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The plug thread V 2.0

DannoH

Well-known member
Patron
#22
PS did you get a whisper of a lakeland-y sort of essence on the PPP? I thought it was there, buried under all that nasty African leaf.
Not that I was aware of, no.

The tin I smoked up for the review was around 5 years old, and had a nice dusting of crystals on it - very sweet-smelling, and the flavour was very near the Yachtsman/Velvan end of things, but no 'Lake sauce' was detected.

Vive African leaf, btw ;)
 

MLC

Foggy Fogey.
Patron
#28
:beerchug:
This is my favorite thread ever!

The writing style is wonderful to read and the reviews are spot on the mark, plus the pictures are such the sweet icing on this rich cake of good info.

Many thanks for restoring this thread in its full glory.

I'll add here one of my comments/pix put up in the old PSF thread, and also a little ditty about Velvan...

I'm a certifiable plugnut and codger out on 'em as they're what I most often smoke..

I'm on the road and away from home due to work much of the time, so I've gotten in the habit of prepping my plugs all at once.
The method works for me because it makes everything so convenient where I can easily load a pipeful at my leisure.

For cutting, I got myself a Yankee Slicer and it slices like a dream. I love the thing. It's similar to the antique guillotine style cutters you often see, but it's more compact at a tabletop size. It's built like a tank and the blade is easy to clean/sharpen.

I don't use a cutting board, but I do have a tortoise shell tray.



I slice a big pile of flakes, with some of them being thin slivers for making "kindling dust" which I like to sprinkle on top of the bowl which aids ease of lighting.



I then cube cut all the flakes.



After all is cut to cube, then I give a final slight rubbing and put it all back in the pouch.



I've come to prefer pouches over tins as they transport easily and the flap makes a great place for loading a pileful into the pipe.

:old:

...and now a short bit about the old Ruddell's of Dublin plug:

:love:



:icon-blahblah:
I want to include a bit about Velvan because it was my Grail, although this is more of an observation than a proper review. I can't really describe the flavour or convey the profile, all I know is that I loved this stuff the very much mostest...

...and sadly I was late to the game because it was expensive buying plugs and I was unsure about Velvan and didn't want to throw money out the window on it --- when I first started ordering from James Fox the shipping was free so that was a big bonus, but stupidly on my part it wasn't until later that I plopped down the greenbacks fer a poucha Velvan.

I dug up my first ever "exploratory order" and this is it:

2 ea. Maltan Ready Rubbed - 25g $17.84
3 ea. Warrior Plug - 50g $53.24
1 ea. Erinmore Plug - 50g $17.75
1 ea. Yachtsman Plug - 50g $17.75
1 ea. Mick McQuaid Plug - 50g $17.75

Sub-Total: $124.31

Free Shipping Offer (Free Shipping Offer):$0.00

Total: $124.31


Anywhichways,
Velvan is special for me because the flavouring is some sort of deep dark stewy fruitiness and it just hits me perfectly, I mean when I was fully codgerin' onnit I'd smoke 4 or 5 pipes a day of it and never grew tired of it, and it was Velvan that helped me understand the virtues of codgerhood, and made me aspire toward such a state, to be eternally happy with that one special baccy and not be lured off and throw money away on all the various churning new issues which sound so good with their siren song but more often than not bring your ship right into the rocks.

Most tobacco reviews should be taken with a grain of salt because more often than not the reviewer's opinion is based only upon one batch sampling, and different batches can have either subtle or drastic differences, even though a certain "core consistency" is usually maintained of course.

One of the most recurring "problematic batch consistency" blends that I've experienced is Stonehaven, with some batches being overly dry, more brown than black, and lacking enough of the treacle --- after having experienced good batches which I consider to be the "perfect expression" of the blend, the "less than perfect" batches can be a disappointment, although yes it still expresses that core trait, it doesn't do so in as intense a manner as the "perfect batch".

One of the distinct advantages to codgering out on a blend you love and smoking it everyday is that you become intimately familiar with it and as you have smoked such quantity of it you have likely experienced both the "perfect expression" and "less than" batches, and are immediately equipped to evaluate whichever batch you happen to be smoking on a "scale of perfection" --- this is an acute discernment that someone only gets from long experience.

I keep my old pouches and just went to dig through and count how many I've smoked, sadly the number isn't really that high, being 56, with a good few more which got lost or trashed while out on the road.

I then sorted them according to year and batch number and note that I haven't really experienced that many different batches in the great scheme of things...

2013 #4883
2014 #3791
2014 #4224
2014 #5531
2015 #0056
2015 #6669
2015 #7048
2016 #6689

And I could be misinterpreting that number anyway LOL but it is a variable and changes so that's what I'm taking it as, along with noting that they seem to have very slight differences between them, and by very slight I mean very slight.

I would usually buy in 5 pouch increments, but toward the end I began doing 10 pouch orders, which was a full box.

So,
I wish I would have found this stuff much earlier!!!!
 
Last edited:

DannoH

Well-known member
Patron
#29
:beerchug:
This is my favorite thread ever!

The writing style is wonderful to read and the reviews are spot on the mark, plus the pictures are such the sweet icing on this rich cake of good info.

Many thanks for restoring this thread in its full glory.

I'll add here one of my comments/pix put up in the old PSF thread, and also a little ditty about Velvan...

I'm a certifiable plugnut and codger out on 'em as they're what I most often smoke..

I'm on the road and away from home due to work much of the time, so I've gotten in the habit of prepping my plugs all at once.
The method works for me because it makes everything so convenient where I can easily load a pipeful at my leisure.

For cutting, I got myself a Yankee Slicer and it slices like a dream. I love the thing. It's similar to the antique guillotine style cutters you often see, but it's more compact at a tabletop size. It's built like a tank and the blade is easy to clean/sharpen.

I don't use a cutting board, but I do have a tortoise shell tray.



I slice a big pile of flakes, with some of them being thin slivers for making "kindling dust" which I like to sprinkle on top of the bowl which aids ease of lighting.



I then cube cut all the flakes.



After all is cut to cube, then I give a final slight rubbing and put it all back in the pouch.



I've come to prefer pouches over tins as they transport easily and the flap makes a great place for loading a pileful into the pipe.

:old:

...and now a short bit about the old Ruddell's of Dublin plug:

:love:



:icon-blahblah:
I want to include a bit about Velvan because it was my Grail, although this is more of an observation than a proper review. I can't really describe the flavour or convey the profile, all I know is that I loved this stuff the very much mostest...

...and sadly I was late to the game because it was expensive buying plugs and I was unsure about Velvan and didn't want to throw money out the window on it --- when I first started ordering from James Fox the shipping was free so that was a big bonus, but stupidly on my part it wasn't until later that I plopped down the greenbacks fer a poucha Velvan.

I dug up my first ever "exploratory order" and this is it:

2 ea. Maltan Ready Rubbed - 25g $17.84
3 ea. Warrior Plug - 50g $53.24
1 ea. Erinmore Plug - 50g $17.75
1 ea. Yachtsman Plug - 50g $17.75
1 ea. Mick McQuaid Plug - 50g $17.75

Sub-Total: $124.31

Free Shipping Offer (Free Shipping Offer):$0.00

Total: $124.31


Anywhichways,
Velvan is special for me because the flavouring is some sort of deep dark stewy fruitiness and it just hits me perfectly, I mean when I was fully codgerin' onnit I'd smoke 4 or 5 pipes a day of it and never grew tired of it, and it was Velvan that helped me understand the virtues of codgerhood, and made me aspire toward such a state, to be eternally happy with that one special baccy and not be lured off and throw money away on all the various churning new issues which sound so good with their siren song but more often than not bring your ship right into the rocks.

Most tobacco reviews should be taken with a grain of salt because more often than not the reviewer's opinion is based only upon one batch sampling, and different batches can have either subtle or drastic differences, even though a certain "core consistency" is usually maintained of course.

One of the most recurring "problematic batch consistency" blends that I've experienced is Stonehaven, with some batches being overly dry, more brown than black, and lacking enough of the treacle --- after having experienced good batches which I consider to be the "perfect expression" of the blend, the "less than perfect" batches can be a disappointment, although yes it still expresses that core trait, it doesn't do so in as intense a manner as the "perfect batch".

One of the distinct advantages to codgering out on a blend you love and smoking it everyday is that you become intimately familiar with it and as you have smoked such quantity of it you have likely experienced both the "perfect expression" and "less than" batches, and are immediately equipped to evaluate whichever batch you happen to be smoking on a "scale of perfection" --- this is an acute discernment that someone only gets from long experience.

I keep my old pouches and just went to dig through and count how many I've smoked, sadly the number isn't really that high, being 56, with a good few more which got lost or trashed while out on the road.

I then sorted them according to year and batch number and note that I haven't really experienced that many different batches in the great scheme of things...

2013 #4883
2014 #3791
2014 #4224
2014 #5531
2015 #0056
2015 #6669
2015 #7048
2016 #6689

And I could be misinterpreting that number anyway LOL but it is a variable and changes so that's what I'm taking it as, along with noting that they seem to have very slight differences between them, and by very slight I mean very slight.

I would usually buy in 5 pouch increments, but toward the end I began doing 10 pouch orders, which was a full box.

So,
I wish I would have found this stuff much earlier!!!!
Many thanks, @MLC. It is such a treat to have you here. Hope ya drop by often!
 

DannoH

Well-known member
Patron
#30
It occurred to me that the bulk of my focus in this here thread had been strongly toward European offerings – no surprise, really, as my tastes run to dark n, sturdy, and that’s where the bulk of a rapidly dwindling plug choices originate. Surely, though, there are a few NA offerings available, so it seems prudent to give them a go. Hence, today’s exploration of GL Peases’s Triple Play, composed of virginia, perique, and a righteous amount of dark-fired Kentucky. Off we go!

I only have a few non-Euro plug offerings in my accumulation, and this is one of ‘em. My tin dates to January of 2017, and was bulging promisingly when I glanced it over a month ago. I figured, well, what am I waiting for here? Let’s pop the top (and with a satisfying ‘whooosh’, no less). I crammed my nose in and… Perique! Lots n’ lots of that filthy stuff. Big, sour smells, like the DFK was determined not to let the Acadians have all the olfactory time. Vague notes of chocolate, alcohol, and cooked fruit, too. If TP was a band, it would be Motörhead* – loudloudloud. So yeah, the tin note is piquant – lots on going there. No real indication of the virginia component, but a good deal of shouting from the other 2. I like DFK, like it a lot, and I enjoy perique, but I also like balance, and given the sensory explosion emanatin’ from the tin, didn’t expect much on that front from Triple Play. I was mostly right about that.

The ‘plug’ itself is a loosely compressed melange of rough n’ tumble leaf, lots of gold and browns, and not unattractive to behold in a rustic sorta way. We are clearly not in STG land, as concerns the physical rigour of the plug: this is a spongy affair, and cutting slices was messy and crumbly, yielding floppy flakes. No need to really rub them out, as simply crushing ‘em in the palm rendered everything unconsolidated. The way things come apart reminded me of square hay bales when ya pop the twine holding them together.

The view from the board:



No need to dry, just stuff ‘er into a pipe and have at it. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy TP a whole lot. The brittle nature of this style of plug was a touch unsatisfying, and my initial experience was not encouraging. First tastes ran strongly to the periquey side of things, with a stiff, mouth-drying blast from the Kentucky. Very little bottom end – all mids and highs, and shrieking highs at that (like, Bruce Dickinson is outta his league here). So went the first pipeful.

Throughout my experience with TP, I always felt that ‘something’ was missing. But, I decided to prevail, and give this a chance to develop, and over the course of about half the contents of the tin, to a degree it did. It’s not a blend that stays lit well, so expect frequent passes with the lighter/matches. It also turns bitter easily if you push, so sipping is important. There is a lot of taste inherent, and a good deal of nicotine too, but this is not a complex experience. Taken for what it is, a perique and DFK-heavy offering, there is merit here. For folks that like these two tobaccos strains in healthy harmony (or competition), TP could work well, and it’s easy to find. I want more integration, and think that the addition of a smidge of latakia could smooth the interplay between the two, and add some much needed velvet to the mix. This won’t displace any of my English favourites, but I could see a utility in terms of an occasional trip to the other side of Weird Street.

Worth investigating for those that dig on the Pease/C&D blending and presentation style, and those that think a Marshall JCM900 should always be dimed.

*I dunno why I chose to run with all the musical references – perhaps because I’m not a baseball guy?
 

MLC

Foggy Fogey.
Patron
#31
:beerchug:
Another excellent review.

All aces.

I've yet to smoke TP but I have a tin with several years age stewing in the cellar and I'm looking forward to it even more now after reading your review.

GLP's JackKnife Plug was my introduction to the plug form and as such its always held a very special place in my heart,
it turned me on bigtime like a transcendental experience, no lie.

I'm sensitive to perique so I only got a couple of tins of TP and held on to them hoping for more of a "cooked fruit" vibe as you say as opposed to a possible pepperiness.

*
:headbang:
 

DannoH

Well-known member
Patron
#32
:beerchug:
Another excellent review.

All aces.

I've yet to smoke TP but I have a tin with several years age stewing in the cellar and I'm looking forward to it even more now after reading your review.

GLP's JackKnife Plug was my introduction to the plug form and as such its always held a very special place in my heart,
it turned me on bigtime like a transcendental experience, no lie.

I'm sensitive to perique so I only got a couple of tins of TP and held on to them hoping for more of a "cooked fruit" vibe as you say as opposed to a possible pepperiness.

*
:headbang:
You'll probably tumble for this stuff, then.

I think I have a tin of JackKnife Plug in the accumulation as well. I mighten havter get after it soonish like.
 

MLC

Foggy Fogey.
Patron
#33
I need to crack it open at some point.

Something I wrote about JKP a whiles back:

Gregory Pease is forever solidified within my personal mythology, my memory, as being a True Saviour, as being responsible for the trigger which flipped my switch and showed me, in full spade, that pipe smoking was, without any shadow of a doubt, the most superior form of smoking tobacco.

It was Jack Knife Plug that provided a conduit to nirvana, and the first transcendental experience that I had concerning pipe tobacco, and that is not hyperbole, JKP literally swept me away to unforeseen heavens so blissful in pure delight that I had lost my physical presence and had became an ethereal whole, a pureness, somehow reunited with the missing Godhead - and in this way, Mr. Pease is a sort of divine presence sent forth amidst and against the horrid rubble dust of this forlorn world to bring the truth,
and the the truth was surely brung forthright with JKP...

...he introduced me to the plug form, from which whence has become my favored of all forms, and JKP remains such the special recipe of enlightenment, tattoo'd upon my heart with the deepest of permanent inks, and I give much humble thanks, to that might of mightiest forces, known as GLP.

:puffy:
The above is not over-adorative purple prose,
it is a damn fact in my life,
by golly.
 
#34
I need to crack it open at some point.

Something I wrote about JKP a whiles back:

Gregory Pease is forever solidified within my personal mythology, my memory, as being a True Saviour, as being responsible for the trigger which flipped my switch and showed me, in full spade, that pipe smoking was, without any shadow of a doubt, the most superior form of smoking tobacco.

It was Jack Knife Plug that provided a conduit to nirvana, and the first transcendental experience that I had concerning pipe tobacco, and that is not hyperbole, JKP literally swept me away to unforeseen heavens so blissful in pure delight that I had lost my physical presence and had became an ethereal whole, a pureness, somehow reunited with the missing Godhead - and in this way, Mr. Pease is a sort of divine presence sent forth amidst and against the horrid rubble dust of this forlorn world to bring the truth,
and the the truth was surely brung forthright with JKP...

...he introduced me to the plug form, from which whence has become my favored of all forms, and JKP remains such the special recipe of enlightenment, tattoo'd upon my heart with the deepest of permanent inks, and I give much humble thanks, to that might of mightiest forces, known as GLP.

:puffy:
The above is not over-adorative purple prose,
it is a damn fact in my life,
by golly.
I’ll take that over a grassy/stewed figs review any day!
 

DannoH

Well-known member
Patron
#35
Another significant lull in this review thread, but I did want to share my impressions of Sam Gawith’s Full Virginia Plug with anyone interested. I’m winding down on reviewing plugs, as I haven’t many (if any) left in my accumulation. I want to say that this has been fun, and hopefully, a touch informative for the plug curious.

So, on to the tobacco at hand. As you can imagine, this is the plug version of the famed Full Virginia Flake. I’ve enjoyed FVF off and on for a number of years, so when the opportunity to acquire a few hundred grams of the plug offering came my way, I took it. I acquired this from an online shop in England, which, sadly no longer ships outside of the UK, period. As ever, if this sort of thing interests you, I think it best to make a friend in Britain and go from there.

The plug I received was cut into a few bars, being around 2.75” long, 1.5” high, and about 1” wide. These are compact little things, but not as compressed as the STG plugs reviewed here earlier. They are also beautiful to behold, with black, brown, and gold veins running throughout. If you already enjoy FVF, the nose from these packets of joy is gorgeous: brown sugar, fruit, hay, oats, and bit of spice. Nearly any virginia fan should find something to like here:
1546732210101.png
Cutting up into flakes is straightforward, and a good knife will make short work of it. The sugar-sweetness of the nose intensifies as you work with the plug, which gets me to salivatin’. The resulting flakes are pliant and a bit tacky, but mush up nicely in your hand. Moisture is medium – not dripping wet like many of the tinned Gawith offerings, but not dusty like C&D, either – and a gentle rub and then 15 minutes of rest on the cutting board will suffice.
1546732247607.png
Into the pipe, and few charring lights, and then I like to let things rest for half-an-hour (I’m patient like that). A good relight, and we are off, and the experience is very consistent as you work down the bowl. The flavour of FVP is deep, and brings to mind things like molasses and ripe grass. There’s an abiding sweetness here, and something almost plum-like (and, dare I say, figgy) in the taste. I get that from other Empire virginias as well – no McClelland’s tang or MacBaren honey – just deep, consistent dark-fruit taste, delivered with quiet authority. I could see finding this monotonous or stodgy, and to be fair, I would too, if I smoked it all the time. As more of a treat, reserved for when I can sit and really take it in, it’s difficult to think of another offering that outshines.

This is also very easy on the tongue, and relights well. It burns for a good while, too, and there are few peaks or valleys. The smell it leaves on my upper lip brings a smile to my face. Yumm-o.

So, this is excellent stuff, full enough, rich enough, and very satisfying. It’s also a bear to obtain, but I think it worth some effort on that end. That said, FVF is awfully close, and in a blind taste, I doubt I’d be able to tell one from the other. In this (highly) subjective review, I conclude that the plug version is richer and deeper in taste, and bein’ that the whole point of this here thread is to gladden hearts towards all things plug, that is, as they say, that.

Thanks for droppin’ in.