When I ordered a tin of G.L. Pease Gaslight Plug from smokingpipes.com, I was unaware that it was a plug tobacco. Having never smoked plug, I actually had to do some research as to how this was done. Pipesmagazine.com has a wonderful instructional video on their YouTube channel, HERE, and it made it very easy for me to figure this out.
So here’s how it’s done; first, you take out one of the one ounce plugs of tobacco and put it on a cutting surface. Then, you take a sharp knife, I used a Xacto knife, and it worked just great. Using the sharp knife, you slice off a 1/8 inch (3 mm) sliver of tobacco lengthwise along the plug. Cut the tobacco against the layers, do not separate the layers as this will ruin the blend of the tobacco. After that, you treat the portion much like a flake, by folding and stuffing, or rubbing out.
Plug tobacco is created by compressing layers of various tobacco types into a cake. The blending process comes in knowing what type of tobacco should go in what layer to create the perfect mixture when the plug is later cut and smoked.
I am told, and it is apparent from the YouTube video, that the Gaslight Plug is more crumbly, and packed looser than other plugs but that did not detract from my enjoyment of it, or even my opinion of it, as it made it much easier to rub out.
The tin note is fantastic, rich, sweet, and fruity. Easily among the best tobacco as I’ve ever smelled. As I said before, a very sharp knife to slice off a flake, and the tobacco rubs out very easily. I did find however, that the tobacco was very damp, and I gave it a few to dry out first.
Filling my pipe, a tamper working better than a finger, I had to give it a false light, to expel some of the moisture, and re-tamp, but the tobacco burned cleanly and evenly after that.
The first few draws filled the room with clouds of creamy smoke, which is common to Latakia based blends. The room note is like the taste, rich and creamy, sweet and spicy, with an earthy, smoky undertone, and harkens back to a Victorian age of cobblestone streets, and the glow of the gas lights.
Gregory Peases masterwork blend is comprised primarily of Latakia, with a hearty dose of red Virginias, and spiced with Turkish orientals, making for a very appealing smoke. The spicy orientals create a slightly mouth-numbing sensation, while the sweet red Virginias make for a honeyed, almost soapy, but fairly powerful smoke and the Latakia is rich and creamy and smoky as hell.
The powerful blend left me slightly vibrating at the end of the bowl, which burned cleanly down to a fine white ash with almost no dottle.
Overall, I would recommend this tobacco to an experienced smoker, as I am told that the slightly soapy taste takes getting used to. I didn’t find that, but that’s what I’m told.
Thank you Gregory for this exquisite introduction to plug tobacco, I will surely try some other plugs and see if I like them half as much.
Smoke ’em if you got ’em!