Gawith Hoggarth reviews

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troutbum

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Aug 31, 2009
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Here is a short series of reviews I did for another publication some time ago. I am republishing them here in hopes that you'll my jaded perspective enlightening and amusing, despite being a bit controversial.
Gawith Hoggarth Tobacco Samples

Recently I acquired several samples of Gawith Hoggarth blends, nine different ones to be exact. As I smoke them I will share my impression of each, though I hasten to add that I make no pretense of having the kind of refined palate requisite to being an expert reviewer.
Gawith Hoggarth: Broken Scotch Cake

The first is Broken Scotch Flake. It consists of flue-cured Virginia sweetened up a bit by some sun-cured of the same. I had high hopes for BSC, but its most remarkable attribute turns out to be that of an unbelievable boringness. The stuff smokes cool enough for a Virginia mixture, but lacks any definitive character, good or bad. No single taste predominates, nothing whatsoever asserts itself to make you either love or hate this tobacco. Broken Scotch Cake is the John Kerry of pipeweed--just there, but does nothing.
Gawith Hoggarth: Sliced Black Aromatic

Imagine shredding up a tractor tire and packing that in your pipe. Trust me, if my imagination approximates reality, then Sliced Black is akin to smoking black rubber. It tastes terrible. However, the blend burns nice and cool, with virtually no bite. What distinguishes this tobacco from a tractor tire is the addition of maple, licorice, and other dressings. The nicotine content is powerful, perhaps to the point of giving you instant cancer. Nasty, nasty, stuff. So far I'm not impressed with what Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. has to offer. Yet, this is only my second sample. I have seven more to go, so I still hope for the best.
Gawith Hoggarth: Curly Cut Deluxe and Kendal Mixed

Friends, I wanted to like GH tobaccos, I really did. So far, however, my sampling makes me wonder how this company stays in business. If, for health reasons, I ever wanted to give up pipe smoking I would smoke either Curly Cut Deluxe or Kendal Mixed for one solid week straight. Thereafter I would never light up another bowl of tobacco as long as I lived. I'd become a liberal and self righteously condemn all pipeweed to the pit of Hell. Take your choice, either one is terrible. Both burn cool, but bite your tongue badly. Kendal Mixed tastes a lot like Granger, but only worse. Curly Cut Deluxe reminds me of hay top-dressed with rat urine. I'm speaking imaginatively, not literally. Clarity is important!
Gawith Hoggarth: Scotch Flake and Kendal Kentucky

I am a Calvinist. As such I believe the Lord has ordained whatsoever comes to pass. Providence, therefore, is the historical execution of God's eternal decree. The Puritans used to speak of the Lord's "difficult providence," meaning those things which He brings into our life that cause suffering of any kind. Sometimes the suffering is intended to try our faith, other times its purpose is to chastise us for our trespasses. Thus, I must be more wicked than I ever thought. Scotch Flake, another 100% Virginia blend, accentuates the guilt of personal sin like no other tobacco ever could. As for Kendal Kentucky: Well, there are a lot of horse farms in Kentucky. And you know what drops from those horse butts, don't you? That's right, GH's Kendal Kentucky. Whoa, Nellie! This tobacco stinks.
Gawith Hoggarth: Brown Flake

Silage, pure 100% silage. I would feed this to the pigs, in which case the manufacturer would be more properly named: Gawith Hogfarts. Brown Flake is essentially unscented Virginia leaf processed in such a manner as to leave it with a taste similar to sweetened oinker scat. It's room note is that of a cheap European cigarette. Otherwise BF isn't too bad.
Gawith Hoggarth: Dark Flake

A granddaughter takes her 80 year old grandfather to the doctor for his annual exam. The physician says, "I'll need both a urine and a stool sample, sir." Granddad, being hard of hearing, looks at his granddaughter in a befuddled sort of way and asks, "What does he want?" "Your shorts, Grampa, give him your shorts." Dark Flake is smokable, I'll give it that. Furthermore, it possesses what seems to be a GH trademark, namely coolness. The absence of any significant bite is a nice touch. However, prior to lighting Dark Flake smells liked dirty underwear and under the flame it tastes the same. This is the perfect rest home visitation blend. Nobody will ever know you're smoking it.
Gawith Hoggarth: Sliced Brown

Alas, dear brothers of the briar, here is the ninth and final sample of my GH blends. I thought that I had thrown this one in the trash along with the rest of them (in which case I would have reviewed it as the best tobacco I never smoked). Such, however, was not the case, therefore I felt obligated to light up a bowl and, thus, inflict upon my ever-patient readers yet another less than charitable review. Surprisingly--to me at least--Sliced Brown started off promising. The flavor, while not exactly great, wasn't too terribly awful. The smoke seemed characteristically cool and offered no offending bite whatsoever. But in due time SB asserted itself as a demonic blend straight from the devil's own smokehole. The nicotine content is so strong that it will make your head spin around and force you to vomit. Sliced Brown will be tossed in the garbage like the other GH samples were. They're all reprobates and deserve eternal condemnation in a landfill somewhere.

 

python

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Apr 8, 2009
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Thanks for the reviews Troutbum.
Here is a classic example of how subjective tastes are. You seem to hate every GH blend that you have tried and I really like almost every GH blend that I have tried.
From what I have seen/heard, it seems that GH is a love it or hate it brand. While SG blends seems to have quite a few in the middle of the road, GH blends seem to have almost everyone on one side of the fence or the other.

 

troutbum

Lurker
Aug 31, 2009
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Python: I appreciate your comment. Indeed taste is quite subjective and praise the Lord it is. Otherwise tobacco would be a rather monochromatic affair. The subjectivity of taste is precisely what gives us pipe smokers so many options; there is a symbiotic relationship between what people prefer and what manufacturers offer. A given tobacco certainly is not inherently good or bad because I personally like or dislike the mixture. It is, however, subjectively good or bad according to my preference. Likewise, the same holds true for us all—which is why I hate GH blends and you love them, even though the quality of the tobacco in each GH blend is unassailable. I also agree with your assessment of Samuel Gawith blends. To my taste some GH blends are are great, others are good and a few are just okay, but none are bad. Celebrate diversity (at least in the realm of tobacco)!

 

python

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Apr 8, 2009
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It is great to have so many different brands and blends of tobacco. I am a very eclectic smoker and although I do have some favorite blends, I very rarely smoke the same blend more than once or twice a week.
That is a good point that you made about so many different tastes from piper to piper as to why we have so many different blends to choose from these days. As far as tobacco choices go, it is a good time to be a smoker.
Enjoy your next bowl! (Just make sure it's not filled with something from GH, lol.)

 

admin

Smoking a Pipe Right Now
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Nov 16, 2008
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This makes me want to try some GH blends now to see which side of the fence I fall on. Even bad reviews can be a positive thing for a brand. LOL.
Thanks for the reviews Troutbum.

 
Sep 16, 2009
2
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As a fellow Calvinist, I feel your pain Troutbum! Just the smell of GH blends in the jar is enough to make me retch. Providence has guided me to exactly the blends I need and these GH blends are not among them.

 

analogmoz

Lurker
Apr 29, 2009
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As a rather celebrated Bad Man, I found myself drawn quite inextricably to the most powerful and dark tobaccos. Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. have sated my filthy habits.

It's a shame, really. I used to like tobacco mixtures that were aromatic and smelt lovely to others. I was thronged with admirers. Now, my pipe emits smoke strongly suggesting burning tires.

Alas.

 

chuckw

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 7, 2009
679
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As my first post on your newly discovered site, I'd like to jump in and suggest trying G&H's Black Irish Twist. I was given a sample about 4 months ago and fell in love with it. It is one dimensional but, in my opinion, a good dimension. A warning. If you are nicotine sensitive, sit down,smoke it after a meal and do not imbibe adult beverages.

 
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