Samuel Gawith’s Full Virginia Flake is a hot-pressed straight Virginia that is dark and malty. The tin note reminds me of dark fig with undertones of molasses and maybe even treacle. This Virginia flake is very meaty in texture as well as taste and has a dark sweetness with a subtle salty note.
This Full Virginia flake is darker than my all time favourite, Dunhill Flake, which I find to be lighter and sweeter. Samuel Gawith’s Full Virginia Flake also feels a little stronger than the Dunhill.
This is definitely a classic Virginia flake but I did find that it needed some drying time. Smoking straight out of the tin was a little problematic for me since the flakes are quite thick and very moist so I did leave some out overnight to dry but found that they needed more drying time. I have ‘folded and stuffed’, rubbed out, shredded and more and I found that no matter what this was a tricky tobacco to light and to stay lit.
Once it did get going the experience was one of a straightforward Virginia with no frills. Simple is different from simplicity and I find that straight Virginias have a very rewarding simplicity to them. There was that dark sweetness and also a salty flavour that bordered on beef teriyaki! I would definitely recommend devoting a pipe to this tobacco as any other flavours would interfere with the natural tastes.
Overall, this is a straightforward full Virginia flake that does need a little preparation and perseverance. My all time favourite though is still the Dunhill Flake, which I find to be sweeter, to have more bready overtones and is far easier to prepare. However, if you are a Virginia lover, you have to try Samuel Gawith’s Full Virginia Flake.
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