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Product Image

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As Velvan Plug but a traditional brandy almond aroma is given.

BrandMick McQuaid
Blended ByScandinavian Tobacco Group
Manufactured ByScandinavian Tobacco Group
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsCavendish, Virginia
FlavoringAlmond, Brandy
CutPlug
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
Mild to Medium
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 4 Users

3.5
44 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
23
3 star:
19
2 star:
2
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Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Many popular Irish blends are actually English; Condor, Mellow Virginia, St. Bruno, etc. McQuaid and Erinmore are the real Irish blends even though they're made in Denmark these days. They lack those floral lakeland flavors and the smokey Latakia's, so what's left you might ask? Sweet fruits, nuttiness and good solid tobacco flavors with a fair dose of nicotine.

But what about Peterson's? - you might add. Well not many Irishmen actually smoke Peterson's, for a start they don't sell them in a packet or in B&M local shops. They sell more overseas, Irish Flake is only on the market a few years and really it follows an English tradition more so than an Irish one.

So treat yourself to a real Irish blend, a fruity, nutty, spicey block of MQ.

5 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Recently I was fortunate enough to be gifted 50g of this fine plug. It is one very firm piece of tobacco and if you don’t enjoy taking the time it takes to prepare, it might not be for you. If you don’t mind, you will be rewarded with a very UK style Virginia that is both smooth and somewhat strong. I smoked each bowl fully rubbed out. I didn’t taste much of the topping, but I am not sure how old this plug was, so given the fact that it was in a sealed pouch, some of the topping may have dissipated. I did get just a hint of floral, but it is just a hint. It is slightly sweet, but I wouldn’t call this an aromatic. MMP isn’t very complex, but it doesn’t need to be as there is plenty of flavor. There is a visit from Lady N, especially if smoked quickly. I tend to be a bit of a puffer and I couldn’t get this plug to bite even when pushed. It’s a shame that MMP isn’t available on this side of the Atlantic.

4 people found this review helpful.

dryseason91 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dryseason91 (6)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Smells like a Christmas kitchen in the pouch, all plum pudding and brandy and almond with traces of chocolate and vanilla, and the smoke, for once, fulfills the aroma's promise. The topping is perfectly done: the nut and brandy harmonise but can be separately distinguished, the sweetness is restrained enough to make room for the earthy tones of the base tobaccos, and the flavour holds its integrity as the bowl burns, smoothly and coolly, to the heel. It's not complex, but it's very well executed all the same. A wonderful dessert blend.

Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: 6 months

3 people found this review helpful.

LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
★★★☆
Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Normally, I try to refrain from commenting on a blend until I have tried at least several tins. The Mick McQuaid Plug is such a rare bird, at least stateside, that I am compelled to forego my usual self-imposed limitation.

I've always felt that unusual presentations lend an additional degree of mystique to a tobacco. Flakes interest me more than ribbon cuts, and coins, twists, and ropes are cooler still. The plug may be the ultimate in this regard. It comes, however, at a price. Preparation is tedious and time consuming, but an absolute kick, and adds to the experience, as far as I'm concerned. Compared to the MMP, preparing a bowl of Dark Star or Stonehaven, two of the rubberier flakes, is a breeze.

Is it worth the effort? I think so. The plug is an intriguing blend that demands absolute concentration to best enjoy. It's fairly heady, and rewards a slow pace. The mouth feel is reminiscent of a lighter version of Full Virginia Flake, displaying that unctuous quality that is almost soaplike- in feel that is, not in flavor. The flavor itself is mildly nutlike, although I wouldn't pin it down to almond. Perhaps filbert. Perhaps I just like to say "filbert."

The dense (we're talking neutron star) plug comes in an adorable, whimsical foil package about the size of a mini Milky Way bar. The fat, smiling bloke on the cover may lead one to believe that it is a less than serious blend that should be relegated to the closet, next to the tin of Daddy's Favorite Baccy, but it's the real thing. When sipped as slowly as an ancient port, the plug reveals considerable nuance, and all manner of subtleties abound.

I strongly disagree with the wording of the category "recommendation." If I were to say "Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 1945, is one of my favorites, I drink it regularly," I would be lying. What I would really mean is "'45 Mouton is one of my favorites, and I WISH I could drink it regularly." The Mick McQuaid Plug is one I'll have a hard time replacing, I'm sure, but it's one that I wish I could smoke regularly.

Thanks to DB for the insight, and for the generous sample.

================

Addendum: Upon her return from the Emerald Isle, a co-worker surprised me with a box of these little gems. What a kind-hearted woman. By my calculations, I now have approximately two full lifetime supplies of this plug.

Now if I can only convince some lovely Japanese lass to do the same with Momoyama!!!

3 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (661)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

It takes more time to prepare as it’s firmer and more solid than than your average plug. I cut it in small flakes and cube cut the top and bottom pack. After doing that, I find I get an even burn that never gets harsh or bitey. The Virginia is sweet, and is a tad more earthy than it is grassy. The brandy and almond topping is lighter than I expected, but welcome. I do get an essence of almond, though not in a direct way; it’s hardly there. Not a complex blend nor is it as strong as others have noted, but it is a very pleasing all day creamy smooth smoke. Be willing to spend some time with it because it'll last a long time in your bowl.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (67)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Dark beef jerky appearance with light flecks. Pouch note is of almond essence, (commercial marzipan), with a slight floral note.

I cube cut this and then rubbed it out. It took a light well. The tobacco will stay lit if puffed, but more than a moment or so of inattention and it will go out. Ideal for a working man.

The room note is solid tobacco with a hint of floral.

This is a gentle smoke. It burns slow and cool with no tongue bite. It has a sweet maltiness to which there is an intriguing hint of saltiness. Almost toffee like. There is some, very slight, bitterness towards the end of the bowl.

An enjoyable everyday smoke which is comfortable without being challenging or demanding or especially interesting either.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (578)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Pressed "brick" of tobacco that requires cutting. Unlike Pease's JKP, I didn't get a lot of nuances based on different cuts, so I simply cut it thin - probably because I was also smoking Condor Long Cut around this same time, and it's cut thin. I went with the flow, I suppose.

The pouch aroma is stronger than the flavor of the casing, which is typical of English flakes. This is dark tobacco, but with a lighter heart. I did not find this to be overly strong. In fact, I seem to have found it milder than most of the reviewers. It took a bit of coaxing to pull the flavor out of this one, but not nearly as much as the McQuaid Square Cut required. This one was a better marriage of strength and flavor, although they tasted close to the same. This one gets higher marks from me because I found the comparison of strength and flavor to be better balanced. Nicely sweet but not sugary. Subtle. Could not get it to burn or even turn harsh or bitter. The bottom of the bowl was only slightly more robust than the top. This is one I found hugely simple, without the complexities I find in many English flakes or plugs. A nice "set it and forget it" smoke that rewards in subtle ways. Recommended for the smoker who likes a milder flavor from a dark virginia tobacco... someone just peering over the edge of the Dark Side.

1 person found this review helpful.

eamonclever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
eamonclever (45)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

virginia lovers should definitly try this one. It is a very unique sample of good quality tobacco. Cut,crumble a bit and load the pipe. 15 minutes to dry in the pipe and light it up. Easy to smoke in medium and also in larger pipes with no problems. Tastes ans smells very good. Not in my daily rotation but a favorite of mine Maybe not for beginners.

1 person found this review helpful.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (78)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Another excellent example of rich plug cut maturd virginia tobacco. This tobacco ages well and offers a very rich, somewhat complex taste and aroma.

Preparing this and all plug tobaccos is a part of the wonderful art and science of pipe smoking and gives the smoker the control necessary to enhance the experience of this tobacco.

I do not dry this before smoking other than a few minutes after loading the bowl. Cut and crumble as you like, depending on what characteristics you desire.

I smoke this in a group 4/5 straight billiard.

...a pipe is to be savored...

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

McQuaid Plug is a tightly compressed block with the most delicious pouch odour, marvellous taste, and pleasing side-stream aroma. Made from the highest quality of leaf, skillfully blended to perfection with almond oil and brandy liquor. Once readily available here in Canada, unfortunetly during a time when I was captivated only by mixtures found on drugstore shelves. Thank-You James Barber for reintroducing me to those blends my great-grandfather once smoked in Mother England. Absolutely superb!

1 person found this review helpful.

BriarChef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarChef (100)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A cute little chunk of rock hard goodness, with a cute graphic on the foil wrapper. Heavy machinery will come in handy when preparing this nicely flavored and scented tobacco for the pipe. If you use a coffee grinder, be sure to clean thoroughly in the off chance it is used for its intended purpose. McQuaid flavored coffee is not suitable as a beverage. According to my wife.

Some drying time after processing lessens the scent and helps with the lighting and smoking.

I prefer tobacco flavored tobacco in all its glories, but make a rare exception for this little gem. Burns slowly and consistently even when pulverized. By mid-bowl the flavor and scent are mere background players and a rich, sweet and relaxing experience is just around the corner. The finish is wonderful but DGT may have to come into play to keep the fire burning. Perfect for after dinner.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (18)
★★★★
Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

I bout some of this from a tobacconist near me around May/June 2006, & put the unopened silver foil package in an empty MMC square cut tin, stuck it in a draw & promptly forgot about it. Whilst tidying my flat, I stumbled across it over a year later, & decided that it had prbably matured enough. At that point I was not aware what a gem I had come across. I opened the tin, ripped the foil & greeted by a heavely dried fruit/christmas pudding/cherry brandy scent. Slicing off some uneven plugs, I rubbed them out & left the material to dry for about half an hour. I should point out at this time that I did not find the tobacco that difficult to slice, although the plug is very dense & firm, the knife went through it quite easily, but it is an almost unused swiss army knife, so maybe it was just super-sharp. After the allotted drying time, the scent had slightly subsided with the moisture level, & I decided the time was right to load up my little straight 'tester' pipe (a £10 stonehaven, bought - if memory serves - on the same trip to the tobacconist when I bought this tobacco). This pipe has a small/medium bowl, which I feel is big enough for this tobacco. Firing it up, I was bowled over by the sumblime beauty of this tobacco - Robust, yet delicate - light, yet heavy - complex, yet simple. This may seem nonsensical, but there are no words that that can adequately describe the other-worldy quality & nature of this tobacco. There is a delightful fruity/nutty/brandy element complementing, but never overpowing the superb tobaccos, the complementary nature of this flavouring & the brilliance of the way it works elevates this tobacco above the norm. Unlike a number of the previous reviews I found this tobacco to have a clearly 'Strong' nicotine content (& I've recently been smoking pigtails!) Maybe this is due to the time 'cellared', I don't know. I should point out at this time, that I have never previously smoked a tobacco that has been cellared for this long before, which is maybe why I am so enamoured of it. The romm note is heavenly (no-one could be offended by it), & the plumes of smoke delightful. I found, strangely it seems, that it didn't need a lot of relights, but the smoke did take a long time to finish (about 2 hours) but this means I will only smoke it when I have the time to savour it, so is no bad thing. It burnt well all the way down, with only a tiny, tiny bit of dottle, which seems to be a bit of the tobacco that I hadn't fully rubbed out, so is probably my fault & not the fault of the tobacco. Sorry about the length of the review, but I cannot sing the praises of this tobacco enough. It is undoubtedly the best I have ever smoked, so my review can really be summed up thus:

This tobbacco can be decribed in terms of it's room note, burning qualities, taste, appearance & everything else as . . . 'beautiful'.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

First, a note of thanks to fellow reviewer DrDna for gifting me a sample of this and other no longer produced blends that he thought I might enjoy.... He sure thought right with this Mick McQuaid Cut Plug, which was a precursor to McQuaid Square Cut.

This tobacco, quite simply, is a little slice of Heaven. My sample arrived from a not long ago opened tin, so the moisture level was perfect. The broken flake was deeply dark and had a smell similar to that of some of the currently produced Gawith & Hogarth Lakeland Flakes.

The tobacco loaded easily in a Ruthenberg medium sized bowl pipe that I enjoy smoking more powerful Virginia tobacco in. And folks, this is a powerful Virginia blend. It was easy to light and keep going and the smoke was rich, full and creamy with a "to die for" room note. The nicotine level was at 8 on a scale of 10, and there was no bite at all in the ever so slightly sweet leaf. Comperable, perhaps, to the very old and fragrant St. Bruno Flake that is no longer made either.

It has been a long time since I've received so much enjoyment from a bowl of tobacco.... I have enough of my sample remaining for another 2-3 bowls and I will not ration slowly. Bowl number two comes later this evening and I'll finish off the sample in the morning.

Man, this is good stuff!

1 person found this review helpful.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (60)
★★★★
Strong Very Mild Extra Full Strong

This is a magnificent tobacco! The plug is hard as rock, dark brown, and smells rich, with a slight nutty, brandy aroma. Interestingly, in the UK, this is pure tobacco, no casings or additives at all.

Great fun to prepare, but make sure your knife is SHARP! Slice off flakes of any thickness you like and then rub them, roll them or just cram them in, or you could shave off little curls and just drop them into the pipe.

It lights with ease, particularly if you put some really fine cut stuff on top, and the flavour leaps out straight away, rich, full, a hint of sweetness, thoroughly satisfying. It smokes slow, really slow if youve cut it thick, doesnt bite, doesnt dribble, doesnt get too hot... Lovely stuff. The aroma is as full as the flavour, but does not seem to offend people as much as the smell of St Bruno can, its just rather strong. Yields satisfying clouds of blue smoke, excellent for smoke rings!

Fortunately for me, this plug is available in the two tobacconists nearest where I live, is seems to be a popular smoke around here. And for good reason!

1 person found this review helpful.

Grundie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grundie (26)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

This is a tough one to review, sometimes you like a tobacco so much you end up just shouting off about great it is without actually giving any details about it.

When you open the foil wrapper the first thing you notice is the slight aroma of almonds/marzipan, which is very yummy. Like all plugs this tobacco takes some effort to prepare, I slice off a 1-2mm thick slice of the end of the plug, going across the plug. I then rub it out until it all the lumpy bits are gone. I have noticed that it does not take well to not being prepared properly, if it is too coarse (lumpy bits) or too fine (like thread) then tongue bite will result.

If prepared properly it ligths easily. The first 1/3 of the bowl has the flavour of a good smooth virginia, nothing too exciting, but very pleasant non the less. The 2/3 of the bowl, brings in a slight sweetness too the proceedings, nothing too strong just a pleasant background sweetness, not unlike the sweetness that comes through in Dunhill 965. The last 3rd of the bowl is amazing, the almond starts to come through, but it is complementary to the virginia and it does not come to the fore. Its hard to describe, but the level of sweetness and flavour is just perfect, its like marzipan flavoured smoke, hmmmmmm! It is also one of the smoothest tobaccos I have ever tried.

The strength is somewhere in the middle regions, in a small to medium sized bowl, this tobaccos is perfect. In a large bowl I find it can be a bit too much. Tongue bit is non existant if puffed slowly. The resulting ash is quite coarse and it takes more than a few relights, but thats par for the course as far as plugs go.

This is a very big favourite of mine and I would reccomend to everyone as a "try it at least once" type of tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (153)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This plug looks like a brownie, and I shaved pieces off (like carving wood) with a pocket knife then rubbed them out. Appearance at this point was about like Old Dark Fired Ready Rubbed. The tobacco was dark and almost had an oily appearance. It may have been the power of suggestion since almond was in the description, but I thought it smelled a little like marzipan when rubbed out. I did not give it any air.

This is a wonderfully heavy, smooth, and slightly sweet smoke. The Virginias are full and earthy with no tart or citrus. There was good tobacco taste and a whiff of a little something more. In the flavor there may have been some floral, but this is really a tobacco flavored smoke with a side of tobacco.

This is a challenge to get, and it is a great smoke. I would smoke it more often if it were sold in the US. It is easy to recommend, and while it is really a 3.5 for smoking experience, it does not rise to a 4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (230)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Very Pleasant

Mick McQuaid Plug . This I found a little intimidating at first sight as it is of a very robust/intimidating construction albeit after a little preparation it made a wonderful and satisfying smoke ! Once the bowl is filled it takes to the flame with ease and also does not necessitate many re-lights .It burns very steady and gives a white/Cigar like ash . If you choose to inhale the smoke it slides down with ease and contains a good Nicotine level for me (about that of Gawith Hoggarth Bosun Cut Plug) . For me it gives no bite but we all vary for that ! Its flavour is prominently Virginia but you get the Almonds and Brandy as a subtle background hit . This will be very pleasing for the more meticulous among us who are willing to allow a little time to prepare and reap the rewards of this sublime Plug !

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheRunningPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheRunningPiper (5)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant

This baby comes in a wonderful pouch with the very smiley man on the cover.A wonderful dark plug,which comes to life as soon as you take the other plastic from the pouch,a rich smell of top quality virginias,brandy/rum,backed up by a nutty aroma of sorts.A sharp knife needed,very dense block.IMO best cut in thinish slices and rubbed out.It is most likely best left to dry for an hour or some before smoking.Light her up and away you go,beautiful dense plumes of wonderful smoke,smooth and rich in all of the above flavours..it is to my liking in my Petersons kapet rustic b11 a great buddy.Top notch,and a real traditional Irish tobacco.A must try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (157)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As others have commented, this plug is not the easiest to work with -- a sharp knife is recommended. Shredded into fair-sized bits, it has been lighting with only a bit of fuss after an hour or so of drying. Once it is well-lit, it tends to stay alite v nicely.

I didn't get any almond, let alone chocolate, as some other have. For me, I would have to say the flavor was sweetish brandy. Pretty slow burning, it didn't bite, although it felt close a few times.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alim (3)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant

It's a very good tobacco but I was expecting better, based on some of the reviews here. As another review stated, it has a mysterious 'Christmas pudding' aroma. I didn't detect any almond flavours at all, but some brandy. I would describe the aroma both in the packet and when burning as slightly sweet, and chocolatey (even though chocolate isn't a Christmas pudding ingredient). It's not that interesting - the flavour is what it is and it doesn't turn bitter. There is some preparation needed before smoking, but it stays lit and it's difficult to mess up filling the pipe. I didn't think this was strong at all. Quite mild. UPDATE: My taste buds adapted after 4 or 5 bowls. I now think it's almost faultless but I wish the flavour was as strong as the nicotine content.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (195)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I've been wanting to try this for quite some time now and have finally secured a sealed 50g standard sized pouch containing a plug. It's not wrapped in a foil packet like some of the pictures on various internet sites. Opening the pouch revealed a dense plug of tobacco similar in color and tactile qualities to Peterson's 3P's. The pouch aroma was decidedly more fruity than 3P's. Concentrating on the said presence of almond, I could smell that - but faintly. Otherwise, had I not known about the almond, I would just say fruity like jam preserves. Preparation was very similar to 3P's and the thinnly sliced flakes of MMcQ looked identical to 3P's. Now, 3P's is one of my top 5 favorites - love the stuff. These two plugs are not the same taste-wise at all. Also, MMcQ is Virginia forward, where 3P's has more of a Burley presence. Mick McQuaid is also a bit sweeter in taste and in side-stream aroma than 3P's and gives off a fantastic room note. Its Virginia aftertaste reminds me much of Orlik's Golden Sliced. It also had a spice-like presence - not just the typical Va spice, perhaps aniseed? It smoked great right out of the pack. It didn't burn hot, bite, or gurgle at all. A very enjoyable smoke. Due to its non-availability in the USA, 3P's will remain my smoke of choice with this type of plug and still a top favorite with me. A solid recommended if you can get some, but with 3P's on board, the lack of MMcQ's availability doesn't bother me much.

UPDATE: 9-20-13 If you want to elevate this to a 4 star smoke, see my 9-20-13 update for Peterson's Perfect Plug.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Meh...

This was ok I suppose. However it wasn't as nice as I thought it was going to be based on the reviews.

Hard little dark brown square block of pressed plug that requires a bit of effort to cut. Definitely would advocate rubbing this out to get the best out of it. Forget about trying to smoke this flake style, just didn't work and it really struggled to stay lit.

Difficulties with lighting aside, the smoke was a little similar to Petersons 3P's but not as flavoursome or smooth. Can bite a bit if you aren't careful and I found it to be quite 'liquoricey'. Nicotine content is above average and may be too much for some.

That said maybe I'm just not a plug person.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

?pe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
?pe (41)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

A black, dense plug with a well rounded fruit and nut flavour.

Flakes cut from this plug are dense and therefore pretty fire retardant, they'll need rubbing out not folding and stuffing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A really nice almond flavour accompanies this rich tobacco. Slices fairly easily for a plug into oily/waxy flakes which you can rub out if you like. And I would recommend you rub them out as I found this stuff quite hard to light and keep lit.

A good tobacco but more hassle than others of equal or higher quality. A very good price (in the UK, at least) though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

albo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
albo (8)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Pleasant

The plug is shiny and very well compacted. It takes quite a bit of effort to cut and doesnt rub particularly easily. However, from this point onwards things get a lot better.

Has a wonderful puddingy smell in the pouch and is just about the right moisture straight away. Smokes very cool and didnt need many relights. Went right down to perfect fine ash.

The strength was dead on moderate, perfect for afternoons where you dont want to dose off for the evening! Lots of wonderful tobacco flavour with a slight but not overpowering fruity raisiny tinge to it. A little christmas puddingy but not overpoweringly so.

Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

roscoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
roscoe (11)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Remarkable in its preparation and character, with a predominantly full-mature Virginia flavor. More brandy than almond.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Poppy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Poppy (23)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Very Full Very Pleasant

Smell like gingerbread. Beautifull taste, highly recommended !!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Plunket Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plunket (39)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Original founder and blender was that great Irish man P.J. Carroll (and & Co. Ltd); to Patrick James - I say "go raibh maith agat", which in Irish means simply "thank you"; this stuff is just fabulous. Sadly, it was regretful to purchase it in its home town, but in packaging saying "Made in the EU", but Stockaby certainly does it justice.

Full Marks!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vinnie799 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vinnie799 (33)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Very Pleasant

I recieved an ample sample of this beauty from a friend, a generous one at that. He had already cut and rubbed it out so I can't comment on the experience. However this has got to be the fullest, tastiest tobacco I've ever smoke and I've been smoking a pipe for the better part of 38 years!

This tobacco doesn't know how to bite. Yeah,I've wasted a few glorious sips by puffing like a steam engine just to see. Not happenin' with McQuaid Plug. From first light to the bottom of the bowl it is full of flavor. Rich, satisfying smoking experience and a great nicotine hit if you are apt to look for one. Early in the morning, late at night, after a meal, literally anytime, this tobacco is right on point. I would suggest a medium to large bowl with this on. A little bowl wouldn't do justice to oneself. You'd finish and be looking for another pipe right away for another bowl.

Tobacco folks here in the United States REALLY need to learn how to put something like this together. They wouldn't keep it in stock. It'd be flying out of the warehouses.

I give this the max stars anyone has to offer! I don't think any blender could top this for full rich flavor and ambience without becoming overwhelming.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Juna Gu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Juna Gu (31)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my first experience of plug, though I've been trying to get hold of some for a while and eventually took to mail ordering some. Plugs instantly win extra points from me as I like the raw nature which is easier to store, more versatile and more fun too. Prepping it is all part of the meditation.

This is solid stuff. It aint 'alf dense, mum. The tobacco's really not bad either. I've tried the Square Cut a couple of times and I can't tell much of a difference between the two. The same tobacco as far as I can tell. As such I have the same problems getting a good light on it. It's so dense and it's consistency is almost waxy, so that if left in chunks or flakes it seems almost flame retardant. It's tempting to puff hard but then all the flavour goes, so I've ended up rubbing it out and letting it sit for a bit and it consequently smokes much better. Sipping is definitely advised.

The flavouring is subtle, alluring yet elusive and fun to search for in the smoke. Not a particularly strong tobacco I find and I've smoked a few bowls a day quite comfortably. I am even tempted to make this my standard tobacco for every day smoking as it's reliable, once I've gotten the hang of it. I seem to remember a couple of comments somewhere about this being a tobacco for the experienced smoker and I can see that. I imagine that smoked carefully this can reward the addict with a lot of flavoursome smoking.

Plus it's really cheap by UK standards.

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MickMc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MickMc (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Possibly my favorite plug tobacco. On opening the pack your nostrils are met with a delectable aroma of almonds and aniseed, and one cannot but be tempted to take a bite!!!!!!

The plug is rather heavily pressed and a good knife is essential for cutting. On cutting (I generally cut medium thickness), I generally leave the flakes to dry out for 10 minutes or so, as it tends to make ones pipe quite wet.

Taste wise, there is defiantly a hint of aniseed and a strong nutty taste, which is really quite pleasant. The room note is very tolerable and if one remembers back to childhood, it seems to give off the "typical" pipe aroma.

Lovely tobacco, something I highly recommend, however be warned, when your smoking a bowl, smoke until the end, the tobacco seems to loose flavor and the taste becomes rather burnt if left to go out for too long

Nobody has rated this review yet.

paulwfromtheden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
paulwfromtheden (14)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This is excellent tobacco. I am not a fan of 'strong' tobacco but decided to give it a go based on all the positive reviews. Unlike some others, I did not find this too overpowering. As many have mentioned, there is preparation involved and it it was at its best when left for a couple of hours after rubbing out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CornCob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CornCob (71)
★★★☆
Very Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I see this is now blended by orlick....and i cant say im a huge fan of many of their blends, with that said i like this plug, tis a fine plug it is. Lots of flavour, nicotine and plain enjoyment. thats about all i can say about this one, just a good strong plug and im sure its been this way for years. Ill buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

When I was recently given a sample of this in a trade, I was quite anxious to try it, given all that I had read about it. I was not disappointed, as it is a very nice VA plug with a lovely yet unobtrusive topping. This is good at any smoking rate, and does not seem to have much bite potential, but is best when slowly sipped. The almond flavor had me a little apprehensive, but it is subtle. The VAs are qualily all the way. Now I just have to figure out how to get some more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Full English Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Full English (31)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

With a given tobacco, such as a ribbon-cut, it's rather easy to overlook all those processes that have made it what it is, in favour of the final smoking experience. McQuaid Plug is one of those rarities that really affords you a nice, visual reminder of what makes a quality tobacco.

McQuaid Plug comes as a slightly tarry and almond-scented little brick, comprising of layers of heavily pressed leaf. The pouch aroma is delicate, but delicious, and you could be forgiven for wanting to take a good bite out of what's inside. There is a great deal of ceremony involved with prepping everything and you really need to be hands-on, but it really makes the whole experience much more enjoyable and serves to enhance your appreciation of the first bowl; a labour of love, if you will. It can be cut or sliced with a good, sharp knife, or peeled along the grain and rubbed out by hand, without too much trouble.

To smoke, this is exceptionally good stuff. It's incredibly mellow and smokes cool to the bottom of the bowl, leaving a fine, velvety ash. The slightly sweet, nutty taste gives way to a depth of dried fruit and raisin, and then to a rather unsullied tobacco with a well-rounded flavour. However, It remains mild enough to be a solid, all-day tobacco should time and patience be the order of the day. And that is probably how it should be best enjoyed, when you're within the company of your own thoughts and not a slave to the clock.

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

My first review. A friend in Europe was able to procure a pouch of this for me.

Mick McQuaid Plug is easily the densest block of pressed tobacco I?ve ever seen. It comes in a typical pouch but the actual brick is a square of perhaps 2" x 1.5" x .75". It's so small that it makes the pouch seem somewhat empty even though it weighs 50 grams. The aroma is a rich mash of stewed fruits ? figs, plums, and prunes - with a hint of some sort of liqueur; amaretto or brandy perhaps. It is delightful and potent without being overwhelming.

With my pocket knife I shaved a 1/8? to 1/4? sliver off the shorter side, pulled it apart along the grain into strips, and then ground it by hand in my small tobacco grinder. This stuff is so dense I had a hard time twisting the grinder and the result was fairly chunky ? sort of a cubed/broken flake texture. It also seemed a bit moist so I let it sit for 30 minutes or so. That wasn?t much time drying time and the tobacco was so solid that I wondered if it would burn well at all so I decided to use the gravity fill method with my Peterson Shamrock which has a tall, narrow bowl. After sprinkling the McQuaid?s in, tapping the bowl to settle it, and topping it with just a bit of pressure, I was ready to go. I should mention that the small slice I rubbed out yielded about 3 bowls worth. Don't let the small size of the brick fool you - this stuff is DENSE!

The charring light went pretty well and I think I was right in my choice of pipe. It took me a few tries to get the bowl really going but once I did it burned well. Due to its density I made a concerted effort to smoke very slowly (which I often don?t do) and that seemed to be the right way to go.

The taste at the true light is primarily Virginia, rich and sweet, with no bite and virtually no trace of the casing. I?m guessing this is a stoved blend as there is a certain mellowness and depth to the smoke that reminds me quite a bit of Anniversary Kake from pipesandcigars.com but without the Perique.

As the bowl got going through the first and second thirds, the flavor held steady with rich, stoved Virginia and gentle echoes of the original stewed fruit from the pouch aroma. Although it seemed to smolder quite slowly, a few puffs would bring up a cloud of wonderful thick smoke ? good for smoke rings wink.gif I would say the nicotine content is above average but not staggeringly so. I had to relight a few times after the halfway point but that probably had as much to do with my absentmindedness as the tobacco?s burning qualities. The tease of casing flavors faded towards the end and became more of a straightforward Virginia. I guess I didn?t smoke as slowly as I thought as I did have a bit of gurgle (pretty common for me) and some dottle in the bottom of the bowl.

After 3 bowls, here's my overall impression: - Preparation is difficult but I think that is part of the fun. - Lighting is much easier after some drying time. The tobacco for my 2nd bowl sat out for 90 minutes before I packed it and it was much easier to keep lit. - The flavor didn?t develop much but I wouldn?t call it one-dimensional. There was complexity but little subtlety if that makes any sense. For example I often find Oriental blends (particularly those without Latakia) to be both complex and subtle. This was more of a straightforward flavor that had several elements but was quite up front about them from start to finish. - Mick McQuaid Plug is a great tobacco and a terrific change of pace from the VAPERs I?ve been smoking a lot of lately. I would certainly buy it again.

- Tim

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kg0mz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kg0mz (54)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I ordered up a sampling of English flakes and plugs we cannot buy stateside, this being one of a modest internet order. I am glad I did. I have tried and enjoy GH and SG tobaccos available to us in the USA. I have much respect for UK tobaccos, and Lakeland District tobaccos in particular. MMP is a surprisingly pleasant and satisfying plug. My only disappointment is that it does not appear to be available in bulk. A traditional brandy almond aroma, indeed.

07/27/09 UPDATE: I am revising some of my reviews. I have given out more 4 star ratings than anything else. That practice is probably not helping. So, I am reducing MMP to 3 stars, not because I like it less than I did before, but because I am limiting 4 stars to fewer than 25% of all my reviews. One day I may use the 4 star rating to designate my top five.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★★
Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon opening the pouch I was greeted with a wonderful aroma that immediately reminded me of fruitcake or raisin bread. Kind of a prune/raisin sweetness that is just wonderful. I could just sit and smell this stuff and get happy.

This diminutive plug is less than 2 inches square, but the density of the plug makes up the 50g weight. It's dark as night with a very small percentage of light leaf layered in the strata.

I was too impatient to dry it before lighting, but I highly recommend a couple hours in the air before packing. Tried to rub it out and didn't have much success, probably due to the moisture, so I cut it into basically a cube cut and sprinkled it into a smallish meer.

It lit readily but required a few relights. Wonderful rich flavors right at the start. About half way down the richness was joined by a deep toastiness that I surmise could have been present through the whole bowl if I had first dried it properly.

It's a strong smoke, and I'm very much looking forward to my first properly dried, properly packed, full-sized pipeful on the back porch.

Excellent stuff!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Having enjoyed the MM Square Cut immensely I was looking forward greatly to the Plug. On opening the pouch there was the slightest hint of a Lakeland kind of topping. The plug was dense and dark, but not forbidding. A Victorinox blade sliced through the plug quite comfortably. I tried preparing the tobacco in little cubes, coarsely cut flakes and a finely shredded mixture, and smoked the results in a well matured Ropp devoted to virginias.

The plug took fire readily and produced copious volumes of smoke. The flavouring was not particularly obtrusive: it was mostly not noticeable, but every now and then peeped out, I suppose when leaf from the top of the plug caught fire. The room note drew appreciative comments. The smoke was cool without the least sugggestion of bite. The coarsely cut flakes burnt the best, with no dottle and a fine ash.

I have finished one plug for this review. I do not think this could be a staple for me (unlike the Square Cut, which could be) but I will fondly return to it when the whimsey takes me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

nothing much to add. dense little devil, this plug. rather massive almond flavouring in the pouch note, much less in the taste. rich, fullfilling, mostly virginia, taste, with depth in spades and even some high notes, probably aided by the flavouring which apparently also contains some fruit ingredient. splendid stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Scottish Steve Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Scottish Steve (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

I've only had a tester bowl of this, this morning but I really wanted to jot down my impressions while they're fresh. This is absolutely brilliant stuff. It?s the only time I ever thought to use the word "seductive" to describe a tobacco. There is a full, sweet, rich, tobacco flavour and a good nicotine kick. The Casing isn't intrusive, or at least not to me, as you might fear from the initial whif of the pack and is very nice in its own right anyway. Lovely, lovely stuff. P.S. As far as I'm aware, this is still getting produced. They've changed the pack recently and my tobacconist didnt say anything when I ordered it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As this is my first review, I thought I would make it about this excellent product! I have been smoking a pipe for 42 years now and I have to say that everything about this rock hard lump of tobacco is only describable in superlatives. From the delicious scent when you first cut open the packet to the rubbed out strands there rises a sweet flavour reminiscent of damsons...for those of you who know the plum variety. It smokes gently and full of taste; its not too hot or strong and never bites me at all even if puffed hard. I keep the plug in a empty S & G Full Virginia Flake tin with a couple of pipefuls of rubbed out flake all ready for use. I chose the FVF tin because there's a family similarity and the MM Plug remains unadulterated...or seems to. I recommend, wholeheartedly, that you try this. To my mind its far better than the other MM blends. Lastly, I'd like to pay tribute to this amazing site! I have learnt more about tobacco brands and blends here than in 40 years of smoking. Long may your tins be full and your pipes smoking:-)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (87)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium Full Very Pleasant

A trip down the historical lane. A friend of mine had some MMP on display at a recent small gathering and I could not resist. It has been some years since I enjoyed this treaure. Fortunately, the flavor was as I remember: sweet, smoky and mildly fruitish, but all in a most satisfying way. It is a complete bugger to render this stuff into a smokeable form, but the traces of the tobacco that stain your fingers serve as a gentle, all-day reminder of the fun it was to prepare. Numerous relights are required and the flavor pops and spits bursts of taste onto your palate. Not a tobacco for those of a straight-forwards mein. Rather, a simple treat for times when one can truly slow down and savor the interplay between pipe and person. I have since ordered a goodly portion of MMP, as I am keen to revisit this experience more often.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mailman 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mailman 5000 (60)
★★★☆
Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

From the laughing face of the fat bloke on the packet. You now your in for a treat, But first you have to do some chopping as the plug block wont fit in any of my pipes!!. But the effort is worth it, plugs need more work on your part but once mastered, they can reward with satisfaction .

This plug is more cased than the square cut mick mcquiad , a sort of almond honey flavour which can dominate so i tend to smoke this one 50/50 with the square cut . Worth a try if only for the novel plug experence. This is my favorite of murreys plugs.

I tend not to bother with this since my latakia conversion.

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