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A dark fired Tanzania leaf which is topped with a very floral/woody essence. An English aromatic.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutPlug
PackagingBulk
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
Strong
Taste
Full
Room Note
Strong
3.2
14 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
7
3 star:
5
2 star:
0
1 star:
2
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Flintlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flintlock (14)
★★★☆
Strong Strong Full Strong

Update: I purchased another RB Plug from Habana Pipes and Cigars. The plug was much easier to work with than my first review. While it does take more work and patience than other tobac's, it did nit require the ritual as previously described. I find I enjoy an occasional bowl after dinner with a frosted schooner of beer!

I had trouble identifying the pouch aroma, but after reading other reviews, GINGERBREAD! I also detect cigar leaf.

The appearance of the plug is very dense looking somewhat like hashish for those of you who grew up in the hippy days.

This is not a tobacco for the beginner, period. Even for the experienced smoker, you will either like it or hate it. It takes a lot of time to prepare it for smoking. It can take hours to get it ready. The first chore is to cut it with a pocket knife and begin seperating the leaves (I have extremely sharp knives). After that comes breaking it up into smaller pieces and letting it air dry for about one to two hours. Next comes rubbing it out and that aint easy! Let it dry for a while longer and a little more rubbing and it's ready to go into the bowl. I suggest a large diameter bowl. I use a Savinelli with a 1" bore. Then comes the attempt to get it lit. It takes about three starter lites and gentle tamping and then about two to three actual lites and more [gentle] tamping. After it is finally burning, it will stay lit for the rest of the smoke. Sound like a heck of a lot of trouble? It is!

After the cutting, tearing, drying, rubbing, still more drying and rubbing, lighting, tamping, lighting ritual, the taste is, at least to me, somewhat pleasing. It had a fruity taste and I still taste and smell cigar binding. I do not find the room note personally too displeasing. However, I have not smoked this in front of my girlfriend. The dog does not hide in the corner and the cat does not give a darn.

Overall, I think being an Eagle Scout, working on the deck of an aircraft carrier, crawling under houses in a once time pest control business, mechanical design engineer and muzzle loading rifle builder gives me the patience to continue enjoying RB Plug.

Conclusion: I cannot give this more that a three star rating because of the difficulty of preperation and would probably give it 2-1/2 stars if it were available.

Keep your powder dry, Flintlock

4 people found this review helpful.

BriarChef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarChef (100)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong Extra Strong Full Strong

I've had this kicking around the cellar for a few years and stumbled on it while looking for something else. First impression: A patchouli scented black bar of cheap soap. Now, I really love plug tobacco...the ritual of butchering something with a sharp knife and then setting it on fire appeals to my inner psycho. Despite many, many years of smoking plug tobacco, this one had me crying "uncle" almost before I had it loaded and lit. It is one tough little chunk of...some bizzare mutant offspring of tobacco and kryptonite, dipped in tar and patchouli. It smells just like a walk down any street in Berekely...un-washed "human beings" doused in that sixties era substitute for personal hygiene. Yech.

After ruining a perfectly good afternoon and a few formerly sharp knives, then running this...this...whatever through a coffee grinder, then drying it out forever, I was left with something I thought would be smokable. I was very, very wrong. I loaded it up in a corn cob of dubious heritage, then sat back for a relaxing smoke...not...I worked so hard getting it lit, I needed a crash helmet and a drool bucket. I ended up putting a few pellets of aquarium charcoal on top, fired up with a cigar torch and finally got a few puffs. Turns out the charcoal pellets tasted better than the hash, I mean tobacco. When the tobacco analog finally caught fire, I was overwhelmed with a sense of impending doom. I managed to struggle through a few more puffs. I threw the cob into my neighbors trash, chewed a few charcoal pellets, gargled with some Tabasco and chewed a few more pellets and a habanero.

I did't get the taste out of my mouth, but the guys in the ambulance and in the ER were very nice.

3 people found this review helpful.

Mongo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mongo (10)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extra Strong Very Full Strong

RB Plug is unlike any other tobacco I've experienced in 30 years. As such, it has to stand or fall on it's own merits, as there are no other tobaccos that one could claim are just like it only better/worse.

This is as dense as any plug tobacco I've ever seen. The tobacco was pressed and steamed so much that the plug resembles s solid block. Looking closely you may find an impression of a leaf that was on the outside of the block here or there, but it looks more like a chunk of chocolate than tobacco.

Finally, the aroma. At my local B&M, a patron who smelled it for the first time gave what I consider to be the perfect description: "It smells like a Grateful Dead concert." The casing is very reminiscent of incense. I won't venture to guess what's in the casing, but suffice it to say that there is a lot of it and it is very distinctive.

I find three things invaluable when I want to smoke RB Plug. The first two are a flat-bottomed, shallow ceramic bowl and a very sharp knife. With a sufficiently sharp knife, you can cut flake-sized pieces of this tobacco off of whatever sized chunk you're working with. The bowl helps in that it will catch any bits of tobacco that work their way loose, set aside each "flake" as you create it, and cut the tobacco into whatever final shape you want for smoking. Personally I try to cut very thin flakes and then I rough them up a bit in my hands. (I say "rough them up" rather than "break them up" because the latter is beyond my abilities.) I make sure I have enough finely chopped tobacco for the top of my bowl, either through tobacco falling away as I cut or from chopping up one of the "flakes". You will probably want to wash your hands after you're done handling the tobacco. The plug is very wet and oily, and your hands will definately take on the aroma of the toppings.

The third implement that you will need is a pipe. I strongly recommend a small bowl for this tobacco. Also, whatever pipe you smoke this in is going to hold the flavor for a while, perhaps forever. Early on, I dedicated a Sasieni prince to this plug and it's been the perfect companion. The bowl is small, perhaps a Dunhill group 2, and it is wider than most bowls of that capacity.

I load the tobacco up in whatever manner suits the flakes I've created. This usually entails a combination of folding and wrapping the flakes until they fill the space inside of the bowl without being packed tightly. (Pack this stuff too tight, and you will not be able to get any air through the pipe.) I then sprinkle the small bits from the bottom of the cutting bowl on top, and tamp them lightly.

This tobacco does not light as easily as most. It's generally a 4 to 6 match affair, and it's one of the reasons that I finally broke down and bought an Old Boy lighter. Even with the lighter the tobacco will require multiple lightings. If you've packed the bowl well the tobacco will stay lit once it's started, but in general I expect a few relights throughout the bowl.

So far, I've described a tobacco that's powerfully cased, oily, difficult to prepare, hard to pack, and hard to light. Why would anyone even bother.

For me, it's worth every bit of trouble or even more. Once it's lit, the tobacco is an amazing experience. It's just the Virginias and the casing, but what a combination.

The Virginias are brightly sweet...one of the sweetest things I've ever tasted...but have absolutely no "cloying" sweetness at all. The tobacco feels dry in the mouth, with the casing being the perfect counter-point for the overwhelming sweetness of the Virginias. Half of the taste is just like the smell, the "Grateful Dead" smell. The other half is the amazing sweetness of the Virginias.

On their own the Virginias would likely be too simple and too sweet. But with the casing added, there are moments when the sweetness is accopmanied by a salty flavor, sometimes a very slight bitterness, and even a bit of smokiness at times. These flavors are fleeting, always returning quickly to the sweetness of the Virginias.

It would not surprise me to find out that most people find this blend abhorent. It's definately a combination that works for me, and it works very well. The tobacco demands to be smoked as slowly as possible, and tongue bite is only moments away if you start puffing hard...but with proper technique (especially breath smoking) this plug rewards me with a wonderful taste that I can experience nowhere else. I find it to be strong and sweet, and a great before-bedtime smoke.

This could never be an all day smoke for me. It's a "special occasion" smoke, for when I have the time to contemplate a bowl and to use all of my skills to maximize the flavor without moving into tongue-bite territory.

RB Plug smokes down to a very fine white ash. If loaded well, no tobacco will remain at the end of the bowl. The pipe will now taste like RB Plug. I wouldn't hazard a guess as to how one could remove this flavor from the bowl.

If you enjoy RB Plug, then I have one further recommendation for you. Occasionally fill up your RB pipe with a straight Virginia or a milder Virginia/Perique blend. The essence of the RB in the bowl will flavor the other tobacco; it's an easy way to experience the "RB taste" without having to go through the trouble of cutting up more RB Plug.

I have three pounds of this in my cellar...certainly more than I'll ever smoke. But this is one tobacco that I simply do not want to be without no matter what happens. If you like RB then chances are you'll love it. If you dislike it, chances are you'll hate it.

I'm giving this three starts based on my assumption that most people would not enjoy this enough to be bothered. For my personal rotation, though, this is definately a four-star smoke.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★☆☆☆
Strong Strong Extra Full Extra Strong

This uh, tobacco, was shared with my pipe club members a few years ago, and to a man, we agreed the stuff was simply awful. I cannot even begin to guess what ole Sam topped the leaf with, but it is deadly and lethal. Just whacking off a piece of the tightly compressed plug required a chain saw, and the shaving and packing was a chore, too. Worse still, all that work for a horrible smoke made me the bane of the club.

Spend your money elsewhere. This blend smoked exactly like it looked, butt ugly.

You reckon the club will ever re-admit me?

2 people found this review helpful.

PipesterJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipesterJim (44)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Excellent tobacco.

I have always thought that when it comes to 'lakeland florals' the SG line doesn't actually have anything outstanding to offer. 1792 is good, but not really floral. Bracken Flake I don't care for. Grousemoor, though excellent, is a ribbon cut rather than a flake and lacks the nicotine punch that, for me, characterises the lakeland experience as much as the added flavours and 'soap'. So, for me GH&Co has always been the sole purveyor of archetypal lakeland baccys.

Discovering these Samuel Gawith plugs I am having to completely change my opinion! RB is an absolute powerhouse in terms of added scent. The gingerbread comparison is right on, but there is a complex blend of floral additives and 'other stuff' there too, helping to create a completely unique scented tobacco experience.

The underlying tobacco is 1st class, and apparently is the same cake that goes on to become Full Virginia Flake. Flavoursome, much better manners than I would expect having smoked FVF and with sufficient vitamin N to make it feel like a proper, stout lakeland blend, although without the dark fired or air cured that is usually found in GH&Co blends of similar strength. Again, this helps to make RB Plug stand out.

Preparation is easier than a lot of plugs (McQuaid, 3Ps) and the moisture level is just right (many complain about excess moisture in other SG blends).

I seem to give four stars to almost everything I review nowadays, but what the heck! If you are a fan of proper scented tobaccos from the north of England then you must try RB Plug!

1 person found this review helpful.

deojuvante Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
deojuvante (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A Dream ...simply a dream ... Try it after dinner, in winter, in front of the fire place !

I love it for ever

1 person found this review helpful.

Griswold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Griswold (16)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Strong Full Strong

RB Plug is my all-time favorite blend. It's really unique and there is no other tobacco that can be compared to it.

The work needed to pack the pipe - cutting off small slices which are then cut into small cubes which are then 'gravity-fed' into the bowl - is also something that makes plug tobaccos stand apart from more 'modern' blends.

The tobacco base is excellent and the Patchouli flavoring is...well, something you either love or loathe, there is no middle ground.

The only thing I can say is: try it; however, maybe in a disposable pipe at first.

You won't be the first one to hate RB plug and neither the last one to love it.

1 person found this review helpful.

WxGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WxGuy (95)
★★★★
Medium Strong Full Strong

Samuel Gawith's RB Plug is in a class by itself. This stuff has been pressed and steamed to the point that it is homogeneous in texture. It comes in a solid block. Unlike Cob plug, which is clearly pressed leaves that can be pealed off the plug, you would not guess that RBP is made from leaves. It is like a block of black hashish.

I should note that this tobacco has a VERY distinct and unique plug aroma, hard to define, but IMHO more fruity than floral, though the floral is there for sure.

The plug is very moist and sticky. I cut some very thin slices and dried them for about an hour before trying them. Still too moist, so more drying was necessary. As noted by above reviewers, even after it seems to have dried out, this stuff still crumbles in a moist manner. Since I like to smoke flakes broken (roughly rubbed out),I decided to try- against my better judgement- these damp flakes in a narrow, tall meer dedicated to floral-type Lakeland tobaccos.

While hard to get lit, this did ultimately smoke surprisingly well for feeling so moist. The flavor was fruity and complex, hints of soap and fruit, and yes, ginger bread. RBP is more spicy than floral. The strength is considerably less than 1792/Cob Plug, but the flavor is much more intense. Sweet too, even sweeter than Rum Flake. Even a small bowl of RBP lasts a deliciously long time, probably due to the density of the product. The flavor is there throughout the bowl, getting darker and richer (can a flavor be "darker"?) near the end. Curiously, given the moisture content, this RBP does not smoke especially hot.

I would emphatically NOT recommend this blend to anyone who is not a fan of scented tobaccos. The moisture problem can of course be remedied with a little patience. I have taken to slicing and drying about 5 bowls of tobac at once, and drying for several hours. (I hate to dry longer since I do not want the flavoring to volatilize.) This seems to be a good compromise in my dry climate. It is easy to slice in its moist form, and is kind of fun, if you like to play with your tobacco...

I just can't seem to leave this blend alone. It is not an all-day tobacco, as it is too intense. After dinner though, it is a great digestive. If this type of smoke fits your particular tastes, by all means give it a try. I am ordering more today.

1 person found this review helpful.

Daniel Morlan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel Morlan (50)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

This fine tobacco has received in my opinion, a profoundly bad rap. When I first had it, it was in a pipe that had Old Ironsides, and Balkan Sobranie regularly smoked in it. Those tobaccos proved to be just as jealous as this one.

The topping is fantastic. This is a classic, century old recipe that proves the Gawith greatness. It is elegant, refined, and a bite-free, cool smoke. The flavor is rich, as is the aroma. I cannot compare it to any other tobacco insofar, but a lychee scent is prevalent. The tobaccos are obviously virginias, and the taste is as sweet and aromatic as the room note. I might not smoke this indoors, but eventually the aroma dissipates, and you get much more of the tobacco taste towards the end of the bowl. It does not goop like so many aromatics do, and you're left with a fine, white, DRY ash. This tobacco has become a staple in my collection. My bride enjoys the smell, and unlike all the others I enjoy, this one doesn't turn her off.

This is a classic, brilliantly made tobacco, and it is worth every penny. God bless Gawith.

1 person found this review helpful.

CJ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CJ (45)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I am writing one review to cover RB Plug, Cannon Plug, and Flake #7. I am guessing, and can be wrong, that Cannon Plug is a lighter version of RB Plug, and that Flake #7 is the Flake version of one or the other. This is more a description of a method to prepare them for smoking than a normal review. All are an acquired taste, and it took me many months to finally acquire that taste. Initially all three were impossible for me to smoke. All reeked from perfume that was so strong that the perfume transferred to my hands just from handling the tobaccos. I tried a few times to smoke them fresh from the bag, and had to dump them out. The perfume was overpowering the smoke. Since these blends have existed for over 200 years, I was determined to smoke them. I now cut off a chunk that would provide for about 6 small bowls. I leave the chunk in a plastic bag for a week or two. This allows some (but not all) of the perfume to evaporate. I find that I cannot rub out the drier chunks of plugs. So, I chop them into little square pieces, and then I put them into a very small jar. After about another week, they feel very dry, and I can't rub them any finer than they are at this stage. I then give each a twirl in a coffee blender. This transforms them into a decent size to smoke. And, to my surprise, after the coffee blender treatment, they are still very moist although they feel dry to the touch before the treatment. I then let them dry on a piece of paper until they reach my preferred level of moisture. I smoke them in a small meerschaum. Not only would they flavor a briar, but they actually flavor the meerschaum a bit for the next few smokes (not a bad experience). After all of this preparation, they turn into a very interesting and enjoyable smoke. The quality of the Virginias with just a lingering hint of the flavoring provide for a very decent, quality smoke. At the same time, the flavoring produces a very pleasurable and acceptable aroma that is very noticeable while smoking, and that adds to the total experience. Nicotine strength runs around 5-7 for me out of 10. With this preparation, they smoke dry and leave a very fine almost white-gray ash. The room aroma should be very pleasant to anyone in your presence. I really enjoy smoking a few bowls a week in a meer of any of the three blends. It took me decades to acquire a taste for Broccoli, but only a few months to adapt to these blends. The only negative for me is that the taste lingers in my mouth long after the smoke is finished. I will keep at least one of the three around for those special times when these unique blends appeal to me. For now, my choice of the three is the RB Plug.

1 person found this review helpful.

Haiku Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Haiku (5)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

As an former cigar smoker, I really didn't value aromatic tobaccos before I tried this one. When I first opened the pouch the scent was really strong. First image on my mind was that this smells like an after shave, it was overwhelming. Gradually I got used to it and now I can even enjoy it. I like cutting the plug, which is easy using a sharp knife. This tobacco is worth cutting to small pieces, this is how you can get an even burn. Tobacco lights up easily and the taste is just wonderful from the very beginning. The aroma is strong and very sweet. Although this is a heavily cased aromatic you can still taste the strong tobacco in it. This is why I like it. The taste stays really even from lighting to the last smokes and gives you easily 45 minutes of pleasure when smoking it in a medium size bowl. Yes, it burns slowly. I didn't get any tongue bite, regardless of my smoking habits, what you could discribe an intense one. If you are used to smoke natural virginias and would like to try an aromatic what still tastes like a real tobacco, try this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

linuxconf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
linuxconf (11)
★★★★
Strong Medium Medium to Full Strong

If you are willing to take the time with a plug, this is a great one to try. Opening the package, I got a strong smell of gingerbread. The plug was easily cut to thin slices using a sharp knife. Rubbing out the slices took some patience though - the tobacco seemed somewhat sticky. I must say that once this tobacco is lit, it stays that way! The smoke was thick and seemed to sitck to things. This is a strong tobacco with a high nicotine content. It has a very sweet flavor, and is one of the few tobaccos I feel as though I could smell while I smoked it. Flavors ranged from sweet to spicy to nothing throughout the bowl. THis is one of my evening favorites.

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (153)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I must admit, I am very undecided on this. The plug is a bit denser than many, but not by much. It isn't easy to get started (no doubt because I leave plugs somewhat chunky) but keeps the light well. The tin smell is gingerbread, but the actual smoke is more like pumpkin spices (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and a touch of clove) which at first is pleasant and not in anyway overwhelming. Yet about halfway through a bowl, my tongue simply goes numb (1st time that ever happened!), and it pretty much stays that way for several hours. The only pipe that I managed to avoid that with was a gourd calabash. Although interesting, this won't be in the regular rotation!

So, if you like (or think you might like) spiced tobacco, go ahead and give this a try. If not, stay as far away as possible.

Pipe Used: various briars, a clay, gourd calabash

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: synjeco's

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (52)
★★★★
Strong Strong Full Very Pleasant

A great aromatic, in a british way. Full taste & strenght. Aroma: musk, green underbrush, genuine old soap. (NOT recommend to anyone who is not a fan of scented tobaccos)

Nobody has rated this review yet.