5 Facts about Gawith, Hoggarth and Co.

Gawith Hoggarth Tobacco at Smokingpipes.com

We mentioned some of their products in our recent post on "How to Prepare Rope Tobacco," but what is it about Gawith, Hoggarth & CO. that drives so many fans to its variety of tobaccos? Surprisingly there's not a whole lot of information out there about the company, so here's a few facts to get you going.

  • Old Testament Tobacco Simply put, Gawith Hoggarth and Co. offers tobacco, done the old way. The process dates back to around 1792, and not much has changed since. In fact, the Cumbria-based firm still uses the same turn of the century machinery for production. Why? Well, the results simply can't be reproduced by any modern method. The Kendals, like Kendal Gold and Kendal Dark are some of their best-selling products, using only clean cut, pure Virginias for a great shag-cut pipe tobacco. The Kendal Kentucky is just Burley, and the Mixture? Well, it's simply pure Burley and Virginias.
  • Pure Tobacco, No Additives England has some pretty strict rules on additives, preservatives, and humectants, and so Gawith and Hoggarth just doesn't use them. In fact, if a tobacco is "flavored" with anything, it's always simple toppings sourced from natural essential oils and extracts, which are subject to the same stringent laws, as well. The purity of the tobacco and old production process, as you might expect, do affect the flavor of Gawith, Hoggarth and Co.'s blends. If you're looking for an old-school, pure tobacco, there's really no other manufacturer like Gawith and Hoggarth.
  • Gawith Hoggarth Tobacco at Smokingpipes.com

  • Flakes are Extremely Time Consuming Gawith and Hoggarth flakes are some of the most desirable tobaccos around. From Ennerdale to Best Brown #2, they represent the pinnacle of the manufacturer's production. But how long does it take to produce one flake? Well it takes approximately 28 days to press one cake, which is then sliced into appropriate quantities, before it's boxed and tinned. These flakes are still produced using machinery from the 1790s, with production patents still in place from c. the 1880s. All Gawith and Hoggarth flakes were originally formed using a coal-fired press, but the marque has augmented the machinery to now accommodate gas — the only production change made in the past 100 years!
  • Ropes are Surprisingly Delicate Originally used by sailors (and later by miners for chewing, their occupation preventing them from smoking at work), rope tobaccos may seem sturdy and durable, but Gawith and Hoggarth's twists are actually their most delicate product. It requires a perfect execution every time to produce these unique tobaccos. Much like their flakes, these ropes can't be produced with modern machinery. In fact, when Gawith and Hoggarth moved their factory from downtown Kendal to the suburbs, they had to actually move all the turn-of-the-century machinery with them, as it simply can't be replaced.
  • Sheer Variety of Products From the fine-cut Kendal shags, to tightly twisted ropes, to pressed flakes, and lovely ribbon cuts, Gawith and Hoggarth simply offers quality tobacco in a variety of forms. In fact, most, if not all, of their products are available in bulk, which can save you a lot of money in the end. For tobacco done the old way, there's really nothing like it. So if you've haven't tried any Gawith Hoggarth blends, or haven't tried them in a while, check out our site and find something that fits you. With so many blends, cuts, and types available, you're sure to find your new Gawith and Hoggarth tobacco of choice.

Have a favorite Gawith, Hoggarth and Co. blend? Feel free to share in the comment section below!

Category:   Tobacco Talk
Tagged in:   Gawith and Hoggarth History Tobacco


    • hierophant on October 14, 2014
    • I have not tried Gawith & Hoggarth yet, but I do have a tin of Balkan Mixture sitting in my cellar (ok, ok, my kitchen cabinet). I've been saving it, but maybe I'll pop it this weekend!

    • Andrew W on October 14, 2014
    • Hi Hierophant, thanks for sharing! I'd certainly recommend it if you haven't tried it. If you do decide to crack the tin, let us know what you think!

    • Mike C. on October 14, 2014
    • I have always avoided Gawith & Hoggarth because of the the floral notes described by some but I really like the history you laid out in your article. I had a tobacco once that tasted like old lady perfume and it was awful. Do they offer any tobaccos without that topping? Thanks

    • pacman357 on October 14, 2014
    • I enjoy a large number of G&H products (and for that matter, Sam G, too). . . , For Mike C, if you can handle a very strong tobacco, I heartily recommend GH's brown rope. However, if you're not used to smoking strong stuff or are still fairly new to the hobby, GH BR will probably make you hurl and then faint. The Curly Cut is far less punitive (as in none); it's Virginia, and the flavors developed are natural as far as I can tell. The Balkan Mixture is also good. It's well-balanced, medium in body, and tasty without adding any junk to it. And don't overlook their Best Brown Flake. If it's not GH's top seller in the US, it has to be in their top 3, I'd think. Medium-bodied, it's just VA and Burley, treated to the flake creation process, which brings out a lot of nice natural flavors (note, some people claim to pick up the Lakeland scent and flavor--likely what you refer to as floral in each of the blends I mentioned. I've either picked up no such flavor and scent, or only the faintest whisper of it. . . . BTW, the SG black cav just adds the right touch of cooling and slight smokiness. Wouldn't care for it by itself, but man, is it versatile, willing to sing backup instead of trying to take over whatever you are making. So pretty please, SP, get some more in. Or maybe get some from GH if you can. Most of the black cav sold in this country interferes with just about anything you might try to make on your own, with casing that is pronounced and complicates the blending process.

    • pacman357 on October 14, 2014
    • Oops..I should have been clearer on the Brown Flake. Be sure to get the blend made for the American market, or you'll be smoking petunias. Incidentally, way the other direction, try the Grasmere Flake as a palate cleanser once or twice a week. Bit of Lakeland in there, but predominate flavor by far is a casing that tastes like lemon grass.

    • Tim Suddath on October 15, 2014
    • Though I have tried a huge variety of blends and makers, I have never tried a G&H blend. I tend towards natural blends, I simply love flakes. I enjoy latakia blends, so long as the latakia isn't overwhelming. Same for aromatics, I enjoy them as long as I get some real tobacco flavor. I smoke VA and VA/Per flakes more than anything else. Along with cube cut burley. So all that said - which do you recommend I start with? I've been wanting to try a "rope" for a long time, just never have. So, Andrew, give me four recommendations of G&H and I'll place the order at SP.com right away!

    • John E on October 16, 2014
    • I've been smoking GH products for over a decade, and they are my favorite manufacturer, hands down. Brown Irish X, Kendal Kentucky, Dark Bird's Eye, and Ennerdale are staples for me. I always have at least one of these open and in my rotation. As a matter of fact, I could be happy smoking nothing but GH tobaccos for the rest of my life.

    • Andrew W on October 16, 2014
    • Hey Tom, thanks for sharing some of your recommendations! Mike, I'm with Tom (Pacman357). If you haven't tried any of Gawith and Hoggarth's ropes, I'd really recommend them. They are a bit strong, so if you're nicotine sensitive, you might want to pack a small bowl to begin with. Happy Brown Bogie's always a great one to start with!

    • Andrew W on October 16, 2014
    • Tim, thanks for sharing, and for calling me out! Given your taste preference, I'd probably recommend: 1) Bright CR Flake - a pure VA flake 2) Dark Birdseye - a pretty strong Va/Burley fine-cut shag 3) Happy Brown Bogie - probably my favorite rope/twist tobacco 4) Bob's Chocolate Flake - A Burley/Virginia flake with 8% Latakia and some chocolate and vanilla notes. You will taste the chocolate, but there's still plenty of pure tobacco flavor in there as well. Hope that helps! I'm actually going to go pick up some more Bright CR and Dark Birdseye today. If you do decide to grab some of these, let us know what you think, Tim! These recommendations would also work for you too, Mike C.

    • Paul V on October 17, 2014
    • I've tried several of the GH flakes and like them a lot. Has anyone tried their aromatics?

    • Ted S. on October 17, 2014
    • Paul V., I've only tried their American Delight (I don't smoke aromatics very often, and don't make a habit of exploring different aromatic blends), and I thought it was rather tasty. If I remember correctly (this is a couple of years ago, mind you), Chris Johnson, our Lead Photographer, liked it quite a bit also.

    • Rob on October 18, 2014
    • Louisiana Flake, Broken Flake #7, Ennerdale - the jars are always kept full...

    • John on October 20, 2014
    • I've tried a bunch of their tobaccos which were all great. Most are too strong in nicotine for me so I mostly smoke McClelland. I really like the natural and old time production manner of G&H. Maybe I'll take another look.

    • Selwyn on October 22, 2014
    • I live on G&H Best Brown Flake No 2 . . . 500g per month - bulk buy. Perfect straight out of the box ( bag ), cut the flakes in half, tease apart in half again, rub out, and fill the pipe. Instantly takes the flame and . . . enjoy ! Excellent smoke indoors and out - what a wonderful taste and such a slow burner, Been smoking it for 20 years now - the quality never alters.

    • pacman357 on October 25, 2014
    • Thanks, Mr. W. Gawith & co seem to get a little less notice in the U.S., but really, GH puts out several good blends covering a fairly wide spectrum and tastes. Hopefully the OP will post after trying 1-2 of them. OP, just make sure the package doesn't say "potpourri" on the outside. That should help.

    • Andrew W on November 1, 2014
    • Thanks again for sharing everyone! I'm enjoying a bowl of Louisiana Flake right now and couldn't remember if I recommended it to you or not, Tim. Since you like Va/Per blends, it's probably right down your alley as well. Stuff's delicious!

    • Týr Mórríghan on September 8, 2017
    • GH Brown Irish X Unsliced and GH Latakia are my absolute favorites (Straight VA and VA-Lat -my blend-).

      I see that many who purchase GHBIXU jar it in larger mason jars, leaving the center hole of the coil empty, I do not.

      My preferred cellaring method (coiled within multiple 4oz mason jars with GHLatakia filling the center hole and a layer on top (both compressed).

      This makes for wonderful marrying of flavours in the aging process and ease of access to just the right mixture and if anything adverse-unwelcome should occur all is not lost in one fell swoop.

      For clarity, I do enjoy BIXU by itself just as well :-)

    • Andrew on June 15, 2018
    • I love Kendal Northstar, pairs well in a Cob while having a Summer or Autumn burn up in the garden and a cuppa.

    • Matthew David on January 18, 2019
    • Seems like there is a shortage of all Gawith & Hoggarth tobaccos these days. Out of stock for months.

    • Cassie D on January 18, 2019
    • Matthew David, We do receive shipments periodically, but it sells pretty quickly. If you aren't already, I recommend signing up for the email alerts. On the right hand side of the product page, you will see a box that says "Email Me" and this will put you in the queue for a one-time in stock alert when we receive it in. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at [email protected] and we'd be glad to help!

    • james strathy on October 26, 2021
    • love everything i,ve had from g and h the balkan mix has the strong brown twist sliced as a noticed component? tastes like it.love rum flake best.

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