You Can Now Date Your Gawith Tobaccos

While trawling Reddit's r/pipetobacco sub we came across this little gem. Yep, a date coding system for Samuel Gawith blends, broken down into months.

Essentially it goes like this. The date code is five digits, with the first two being the day and the final three being the month (starting at December 1995). So that first code for the 1st of December, 1995 would have been 01 001. Today's code, for the 14th of July, 2017 would be 14 260. Here's a link that might help. Take the months stated and add one (as that first month was 001, not 000).

Here's the kicker though. Upon reaching for our tins, none of us could find said date codes. There's a label, and — in most of our cases at least — a handwritten date of purchase in sharpie, but no manufacturer date coding. Intrigued we went out to the warehouse to check the current stock and, sure enough, there were the date codes — as plain as the nose on my face — on tins and boxes of both SG and its sibling company Gawith Hoggarth & Co.

The 6th of January, 2017.

Not only that, but some quick spot checking lead us to believe that the system is accurate. One tin of GH&Co's Balkan Mixture had a date code of 28 252, or the 28th of November 2016, and a tin of St. James wore the code 07 254, or the 7th of January 2017. So plausible then.

So why then do these date codes, seemingly starting in December of 1995, only show up on relatively recent tins? Our best guess is that it was used internally in their own logbooks for some time before making the decision to make the date codes available to consumers. Either way, you can now tell at a quick glance (and a spot of mental arithmetic) when your favoured Kendal blends were produced. Well, on more recent tins at least.

Have your own thoughts on the matter, or a theory as to why this is only showing up now? Let us know in the comments below.

Category:   Resources
Tagged in:   Gawith and Hoggarth Samuel Gawith Tips Tobacco


    • bryan webber on July 15, 2017
    • It was always rather curious to me that tobacco companies made it hard to date their tins. I love the idea of being able to identify the age of my tins. I would think tobacco companies would have a simple dating system for this nowadays, but as with anything in a manufacturing process, simplicity usually gives way for complexity.

    • Eric G on July 16, 2017
    • You've given me a project...time to dig out my Gawith tins and add all the dates to my spreadsheet like the tobacco nerd I am. Thanks!

    • Adam O'Neill on July 17, 2017
    • @Eric G Glad we could help, Eric. And have fun with your new project!

    • Brian on July 17, 2017
    • Seems to be hit or miss with which tins carry the code. I have several FVF with the sticker but 3 St James flakes with none.

    • Adam O'Neill on July 17, 2017
    • @Brian All of our cellared tins are sans label, but all of the new tins in our warehouse, including FVF and St. James, have it. So just timing we guess.

    • LC Kid on July 18, 2017
    • Thanks for such useful resource for us keepers of the SG Holy Leaf.

      Checking on my current inventory most of my SG 50gr Tins have the label, and all of my 250gr boxes as well.

      The only Tins I have without it are my SG Squadron Leader with Perique Special Edition (Green Tin), but at least for those I don't need the label to know the year when they were made/packed.

    • rkorn74 on July 18, 2017
    • Adam, great work my friend on cracking the code. There is nothing like knowing all you can about your blends in the cellar.

    • Adam O'Neill on July 19, 2017
    • @LC Kid Nice! Is that the 2008 CPCC run or our 2015 run?

    • Adam O'Neill on July 19, 2017
    • @Rkorn74 It's our pleasure, but really, the Reddit guys deserve all the credit :D

    • LC Kid on July 19, 2017
    • @Adam O'Neill I'm lucky enough to have Tins from both runs, just 3 from the 2008 CPCC and a lot more from the 2015 run.

      Insanely good version of a really fantastic english tobacco, I've always thought they'd include the Perique into regular production.

    • Adam O'Neill on July 20, 2017
    • @LC Kid Wow, I've got a few set aside myself, but just from the 2015 run. And agreed, although the current formula is still really good.

    • James on January 5, 2018
    • I must be pretty dense...I have a date code of 19 258. The day is the 19th; but how does the next 3 digits show the month and how in the world does it show the year?

    • Adam O'Neill on January 8, 2018
    • @James That'd be the 19th of May 2017. Again, it only works when consider that the start date is the 1st of December, 1995. So take the date code (258) divide it by 12 (21.5) So there's 21 years, 6 months between the 1st of January, 1995. 21 years takes us to the 1st of December, 2016. Another six months takes us to the 1st of May, 2017.

    • Max on March 28, 2019
    • =EDATE(DATE(1995;12;1);B1-1) A1-1

      where A1 is the 1st number and B1 the 2nd

    • Max on March 28, 2019
    • =EDATE(DATE(1995;12;1);B1-1) A1-1
      (typo: the was missing)

    • Zach on September 6, 2019
    • This is great. If it is indeed accurate I have a tin of Bob's Chocolate Flake that I purchased June 2019 that was manufactured 9/01/2017.
      The date code is 01 273

    • Zachary H on September 8, 2019
    • Correction. 9/01/18

    • Half-Breedpeacepipe on March 18, 2021
    • Thanks so much for figuring out the dating system of Samuel Gawith & G&H. They are in my top 3 blenders and well represented in my cellar, I know people give C&D some undesevered hate but C&D's date system needs to be universaly used!

    • Aaron on August 26, 2022
    • Have seven tins of jubilee that I got from a bm in Bloomington, In. Don't see any markings as far of dates and all tins are sealed. Help?

    • S.B. Head on November 22, 2022
    • I just come across two 250 gram packages of Samuel Gawith "Perfection" and there is not a code on either one of them anywhere. I don't know if I've got some really old tobacco or What? But I'm gonna hold on to it. It looks really I mean really old.

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