time to mature then combining those two properties might be really nice.

 

mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
4,794
1
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
I am not averse to some of the toppings used by SG and G&H, indeed some of their blends are among my favourites, it's just that whatever perfume topping was added to the DFS, Ennerdale and Grasmere to me at least is just so overpowering as to swamp out any tobacco flavours those blends may have had.
I have thought of tipping the lot into a bowl of boiling water and leaving to steep for a minute or two then draining and drying the baccy. That may well diffuse the perfume somewhat :puffy:
Regards,
Jay.

 
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