Virginias and a touch of Perique matured in old sherry barrels, this Springtime flake combines the natural, subtle sweetness of the former with the spice and sherry flavor of the latter; like all the Four Seasons mixtures, it’s a labor of love, and the cooperation between Samuel Gawith and Dr. Josef Stanislav.
When I first ordered the Stanislaw and SG Four Seasons Collection, I ordered them just because I’ve had good luck with Samuel Gawith in the past and I’ve heard good things about Dr. Stanislaw. Some Internet research led me to find out that the Spring Time Flake, also called Irish Spring Flake, is a Va-Per, and the other three are straight Virginias, but aside from that, I had no idea what to expect. However, always up for some SG, I ordered all four seasons.
The four tins are Spring Time flake, which underwent re-marketing as Irish Spring Flake, English Summer Flake, Scottish Autumn Flake, and Winter Time Flake, which leads me to believe that the fourth one is going to undergo re-branding as something like Welsh Winter Flake to keep a theme.
So, when they arrived, I decided to review them in order, or at least as in order as I see it. I started with a spring for no particular reason, probably because most people view that as the beginning of the year, even though as a pagan I view winter as the beginning of the year, and probably as it was the first one I pulled out of the box.
I opened the can, typical of the size of most Samuel Gawith’s flake tins, expecting to find Gawith’s characteristic wide flakes only to be greeted with T.O.U.S (like ROUS (rodents of unusual size) these were tobaccos of unusual size!) I mean, these flakes are HUGE! Easily twice the sizes of a regular flake, these monstrosities fill 2/3 of the tin, and will easily overflow a regular size bowl.
Not to be dissuaded, I grab up my Rick Black Custom Morta Volcano, with a bowl about twice the size of a regular one, and immediately fold and stuff one of the enormous flakes into it. The flake damned near fills the bowl, and I think to myself that I’m gonna be smoking this all day.
A normal folded and stuffed flake will last me up to 2 hours, so I expected this one to last pretty much the afternoon, and I was right!
As is my custom, before lighting the pipe, I take a sniff of the can, and find it to be fresh, grassy, and sweet, the way I would expect an un-cased Va-Per to smell, and while that’s not going to win your in-laws, I find it refreshing.
And the taste? Totally smooth, a masterful blend of Virginias with just enough Perique give it a little “zip”, and unpretentious, just an all-around good smoke.
The pipe lasted me almost 5 hours, not of straight smoking, but fairly regular, so on a whim; I weighed one of the flakes. Almost ¼ ounce (6 g) in one flake, no wonder it lasted so long!
A great smoke, definitely starting off this series of reviews on a good note, I would definitely reach for this one again.
This blend is readily available in the U.S. At pipesandcigars.com for $11.00 USD or at smokingpipes.com for $9.33 USD. If you live in the UK and you would like to pick this up, gqtobaccos.com sells it for £12.25 and ships worldwide.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!