Samuel Gawith Black XX Rope Review

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Preferred Member
Feb 2, 2019
Athens, Greece
To everyone pre-slicing and drying your Black XX, I HIGHLY recommend smoking it straight off the rope. It's difficult, you will need about a dozen warning lights, and you'll be relighting frequently until you get the proper packing technique and cadence down, but in my opinion this blend loses what makes it so good if it's not smoked straight after slicing off a fresh rope. That oily, palate-coating texture isn't as pronounced when it's had time to air out, and it loses a few notches off of the depth and complexity.

About the bold bit: it's exactly that oily, palate-coating texture I want to tone down by airing out :)

You can argue, why the hell smoke Black XX then? I'd say because I really like it when the oil is not totally overwhelming. I'm having the biggest success with it cutting it into a fine shag and letting it dry as much as it can before smoking. It's still unmistakably Black XX, just not as oily.


New member
Jan 25, 2021
I smoked a tin of this stuff years ago. I remember it being enjoyable, but not my thing. I think I would like to revisit this tobacco at some point. It may pair well with a glass of Laphroaig.

Also, good call on the cigar cutter.
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Apr 14, 2020
Lake Havasu City
I enjoy the SG and G&H rope tobaccos and have an adequate supply of most of them. When I first started to smoke them I would dry them out quite a bit, but also found that they lost a lot of flavor when dry. I began smoking them less and less dry, also experimenting with packing and cutting. Now I pretty much smoke them as I cut them, with little to no drying time, and I think for me they are most flavorful this way.


Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
I just completed a trade, and in it, received three tins of Samuel Gawith Black xx.
Just popped a tin, the second in my life, and couldn't stop grinning as I beheld the oily turds in the tin before me. My coworkers looked over and laughed, gave a whiff and wrinkled their nose, but hey, more for me. And don't get me wrong, I like to share.
For all the complaints about how hard this stuff is to prepare and pack, it's easy as pie for me. And I have problems with even the driest and simplest shag cuts. I just snip off coins with a cigar cutter about as thick as a nickel, rub it into a wet, greasy ribbon, and load it nice and loose in one smooth motion. One quick charring light, and it burns all the way down to the heel with no relights, and the most beautifully consistent flavor.
While I disagree with most of the sentiments about packing and preparation, I agree with almost all of the flavor descriptions. Charred barbecue, motor oil, damp earth, maduro cigar, and a creamy sweetness that sticks to the palate like glue and is resistant to any attempts to get rid of it before it fades on its own hours after finishing the bowl. I have a bowl of Commonwealth ready to go, but just can't bring myself to light it and alter this finish. I don't understand how people can list these flavors as reasons they don't like it, but then again, I feel the same way about the people who don't like latakia because 'it tastes like a campfire'. How could that be a bad thing?
Most of my favorite pipe blends and cigars have that in common. I love a smoke with a distinct texture, and more mineral and earth-forward flavors. The Arturo Fuente Anejo is my favorite cigar for the same reason. It's been a few months since I finished my first tin of Black xx, and this one is just as wonderful as I remember that one being. There's just nothing I've had that comes close.
So you like your bbq burnt, enjoy motor oil and dirt and can’t understand how people wouldn’t care for those flavors?


Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
North Carolina
Cosmic, just my thoughts, but you must have rocks in your palate to complain that black rope has insufficient nicotine. Yes, the brown has more but I always found the black to have plenty. But to each his own. How do you smoke blends with normal nicotine given your preferences?

The brown is a VA but the black has a plethora of flavors as noted above. I grew to really like it. As has been said, there's nothing like it.
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