Having had good experience with Samuel Gawith’s tobaccos in the past (see the articles Sit Down and Prepare For A Ride and Finally Some Oomph!), and looking to try more tobaccos flavoured with Tonquin bean, I eagerly picked up a tin of the Kendal Mayor’s Collection Sam’s Flake from pipesandcigars.com, HERE, for $11.00 USD for a 1.76 ounce tin. As soon as I got it, I brought it home from the mailbox, and enthusiastically opened the can to partake of a wonderful tobacco. Bringing the tin up to my nose, I take in the faint aroma of vanilla and bakeries given off by the Tonquin bean casing, and savvy the thick, heavy “Kendal” flakes of tobacco. Tobaccoreviews.com has this to say about the tobacco;
The 2nd in our Mayors Collection. Sam’s Flake is a combination of Flue-cured Virginias and Turkish leaf which after blending is pressed in the hot oven, cut and then treated to a light flavouring which adds another flavour dimension to the tobacco. Good smoke and room-aroma with a medium strength.
The tobacco is quite moist, perhaps a little bit too moist, and though the subtle flavors of the Tonquin bean give the tobacco a rich, hearty flavour, the exceptionally moist flakes are hard to keep lit, even with a thorough rubbing. I enjoyed the pipe, though I resolved to let the tobacco dry a bit before writing the review on it.
So, I set aside the tin, and went about my business, secure in the knowledge that I would be doing the review at a later date, when the tobacco was more dry. Hence, it was about two weeks later when I went for the tin again, only to find it mostly empty!
Thieves! Robbers! Tobacco bandits! Fairies?!
No, it turns out it was my hubby who, unlike myself, had no problems keeping the tobacco lit, and to this point had thoroughly enjoyed most of the can! So, it was with some exasperation, and a lot of love, that I asked him to leave me the final two flakes in order to have something to review.
Well, now it is about two weeks after that, and I picked up the can again to review the last two flakes. Unfortunately, the tin note has all but faded, and even my wife with her exceptional sense of smell, can only faintly make it out. On the other hand, the tobacco has dried out nicely, and when rubbed out, packs beautifully into my pipe, and lights without a hitch.
I asked my wife to describe the room note of the tobacco, and she said it reminded her of “smoky Victorian taverns” and I find myself drifting off to imagine a couple of salty dogs hunched over their spirits, pipes clenched in their teeth, playfully arguing over the merits of the dissolution of the East India Company like they were there, Victoria’s appointment as Empress of India, and whether Benjamin Disraeli or William Gladstone is a better prime minister. I could see these roles played by Rick Kopf and Glynn Quelch, and perhaps the tavern is in Nottingham.
The flavour of the tobacco is both thick, and rich, full bodied and savoury. I find as I smoke this tobacco, that though you can inhale it, it doesn’t call for it. You simply puff away, and find your craving satisfied. The tobacco smokes cleanly, and I can’t expect more out of a great Rick Black pipe, it always delivers a great smoke.
When the bowl was finished, I was left with a small plug of wet dottle, and a contented grin. I immediately picked up the other flake, and loaded my pipe with it in order to smoke another bowl. Again, I was not disappointed, and only left of the small little plug of dottle, but now suffering with an empty tin.
Definitely one for the rotation, I’ve come to expect high things from the House of Samuel Gawith & Co. Ltd, and they have yet to disappoint.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!