Seattle Pipe Club Plum Pudding Special Reserve

Plum Pudding SPECIAL RESERVE ~ For years, Master Blender Joe Lankford wanted to make a Special Reserve Edition of Plum Pudding. But he waited. How to improve upon perfection? The rarest leaf helped created the result. Pressed in cakes, aged longer and cut into plugs for you to slice or crumble as you desire. This is Joe’s favorite way to enjoy pressed tobacco. Complex, smoky, spicy and still positively addictive. Nirvana. Enjoy this special plug cut of six rare ingredients: Latakia joins with Turkish Orientals, Virginias, Cavendish and Perique.


Brand Seattle Pipe Club
Blended By Joe Lankford
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Plug
Packaging 4 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Medium to Full
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.47 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 51 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 19, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Though it is true that the smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia is the most important component, the other constituent tobaccos synergistically combine to form a cohesive, multi-dimensional flavor. The black stoved and red Virginias are also upgraded leaf especially for this Reserve blend. They offer earth, wood, and a little grass and bread, fermented tangy ripe, stewed dark fruit, and tart and tangy citrus with a light barbecue essence. The sun cured Orientals not present in the original Plum Pudding add a bit more sweetness, depth and dimension to the complexity. The dry, buttery sweet and sour, wood, earth, herbs, vegetation, floralness, spice, and smoke from the Orientals also sport a pinch of salt in the background, a little less so than they do in the other version due to the upgraded Turkish leaf. There is a continual undercurrent of spice, raisins, plums, and figs from the earthy perique, though the spice is lightly more obvious. The unsweetened black cavendish provides a brown sugary smoothness in a small support role. The nicotine status is a shade closer to medium than it is to mild. The strength and taste positions are medium. It won’t bite, and any chance of harshness is tamed by the black cavendish. The pressed kake plug is easily broken apart. The tobacco is a little moist, but I did not feel the need to dry it. I recommend not totally rubbing it out. I broke off small pieces and dropped them into the bowl. It burns a bit slow, cool and clean with a very consistent and intricate, deeply rich and creamy smooth, smoky, woody, spicy, sweet and savory taste from start to finish. It requires some relights, and leaves just a little moisture in the bowl. It sports a very pleasant, lingering after taste with a stronger room note. It’s not quite an all day smoke, but is certainly repeatable.

Aside from the previously noted differences from the other Plum Pudding, PPSR is a little sweeter, deeper, smoother and richer in flavor, with nearly the same strength and taste levels. Its sweetness has a mildly more fermented character, and the “barbecue” note a tad more pronounced. Well balanced, you’ll notice virtually all of the inherent aspects of the tobaccos in every moment of the experience.

81 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 28, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Unnoticeable
I just received this today and no time like the present. It is one solid black and brown block that smelled very earthy and somewhat spicy. I sliced some off with a razor blade, crumbled it and went to town. It is smooth, creamy and spicy and very well blended. The perique must have kicked in because my nostrils even tingled. I have never had the original Plum Pudding but I am definitely going to buy some of that also in the future. It is a tobacco that makes me wonder why am I smoking the other stuff with this around. Not an all day'er but top notch for me. While smoking this I felt like I should be on some British outpost in India a hundred years ago with the sun setting in the background, that exotic.
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: New
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Seattle Pipe Club Plum Pudding Special Reserve:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . .

This stuff makes me want to blast Macklemore from my rooftop at 2 a.m., move to Seattle and root for the Seahawks.

Plum Pudding: What’s in a name?

To most pipe smokers (especially those partial to English or aromatic blends), just the name “Plum Pudding” sounds like something that needs to be smoked (even for those of us who have no idea what genuine plum pudding actually is). So why would Joe Lankford choose to give this blend such a tantalizing, mouthwatering name? Clearly it was a reference to authentic plum pudding, as described here below in this post from Wikipedia:

“Despite the name ‘plum pudding’, the pudding contains no actual plums due to the pre-Victorian use of the word ‘plums’ as a term for raisins. The pudding is composed of many dried fruits held together by egg and suet, sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses and flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and other spices. The pudding is usually aged for a month or more, or even a year; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time.”

“Raisins,” “dried fruits,” “treacle,” “molasses” – get it? Just those words alone are enough to kick up a fuss of teasing and tempestuous torment to the taste-buds of we who are conversant in a certain class of combustibles. With no cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or ginger readily detectable in Plum Pudding or its first cousin, the Special Reserve blend, both versions are quite pleasantly spiced with excellent Orientals and Perique.

Presentation: Big, beautiful, deep-dark (very) brown plug/crumble.

Tin note: Wonderfully sublime bouquet of dark earth and spice, indicative of a masterful mélange of high-quality leaf.

Taste: Extraordinarily remarkable. The Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, and Virginias all come together, perfectly arranged to create a symphony for the senses. Rich, sweet, creamy-smooth smoke; woody, zesty, tangy, piquant, with dark fruit essence, raisins (as the appellation implies) with brown sugar and fig.

In all honesty, I must confess – if everyone will permit me this bit of blasphemy -- I actually enjoy Plum Pudding Special Reserve as much (or even a tad more) than I do Penzance, and Penzance is pricier than PPSR, even at the retail level (28¢-per-gram for Penzance; 22¢-per-gram for PPSR).

With the fairly recent passing of McClelland and Dunhill tobaccos, and with the exorbitant prices being charged for those hard to find blends, where demand exceeds the existing supply, I have become something of an inveterate, degenerate -- and shamelessly unrepentant -- hoarder of all things exceptional when it comes to the best vegetation to be found in the bowl of a briar. Consequently, I have a sufficient supply of Plum Pudding Special Reserve on hand to last a lifetime (even should I live a few years past my projected expiration date).

Fabulous Balkan blend.

19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 01, 2019 Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant
Am I missing something? Did I get the wrong tin? Are my pipes all messed up in the shank or bowl?

I just don't get it. I mean literally, I don't get the flavor of this tobacco, at all. Don't get me wrong, when I open the tin, or when I now open the jar, I get what everyone is talking about, the raisins, the figs, the plums, even the texture I want to dig in with a serving spoon. Sensational. I carried the tin around the house shouting in my best southern drawl "Who wants ploooom puddin'?"

Then I put it in a bowl, lit it and smoked it.

The dreams of dessert were all gone. All I got was empty pipe taste. I tried it with an MM, that was a bit better. I tried it with a tilshead upshall, nothing, could not taste. Only the smoke leaving the pipe had anything that I would call a taste at all. In fact, to its credit, this was the heaviest and bluest smoke I have ever known. This would not be such a bad thing if it were not for the fact that this was the 'Special Reserve' at almost double the price. If not for that, I do not think that I would have cared- and I got two!

Somebody tell me, is there something amiss in my pipes, in my tobacco, in my palate, in my reality? Is this but a smoking nightmare?

Or is that, after actually reading about the tobacco, I just hate subtle latakia?
Pipe Used: MM, upshall tillshead,
Age When Smoked: current
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 20, 2018 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
Seattle Pipe Club’s Plum Pudding Special Reserve is a work of art, presented in a 4 oz. cake, it’s richness is evident. Versatile in how you choose to slice or break apart, it may need some drying time. The velvety smooth Cyprian Latakia is the major component bringing smokey wood to the foreground. Red and stoved Virginias support the Latakia with sweet stewed fruit and a light vegetal nuance. The choice sun dried Orientals add a sour, dry resinous and nutty quality on the palate with a pleasant fragrance on top. Perique adds it’s spicy dark fruit dimension and is perfectly balanced by the malty rich Black Cavendish. The result of all these components working together is a wonderfuly smooth, complex and full bodied smoke, requiring above average relights as it burns clean and somewhat slowly leaving a bit of moisture behind. Won’t bite the tounge. Strength is a solid medium. Leaves a pleasant sweet lingering finish on the palate.
Pipe Used: Various
Age When Smoked: Fresh
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 23, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
OMG ! Just one big 4 oz hunk of flavor Hope nobody buys any of this because it is a limited quantity and I am fixin to stock up.
Pipe Used: 1962 Dunhill Shell
PurchasedFrom: P&C
Age When Smoked: Freshly opened
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 24, 2022 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I once asked the question, "what's the difference between Special Reserve and the regular Plum Pudding" and the answer was "it's like regular Plum Pudding only moreso flavourwise." While this description was accurate it wasn't very illuminating, so I will attempt to explicate on it a bit more.

Plum Pudding has this "chocolate brownie" like depth as you smoke down the bowl. That flavour appears in the latter half. The first half is a smokey flavour with hints of chocolate.

So how does Special Reserve compare? The best way I can describe it is by analogy: it is to regular PP what dark chocolate is to regular chocolate. Regular chocolate has its flavour and Dark Chocolate takes that flavour, amps it up in strength two fold. This is how I'd describe Special Reserve. Take regular PP flavour and double it like you'd expect if you took your favourite chocolate bar and put it into a dark chocolate version.

What really comes out in Special Reserve are the orientals. If you ever wondered what people mean by "spicy orientals" this blend will finally give you the answer. It is spicy, not in the way people talk about perique, but in flavour -- and I am not a fan of perique please note, but this was extremely pleasant.

I would also say that Special Reserve goes the opposite direction as you go down the bowl from most blends. It starts out strong but as you go down the bowl, your palette adapts to the strong flavours and in the latter half to third of the bowl, it will start to taste a bit more like regular Plum Pudding, but with that extra oriental spice.

Really quite a fine blend -- and I would daresay much better than the Bourbon Barrel Aged version which I've personally found 'meh' despite usually preferring those crossover type blends. I'd trade every bit of it in my cellar for Special Reserve.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 26, 2019 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable
I loved it at first. I'm not sure why but mid way through my first tin I could only get this string sulphur taste from it. Nothing else just sulphur. Tasted like I lit a bowl of match heads. I had the regular Plum Pudding before this and I didnt notice anything odd like this. I stopped using my first tin and the other sealed one will go in the cellar. Maybe a decade will make it work but I doubt it. Plug tobacco is neat and all, but it's just not worth it in my opinion. Too much hassell. I tried all ways to prepare it, dried it, everything. It never smoked easy and was always hot. It doesnt rub out well and if you rub too much it ends up as powder. Too little and its like little rock chunks. Doesn't pack well. After this one I got the new Peterson Dunhills and I'll never go back to anything but ribbon. Nightcap is new English of choice for me. Its simply superb.
Pipe Used: Brigham
PurchasedFrom: 4 noggins
Age When Smoked: New or less than a year old.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 18, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
Everything about this tobacco looks enticing, from the 4oz tin design, to the hefty plug waiting, as if in slumber, like a genie in a bottle, to awaken. And awaken it does!

I cut a thickish slice which crumbled off to leave a crumbly flake. I rested it for a while (2 to 3 hours) before crumbling it out further and packing it. In truth I felt it could have had more time to dry, for me it still felt a little wet, but that is by no means a complaint, I wouldn't change the tin moisture, just leave it out a little longer in future.

On lighting this delightful tobacco the Perique pronounced itself in a fresh manor straight away. After the first light the bowl begin to calm and reveal a host of wonderful unique flavours more in line with what I was expecting from this plug. Smoking through the bowl it continued to deliver one of the most moreish smokes I've ever had, it has everything you want and likely expected, a truly wonderful smoke, that can only be described as 'Plumb Pudding'

Edit - 24th November 2018 I've been smoking this occasionally since the inaugural review, so around six months now, and I can't help but notice a slight vinegar note to it. It's only been stored in the original tin, so I doubt it's from an outside element. Whilst I'm still enjoying it, tonight when I really didn't want to smoke anything else I found it a little disappointing. To give it a fare trial I'll try smoking it exclusively over a week or so soon, but for now I have to dock a star.
Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Smoking pipes
Age When Smoked: Fresh - 6 months
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 10, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium Strong
Summary: Cavendish dominates the flavor of this Balkan English which ends up being too busy to deliver much of a distinct profile.

For those familiar with Peterson "My Mixture 965," the approach behind "Plum Pudding" will be familiar: you mix Cavendish into an English blend and intensify the sweetness with slightly fermented, vinegar-flavored Virginias, and what ends up is a blend that mostly tastes sweet but has a chaotic patina of flavor onto which people project mythical visions of its greatness. We shared some of this at the local pipe shack, and it reminded me of most of the entry-level English blends, with relatively uncured leaf in a mixture that presents a flavor with lots of random moments of each varietal coming to the fore, letting people believe that they are experiencing something profound. It lights easily enough, burns down consistently, but has excessive jags of vinegar and other acidity and an inconsistent flavor profile in which the elements shout at each other rather than sing together. The vaunted Orientals drown in an onslaught of leathery Latakia, grunting Burley, and an agave-like infusion of Virginias with Black Cavendish bulking up their sugar content. I always think of the Tulip Mania when I see a trend drive people into tasting something that is not there simply because of the sheer amount of hype from industry and influencers. This blend convinces people to buy $2 per ounce bulk tobaccos at $8 per ounce, which delights an industry which has given up on its future and simply wants to squeeze as much money as possible now from the "internet pipe smoker" audience. For the price, you can purchase large amounts of far better English and Balkan mixtures.
5 people found this review helpful.
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