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The original Squadron Leader blend was brought back for the 2008 Chicago Pipe show in a limited release of 500 tins then later offered in 2015 as an exclusive 2000 tin limited edition here at SPC, this is the classic English blend you know and love, with the addition of the truffle of condiment tobaccos: perique.

Notes: Re-released in 2017, limited to 3000 tins. Re-released in 2019, limited to 4500 tins.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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None Detected
Medium, Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3008)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The grassy, moderately tart citrusy, lightly tangy dark fruity and earthy, woody Virginias are the base that the other components play off as a secondary star. The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, sweet Cyprian Latakia is the lead component, though it doesn’t dominate. The Turkish provides light spice, wood, earth, herbal vegetation, some floralness, dry sourness, and a light buttery sweetness as a supporting player. The spicy, raisiny, plum, figgy perique plays on a little higher level than the Virginias. The nic-hit is two steps shy of the medium mark. The strength and taste levels sit squarely on medium. No chance of bite or harshness, but has a few small rough edges. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a deep, mildly sweet, spicy and rather savory consistent campfire flavor from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a very pleasant sweet and spicy after taste that lingers a little. The room note is tad stronger. Can be an all day smoke. Obviously, this is Squadron Leader with perique, and is a more complex, richer, mildly fuller version. Three and a half stars.


16 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I was eager to try this one and am glad that I did. I have always enjoyed the easy, subtle pleasures of this long time classic. The Oriental and Latakia components bring out the best in the quality and special Gawith processing of the Virginia leaf. The added pinch of pure 100% Louisiana Perique puts a little more strength in the blend without changing the overall presentation much. Absolutely an enhancement well worth putting in your pipe.

13 people found this review helpful.

Brass Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brass (5)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is essentially the same one I posted in the tobacco review forum at, written 5/13/2015.

I'm currently smoking a bowl of SLAP (Squadron Leader And Perique - acronym coined somewhat ironically by buroak). I ordered 15 tins, partially because I thought they would be good barter chips. Also, I like SL very much and the blend recipe sounded appetizing. I also got caught up in the piranha feeding frenzy. Also, I'm impulsive and OCD.

I smoked a bowl of Squadron Leader standard, e.g. SL sans Perique, before trying the new blend. Squadron Leader was lighter than I remembered but probably just relative to the heaver balkan and Latakia blends I've been smoking of recent. But still it was a very fine smoke.

After the bowl of Squadron Leader, I ate some Ledo's pizza with sausage and jalapeno wheels washed down with a Coke, to refresh my palate. So much for my healthy diet aspirations. After giving my palate a rest, I loaded a bowl of SLAP into the same Savinelli 316 LS Porto Cervo pot I had used for the Squadron Leader.

Holy Smoke! My hopes were more than met. If I had smoked them blind, I wouldn't have known the two blends were related The perique balances out the Latakia. I would go so far to say that the Lat recedes to a background bass note. It is a sweet, silky smooth, thick smoke that tickles the nostrils pleasantly. the blend burns well but could possibly benefit from a little drying. There was zero tongue bite and to my nose, it left a neutral if not nice room note.

Before smoking SLAP, I had offered to trade tins of it for Balkan Sobranie. I now think I was impetuous and regret the solicitation. I may have to give up two tins as a matter of courtesy to those who responded but will not give up any more. I can only imagine how fabulous these will be after aging for a few years. I wouldn't trade my SLAP for equal weight in Penzance and would hesitate before trading for Stonehaven.

I'm cellaring these with my other special tobaccos and will dip into the stash solely for special occasions. If I can discipline myself, I'll crack maybe a tin a year, perhaps around Christmas.

Just one note. If you like bold, in your face blends, this is not for you. It is mild bodied and flavorful but not powerful.

I do hope that our friends at SmokingPipes will consider re-issuing this blend so that others may experience this sublime tobacco. Perhaps if we tender this request POLITELY and persistently, they will honor our wishes. And it is OK if they want to make a buck. They aren't a charity organization. Besides, I want my friends to prosper. If they do release more, they can mark me down for another 15 tins. But they did publicly state it was limited edition, so I understand perfectly if they decide they have to wait a year or more before make a similar offer.

I have many favorite blends. I like none better than SLAP. I have finally found a pipe blend equal to the finest Dominican cigars. If SLAP becomes commonly available, it would be in my weekly rotation.

I'll post another note after I finish the tin.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 316 KS Punto Cervo

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: H&H Magnum Opus.

12 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Nice big fat ribbons of mostly tan with flecks of black thrown in. The perique was quite noticeable in the tin aroma, as were the other components. This is tin #368/2000. Not sure that's at all meaningful but as I also collect limited edition music software, the number is always listed. Don't know if it means much there, either!

Smoking a few bowls of this made me run back to not only my stash of aged SL, but also to pick up a few tins of fresh SL. I enjoyed this blend, but I do not recognize it as SL with the addition of perique. This shows me that simply adding a condimental tobacco to an already established mixture can yield unpredictable results. In this version, the latakia was more subdued, the Virginias a hair more prominent and sweeter and the orientals almost MIA, at least from a "hey there's the oriental" perspective - they didn't call any attention to themselves. The perique provided some pepper and spice and the whole concoction had an excellent nutty flavor underneath. This seemed both a hair sweeter and quite a bit spicier but also a different blend altogether. I found that interesting. They both were Gawithian, if you will, but seemed like different blends altogether. SL alone is no longer in contention for my rotation but I enjoy its pure English nature (heavier latakia and Virginia, very mild oriental) on occasion. This one should be very similar plus perique but the perique apparently changed the face of the original. This isn't worse - it's just different. I'm not sure if that was intentional but I'm guessing it wasn't. Try this if you want to try a "new" SG English blend containing perique. I liked it very much!

8 people found this review helpful.

sentientchimp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sentientchimp (5)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I got a tin of this when Smoking Pipes brought the blend back for a limited run of 2000 tins in May 2015. To me, the taste is something between original Squadron Leader and Dunhill Nightcap, probably due to the presence of Perique. Some of the mild floral note that I have detected in SL previously is present, but it is very mild and the taste is largely that of a good English with a Latakia flavor that is very balanced and a Perique flavor to finish that is pleasant and multi-dimensional. Very moist out of the tin. I'll be curious to see how it smokes once it has dried out a bit. Very good, especially if you like a more Lat-balanced English. The only thing that keeps it from being a 4-star smoke for me is the light-ish nicotine content compared to something like Nightcap.

Pipe Used: Fikri Baki gourd Calabash

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Dunhill Nightcap.

7 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2071)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Samuel Gawith - Squadron Leader Special Edition (2019 run).

Tin number 3244 of 4500.

Although the standard Squadron Leader's a good smoke, I always think of it as being a touch overhyped. This, however, with the addition of Perique, deserves as much hype as possible!

My tin had great hydration (weird, being as it's from Sam G'!) , and the nose has a definite inclusion of Perique. It doesn't smell 'loaded', but the Perique can be identified, easily. Fairly coarse ribbons, free from twigs.

Like I said, the touch of Perique makes a massive difference. It gives the smoke a rich, fruity quality, but no vinegar-sharpness, or caustic pepper. To my palate the Perique isn't too lightly added. The rest of the tobaccos are the same as the standard edition: smoky Lat', camphoraceous, fragrant Orientals, and sweet, grassy Virginia accounting for the 'platform'. Every bowl I've had has burnt decently, giving a cool smoke.

Nicotine: seems a bit higher than Squadron Leader standard. Room-note: a little pungent.

Squadron Leader Special'? If they made this regularly it would be in my rotation. Love it. Four stars:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Neerup

Age When Smoked: 2 weeks.

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (178)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Still nutty like the original SL, but the Perique drives it up a notch in body. Occasionally peppery, but not enough to undermine the purity of this English Oriental. Seems aged and well behaved now and no need to cellar but extra time still may improve it some.

recommend for English Oriental smokers. Wish I knew the % of perique and I could blend & age this up myself.

Pipe Used: Old Dunhill 120, old Arlington

Age When Smoked: new tin

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Squadron leader, old 1776 Tavern.

5 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (393)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

Well apparently this sold out everywhere in a day. 4500 tins. I was able to sample one bowl out of the 121/4500 tin. It was a smooth English and about 1/3 of the way in it seemed to lose a little of its sweetness and I guess the Perique was kicking in. Hard to say. This is not a ‘review’ but a place holder until I can try some more if I am lucky. Obviously, this is the 2019 release. Maybe better luck next year if they release it again.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dublin Edition Unfinished Poker

Age When Smoked: New

4 people found this review helpful.

GabrielCRT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GabrielCRT (115)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've just finished a generous sample of Squadron Leader and Perique from 2015 and I'm very sad to see it go. This was a very smooth yet rich and spicy blend. The peppery Perique really stands out due to the light Latakia presence. The Virginia really sweetened up over the course of a few years and married well with the musty orientals and smokey Latakia. If this was still available or if it is again re-released I would gladly cellar a few tins.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (202)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

SL is my favourite Latakia/Oriental base tobacco there is in the market now as we speak. As I have already reviewed it, I am not going to describe the tin note, flavouring, etc., but just to mention what I find different. Some reviewers seem to be saying the perique is not quite apparent, and even though I might agree with it, it does flare up every now and again adding both depth and a citrusy/zesty dimension to it. For a change of pace it is certainly interesting, but I'd leave SL as it is. Would I recommend it? Yes of course, but I think you will only be able to tell the difference if you are already familiar with SL original.

3 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (629)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I jumped at the opportunity to buy three tins of this limited edition release and just recently finished the first tin. My reasons were two part. The first is that I absolutely love Squadron Leader, so I was interested in how this iteration would compare. The second is that I am a sucker for good marketing and limited edition tins are never a bad thing to have in the cellar.

As for the tobacco inside the green tin, I was let down. This is not too surprising as Squadron Leader itself is firmly rooted in my top ten tobaccos, so the odds that this would jump up to join it were pretty low to begin with. I did start to like it more as the tobacco started to dry than when it was just opened.

This taste very little like squadron leader. The change wrought from the perique is overtly apparent, yet it is far from a perique powerhouse. The blend does not really feel much stronger from a standpoint of nicotine. The primary problem with this blend is the addition of the perique kind of covers up or changes everything that I like about the standard squadron leader. There is almost a compost type element to the smoke that just doesn't do much for me.

Don't get me wrong, I did not despise the blend, but I just find that it is inferior to the white tin standard SL. As for rating this blend, that is also difficult. As only 2000 were made and I can attest that now there are less, it goes without saying that if you can pick up a tin for around $10 or the cost of a standard tin, then I highly recommend it from an investment standpoint; however, don't buy into the hype and spend a lot of money on this as it is not really worth it.

I am leaving this one at two stars as there are just too many other tobaccos that I would prefer over this. But I will say that this is a unique blend as there is nothing that I really can compare it to. I do not doubt that some people will love this blend as we all have varying tastes.

3 people found this review helpful.

PKT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PKT (30)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is the 2019 edition of the special edition and is every bit as successful as the 2015 edition. It retains all the essential characteristics of Squadron Leader but has a fuller, deeper and, if you will jauntier taste. If you can snag some, do so. This tin is going to pipe club with me The others will be put down to mature

Pipe Used: Well loved Meer

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

2 people found this review helpful.

Singularis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Singularis (17)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This review is for the 2018 release. A fellow pipesmoker gave me a couple bowls' worth of this limited edition tobacco to sample. So, it came ready-dried and probably about a month after the tin was initially opened. He did an excellent job with the drying, especially considering that it was very wet (according to his description).

He said he wasn't overly impressed by it, but I myself consider it quite superior. A wonderful sweetness, with the Latakia contribution a bit more muted than what's found in Super Balkan (which is its closest comparison to what I've smoked): maybe this is because the Virginia and Orientals really shine in this blend. I imagine that this is what a more classic English would taste like.

Of course, there is the Perique element, but it is so well balanced that in the smoke you can mostly just taste the depth and richness (with just the right amount of spice). However, it is VERY evident post-smoke, with that rich, mouth-filling plumminess, plus a wonderful leathery quality hovering about my clothing.

I'm guessing the Lakeland essence is present as well, but this is first Samuel Gawith I've tried (and one that is more complex and heavy). So, no way to compare.

The overall experience is at once highly approachable and smokeable (probably even all day, if you have the constitution), but quite full. And the nic definitely takes a hit after only half a bowl. But to me, this is what a Full English ought to be.

I have just purchased the original Squadron Leader, after finding it available at Will give a careful comparison when it arrives and gets duly smoked. Looking forward to it!

Highly recommended ... if you can find it somewhere.

Pipe Used: Amadeus Bent Billiard

Age When Smoked: 1 month old

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Cornell & Diehl - Super Balkan.

2 people found this review helpful.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (86)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

According to Samuel Gawith, this green labelled Special Edition is exactly the same mixture like the regular SQL, with an addition of Perique. Since only 2000 tins were produced, I could not put hands on this Special Edition. Therefore I have made the experiment myself, adding different amounts of pure Perique into the regular SQL. The best result is an upgraded SQL from a 1 to a 2 star on my personal rating. The blend became a bit stronger, tastier and the room note was better.

For more details about my critical view of SQL, check my review on the other page dedicated to the regular SQL.

2 people found this review helpful.

JuanOrez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JuanOrez (22)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased several tins of this very limited release and just finished my first tin. SOLID. Smokey, full and delicious. I am very satisfied after each bowl and almost instantly crave another. This stuff deserves a full re-release. My guess is, this was a test run and smokingpipes will make a deal with the folks at Sam Gawith to get this blend to the masses(I hope). As a previous poster said, this stuff is going to be wonderful with a year or two age on it.

Since I have so little, I too will probably only smoke this on special occasions. Here's to hoping for a mass production of this delicious leaf!

Pipe Used: Cobb and Boswell Rhodesian

Age When Smoked: New tin

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Mass produced Squadron Leader but with a pinch of perique..

2 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (338)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Tin #488/2000

Its that time of year again, where I slowly transition over to more Latakia forward blends as the autumn season approaches. Even though its been a bit warmer here in Southern Michigan, I can't help but crave English and Balkan blends as the first aspen leaves begin to turn golden.

Almost through with this tin, so I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts.

Tin aroma isn't as strong as I remembered the original SL. Seems quite muted. Somewhat dry in the tin, definitely something I'm not used to when it comes to SG mixtures. Upon opening the tin and pulling back the white paper liner, I find wide cuts of mostly medium to dark brown leaf, with a bit of golden mixed in. Loading the pipe with the lack of moisture allowed the pipe to be packed quite full and firm, without hampering the draw. Charring light was almost all Perique to me. The Latakia took a backseat the duration of each bowl, while the Perique remained overpowering. This blend is sharp and can sting the nostrils when exhaled. Leaves a very clean palate with a nice refreshing feeling on the tongue. Burns clean and clear, leaving a dark gray ash and nothing more.

I tried to enjoy this but it just isn't my thing. If you can find a tin, it's worth a try if you are a Perique junky.

1 person found this review helpful.

WolfmanSam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WolfmanSam (37)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My impressions of this blend are based on a 2017 limited release.

Like most Samuel Gawith blends, this comes moist. After setting it aside for 40 minutes, it’s ready to smoke.

Upon lighting, I sense a bit of smokiness, a mouthwatering sweet and sour tanginess, a citrusy sweetness and the distinct presence of peppery perique.

This is an Oriental forward blend, but the Virginia acts as a sweet and smoothing base. The perique is always noticeable and almost moderately spicy in the beginning. By the second half, it becomes less potent, but always present. The latakia (smokiness) quickly recedes to the background after lighting. It’s makes brief reappearances upon tamping.

It’s less then medium in body, and the nicotine level is slightly more then mild. It never gets harsh, even with fast puffing.

This is a good all-day smoke and will be appreciated by Oriental enthusiasts. It works best for me as a morning pipe. Unfortunately, it’s only produced as an occasional limited release.

1 person found this review helpful.

JaWiBr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JaWiBr (322)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Tin notes of sour, smoky, tangy and sweet. The fat ribbon cut seems to be bigger than regular squadron leader. Color is brown, dark brown and black. The Tabacco is relatively dry, and no prep needed. Burns at a normal rate and required few relights. The strength is mild-med and nic is mild. No flavoring detected despite tin note. The taste is med-full, with notes of spicy, smoky, slightly sweet plums and floral. Latakia is driving with perique riding shotgun. The Virginias and Turkish are bringing up the rear. Room note is tolerable. Has a very great aftertaste.

Pipe Used: Castello Sea Rock Briar SC 31

Age When Smoked: 7 years

Purchased From:

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