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A quality English blend from renowned G.L. Pease, Spark Plug's tin art immediately denotes its inspiration: A Union Jack comprises the foreground in recognition of the English blends that dominated British pipesmoking preferences in the early 20th century. These original mixtures offered a distinctly spicy and smoky component though the use of Latakia and Oriental tobaccos overtop a Virginia base. Pressed into a dense plug, Spark Plug can be sliced thick or thin, based on individual preference, and it presents a deep, powerful flavor profile, marked by a campfire's smokiness and aged leather from the Cyprian Latakia, married to rich and spicy Orientals from Greece and Turkey, and sweet bright and red Virginias. Like the classic cars that inspired its invention, Spark Plug is charming and satisfying. Take it for a test drive before setting aside to age or enjoy it at full throttle straight out of the tin.

BrandG. L. Pease
Blended ByGregory Pease
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutPlug
Packaging50 grams tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Full
Room Note
Tolerable
3.9
18 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
16
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2
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2647)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

The smoky, woody, earthy, leathery, musty, sweet Cyprian Latakia is the lead component, thought it doesn’t dominate the experience due to the richness of the other varietals. The tangy, potent incense-like, very spicy Orientals provide a lot of earth, woody, smoke, herbs, floralness, pepper, vegetation, a little buttery sweetness with some sourness as important supporting players. One of the Virginias laying the foundation in this production is the tangy ripe dark fruity, earthy, bready, woody, rather vinegary/barbecue-like essence, light citrus, sugar, floralness and spice aspects from the red Virginia. That tobacco is a tad more obvious than the tart and tangy citrusy, grassy, floral, mildly sugary bright Virginia. There’s a light fermented quality inherent in the mix as well. The strength is in the center of medium to strong, while the taste is full. The nic-hit is a slot short of the strength level. No chance of bite or harshness, but there are a few small rough edges as you would expect from this kind of blend. This plug is really more of a denser crumble cake, and easily breaks apart to suit your packing preference. Burns cool, clean and a tad slow with a well balanced, complex, nuanced, mostly consistent, deeply rich, mildly sweet and sour and very savory, floral, spicy, tangy campfire flavor that translates to the pleasantly long lingering after taste and room note. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires some relights. It’s not an all day smoke, but despite its robust character, it can be a repeatable experience during your smoking day.

-JimInks

33 people found this review helpful.

BrokenRecord Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrokenRecord (76)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Spark Plug: Balanced Intensity

The Latakia seems to make up the majority of the plug and it provides a deep cedar-like smokiness and a pleasant old-leather undertone that pervades the smoke without crowding out the other components. The Turkish leaf offers strong floral and sour notes, while the Greek tobacco adds a nuanced complexity that I find difficult to describe. It is slightly sweet and floral with a dry/nuttiness that dances on the tip of your tongue. The red Virginias add just the right amount of sweetness, earthiness, and body to balance out the blend. Spark Plug smokes well coarsely cut in a large bowl (24mm) or shaved thin in a smaller pipe. With the pressing, the tobaccos meld together seamlessly and there is no harshness to be found.

Spark Plug reminds me of a more nuanced and balanced Capt Earl’s Ten Russians. While full flavored, Spark Plug is definitely repeatable and not overbearing. However, the room note will bring swift condemnation from non-pipe smokers.

Aug. 3, 2020 Update: I am surprised by how much this plug has grown on me. The depth of flavor—its earthy wine-like sweetness and deep smokiness—entrances me. I am now of the opinion that Spark Plug is the best pipe tobacco that C&D blends.

21 people found this review helpful.

Salvatore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Salvatore (4)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Wow, what a delicious and well behaved English plug by GL Pease. I've struggled with some of his plugs that others rave about (I'm looking at you Gaslight), so I was a bit leery of this descriptively similar blend. I find Spark Plug a bit easier to work with. As another reviewer described it, it is almost in between a plug and a crumble cake, and thus a bit more cooperative when cutting or pulling apart. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. This is one of the first blends in quite a while that has blown me away with a wonderful aroma when opening the tin. It smells of good old fashioned English, and it does so right in your face. No need for one of those long, drawn out sniffs with your nose practically in the tin. This stuff greets you immediately with smokey latakia and wonderfully sweet and sour Orientals. And if the smell alone doesn't have you ready to pack up a bowlful, the looks of this blend is sure to please. Large blonde leaves peaking out from between various shades of dark brown. A beautifully layered plug, stunning I might say. I went ahead and used a knife to cut off some slices, as that's what you must do with Gaslight. However, I found this plug slices with ease. It is dense but not overly so. It also has a really good moisture content, but as these tins are hot off the press that was expected. It is just a touch moist, which is perfect by the time you go through the cutting and rubbing ritual that makes plugs so enjoyable. After packing up a bowl in a larger pipe of mine, I gave it it's charring light. At this point I could tell I was going to be in for a treat, this stuff takes to the flame wonderfully. After that I sat back and enjoyed one of the most pleasant smoking experiences I've had in quite some time. This blend is flavor times 10! It is smokey, but not in a campfire sort of way to me. It is (and this may just be the tin art subliminally talking to me) smokey in a way more reminiscent of a 60 year old Auto repair shop. I'm not kidding, I close my eyes and I can picture myself sitting on an old vinyl couch in the waiting room of a 60's hot rod chop shop while smoking this stuff. Anyway... It is smooth as can be, while being a step past medium in strength. Bits of sweet come thru from the Virginias, and the smokiness is always there, but its the Orientals that really make this blend memorable. A solid 4 stars for this Pease masterpiece!

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

15 people found this review helpful.

riobrew Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
riobrew (64)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

What can I say, GL Pease is a Master. This blend showcases his taking something to a new level. Start with a very strong cedar Latakia from Cyprus, add some floral and sour Turkish tobacco, backed by a sweetness of Virginia. It both strong, spicy and smokey but mild nicotine. A wonderful plug that should age nicely.

Pipe Used: Peterson Aran Pot

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Similar Blends: C&D Star Of The East.

11 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (86)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

The Union Jack on the label is more than somewhat appropriate: One would be hard pressed to find another blend as quintessentially English as Spark Plug (in a tobacco ecosphere chockablock full of high quality English blends). Even the kake (I would hardly call this a plug) looks like it came from the bloody bog (in fact, I peeled the different layers of tobacco apart as if it was from an immature peat bog) . . .

No need to smoke three tins of this for a proper evaluation; no need to cellar this for three years before it is deemed smokeable -- simply charring a bowl of Spark Plug is all one needs to do in order to understand they've made a great purchase (in fact, merely opening the tin is all one needs to do in order to understand they've made a great purchase). Spark Plug is an English blend I could smoke all-year-round -- even in the middle of an August heat wage -- which is not something I can say of most English blends I have cellared.

I gave this a two-hour dry time fresh from the tin (but it probably could have used another hour of drying).

Pleasingly earthy undertones, lovely leather overtones, pleasantly sweet and smoky and so endearingly English, Spark Plug hits on all cylinders.

Update: 2-23-2020

My first impressions of Spark Plug were formed after filling a bowl of it into a Peterson XL90. I just finished another bowl of Spark Plug that was smoked in a clay churchwarden. What an amazing difference the clay makes over the briar. Night and day, really. Most of my pipes are briars -- I had a couple of meers that were sub-standard -- but I discovered the clay pipes, serendipitously, back in June, 8-months ago. Those clay pipes are amazing. I must remember to always sample new blends in my half-dozen or so clays. The difference between the briar experience and the clay is really ineffable.

9 people found this review helpful.

Spartacus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spartacus (4)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a medium English blend. It has larger leaves in it so I get strong sweet taste from the Virginias and then Smokey flavor from the Latakia. The spicy back note of the orientals is also present but not as often. Sometimes it’s a mix of all three and other times is shines singularly. There is no harshness to the retrohale. I like this tobacco and will cellar some tins for some aging and deeming laws if they should materialize.

Pipe Used: Castello Trademark

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Cup O Joes

9 people found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (97)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Hell yeah! I'm a mechanic by trade so obviously I'm gonna get me some of this when it's titled Spark Plug. I work on diesels but always have a heart for gas burners too.

Holy shit this is heavy! Full flavor, thick and rich mouth feel, no tongue bite or harshness and burns very well.

The flavors you ask?...Its like freshly cracked main bearing cap bolts on a Chrysler slant 6 with 500,000 miles. It's like the smell of a overly rich running Ford 302 because you can't get the damn float in the carburetor to stop sticking. It's like used engine oil, blow head gaskets, burnt up differentials from running them out of oil, cleaning carbon out of egr passages, and fried brakes. Add a dash of coolant before they started putting the bittering agent in it, then you have GL Pease Spark Plug.

This stuff is great and I'm not much of an English smoker anymore. By far the heaviest and most flavorful English I've had in a long time. Definitely worth having on hand.

8 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (274)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

I bought this one a few weeks ago and is a really fresh tin of 01/22/20. The name intrigued me. I thought that this might be a hard plug similar to 3Ps but as one reviewer described it, it is like a cross between plug and crumble cake. On the top of my plug was a huge black leaf portion imprinted in the plug somewhat like a fossil. This has an excellent top-notch smell of leather. This cut also has somewhat larger chunks of tobacco leaves. I tore a corner off and began to tear this into pieces. Though I did not, this one really due to the size and thickness of the cut should probably use some drying time as I had to light this one quite a few times. This smokes cool, clean, smooth and I also like the fact that the flavor profile tends to change as the smoke progresses. There is plenty of dark almost black tobacco and also some very blonde leaves in this plug/cake. This is another one where all of the tobacco melds together to became a superb smoke. The more I smoke this the better I like it. I had some more this morning with my coffee and a good way to start the day. I would rate this as a mild-medium Latakia blend but one does not always need to smoke a Lat Bomb.

Age When Smoked: New

8 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1980)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

G. L. Pease - Spark Plug.

Currently using this to bed in my new Ismail Baglan!

Now, Spark Plug? My initial thought was Spark Kake would be more suited as a name! Don't expect something like 3 P's, St James Plug, Revor, etc., this is more like a kake. To look at I can see some brighter, quite large, leaf-like pieces pressed into the block. These are the reason why, although not a firm plug, I still blast it through a coffee grinder; this ensures a bowl with evenly distributed flavour.

On to the smoke. It's full, quite heavy, and very tasty. Latakia takes responsibility for the 'driving' taste; woody, smoky, etc.! But there's a very firm support from the Oriental leaf. At the risk of sounding multiloquous it gives a sort of perfume, floral, scented character; The Orientals really increase the fervour of the smoke. Any Virginias are down the pecking order. From these the main flavour is of red Virginias; fruity-sweet and a little rich. It burns well, but can become a touch warm if forced. After half a tin I'm yet to be bitten.

Nicotine: strong. Room-note: heavy.

Spark Plug? A tasty blend and even though it can creep above medium in temperature I'll happily award it four stars:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Ismail Baglan meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 01/19/20

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

7 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (189)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Spark Plug is a very special blend from GL Pease. Think Squadron Leader on steroids. It’s dark, dank, greasy, and campground smoky in the tin, with the varietal leaves pressed pretty well together but still plainly variegated, black, brown, red-brown, and golden, so it’s easy enough to identify the constituent tobaccos. As for the tin note, the Latakia is well forward, then the Oriental/Turkish, then the VAs, which include flue cured lemon and air cured red. The scent is concentrated; if you can imagine a sort of Nespresso English. Nice. I keep a small, thin piece of tropical hardwood handy for use as a cutting board, and I usually carry a sharp pocket knife that I use to slice thick-ish “flakes” off the plug. I roughly rub out a flake or two then re-blend a representative load for my pipe. It loads and lights fine straight from the tin, and it burns down OK, but it burns better if it’s dried some before lighting up. A group 4 English briar works great for me. This is a very fragrant blend that ramps up smoothly from mild to over medium. The Latakia is excellent, with only the best additives and an amazing “creosote” taste. The Orientals are top of the line, a flowery goat pen, with woody, exotic, savory, spicy, sour Katerini, Basma and Izmur pulling together to saturate the Latakia, and they very nearly succeed. The VAs are like a hip chorus, never overstepping but always lending more than mere support from meadow grassy, fragrant lemon and bready, savory, earthy red that is cased just right to balance the blend. The lot is well met, tasty, and interesting top to bottom, getting sweeter and sourer both, to the end. Strength builds to over medium, likewise the tastes.. Room note is wonderful for those who like Turkish tobacco, hopefully tolerable for autres. Aftertaste is spectacular, savory, sweet, sour and smoky, and it keeps getting better and better for a good, long time.

Just when I thought I was English’d out, here comes Spark Plug to knock me out and drag me back to the fold! Four stars for my young tin, and this stuff will age beautifully, as well.

Pipe Used: dedicated Group 4 briar

Age When Smoked: young, from the tin

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: First thought was concentrated Squadron Leader; YMMV, of course.

7 people found this review helpful.

Indianapolis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Indianapolis (47)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I dont feel like this is a 4 star mixture... yet! It may be with age, but it's a new mixture and tastes "raw" still. I'll re-review after my tins get some age.

For now, this is an interesting english/balkan. The overwhelming note for me is cedar -- each bowl, I sorta feel like I just smoked my cigar humidor. The orientals are very very woodsy, slightly tangy, and only mildly sweet. The latakia is not overwhelming at all, and provides some nice cool smoothness. There are moments of sweetness (likely virginia), and moments of butter notes, which are nice. But then the cedar...

Mine was made in January, and has been in a jar for a few weeks. I'm plugging through the tin, but really more eager for how this develops and settles for my other tins in the cellar. I'll check back in 6 mo or a year, minimum, because I think this blend needs it

UPDATE: I will say, 4 months in the jar and the cedar has mellowed nicely. This is going to age very very well. I keep tapping away on my open jar when I get inspired, and keep stocking more away for the cellar. Time will tell, but I'm optimistic....

Similar Blends: If you like this, dont miss captain earles diamond head. Very similar..

6 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (317)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Classic English mixture, tightly pressed into a tough block of tobacco. As with Gaslight, it is difficult to break down into smokable chunks, but I solved the problem by using an Italian kitchen tool: the mezzaluna.

Its convex fine edge allows to cut the previously broken chunks from the block into smaller units (i.e., almost granulated). Once in the pipe, wow! A fine mixture of Virginias, Latakia and Turkish, very much in the spirit of Westminster (a tad fuller), cool smoking, full of flavour and class.

An outstanding 100% English mixture, the likes of which are hard to find in today's tobacco world. Kudos, Mr. Pease.

Pipe Used: Dunhill root briar

Age When Smoked: N/A

Purchased From: Joshua's Pipe Tobaccos

Similar Blends: Squadron Leader, Westminster, London Mixture.

3 people found this review helpful.

IAShop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
IAShop (2)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Just when i thought G.L Pease had invented all of the flavors known to Latakia blends he comes up with one that tastes like a hint of cloves and sometimes a hint of cigar for spice. It seems to linger on the pallet for a time after finishing the bowl. When i opened the tin it had a smell of lots of Latakia and a special spice which was ready to smoke upon opening. Some have said it has a hint of Cedar and i concur with that also. The flavors float in and out, but are never totally absent in this great smoke. I can tell you what the tobacco tastes like, but i am not experienced enough to pick up the Virginias or Turkish flavor. For me, Spark Plug has a combination (complex) of flavors which complement each other very well, all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I am now reading it may be best to stop short of the bottom of the bowl to prevent bowl burnout. There is no bite or throat issues with this blend and it seems to be a medium strength tobacco. I suggest it be packed very lightly and sip slowly. Not sure it is an all day blend. This going to be so successful it needs to be packed in 8oz tins. I think this is a special blend where you sit in your back yard or deck, in a comfortable chair, watching the sun go down, slugging down coffee. 4-5 Stars

Pipe Used: Stanwell Vauen

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Pipes&Cigars

3 people found this review helpful.

Rustedrailsmokes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rustedrailsmokes (201)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I'll start with the fact that the plug is more like a semi-crumble cake than a hard plug as everyone has mentioned.

That said, being that my tin is less than a month old... it still comes across a little moist and "raw" but I think this has some really good potential as it continues to age and mature.

I really like the flavor as it is a great old style English like you'd expect from the name. To me the orientals are carrying the show here. I love the spiciness and the campfire taste and really think this could make the rotation if it ages well.

For now 3/4 stars and we'll see how she ages.

Pipe Used: Radiator Pipes, Canadians

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

3 people found this review helpful.

Gerry P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gerry P (30)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Great tin art.

Tin aroma is smoke and leather. Its consistency is more like spanikopita than a plug, but that's not a bad thing.

As far as the name is concerned: I cut off a slice, and after rubbing it I noticed an oily black residue on my hands, almost as if I had been working on a car. Looks very promising...

...and I was not disappointed. It's a tiny bit slow getting going, but once it does it's a mouthful. Smoky, leathery, sweet, a little incense...all the good things, plus a deep flavor from, I think, a stronger VA presence than what I'm used to in my favorite English/Balkans. Complex, and easy to smoke for a fan of Latakia, which is prominent but well balanced. No bite, and smokes cool.

Possible desert island blend.

Pipe Used: Peterson Donegal Rocky 01

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: Mayan Import Co., Metairie LA

2 people found this review helpful.

Keweenaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Keweenaw (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Wow, what a wonderful pipe tobacco. Never been a fan of plug offerings, this is the exception. The tobaccos contained are married together perfectly. Dare I say the taste is reminiscent of Dunhill 965. On the sweet side of the road. None of the ingredients overwhelm the other. Wow again!

Pipe Used: Caminetto, Dunhill Shell, Cobs.

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoking pipes.com

Similar Blends: Dunhill 965.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Okay, Greg has done it again. He hits my budget with a new creative blend. Really not expecting to like this. I normally don't like much Latakia in a blend. So the nose scared me a bit, but there was a richness so I lit it. Happened to be having a gin and tonic by the pool and good golly this was a great pairing. I am all into what goes with what. This is ideal. When weather cools I will try it with a single malt. Anyway, smoke about 5 bowls a week of the stuff and have had to order more. The Latakia and the other tobaccos just sing together. So the cheap Santoku knife will be busy chopping this plug up for a few months at least.

Pipe Used: Ashton Old Church, Dunhill Tanshell

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Purchased From: 4 Noggins

Similar Blends: I wish I knew..

1 person found this review helpful.

Antonius Blok Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Antonius Blok (45)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

When I opened the tin for the first time, it gave off one of the best smoky aromas I have had the opportunity to smell in my short life as a pipe smoker. Just for the fact that I find that smell every time I go to smoke this mixture, for me it already deserves two stars in the review of this page. After removing the cardboard lid, a tender plug appeared that invited to be handled slowly, enjoying its color, aroma, texture ... before being cut, dried, shredded and loaded into the pipe. The cold smell has evoked in some pipe smokers the aroma of car workshops, motor oil ... There may be some of that, or perhaps the name of the mixture, the image that comes on the outside of the tin and the color and aroma of the plug have created some kind of suggestion. Once lit, the high dose of latakia is balanced by another no less high from oriental and accompanied by bright red virginias that add a touch of sweetness to the mixture, making it very tasty throughout the smoke. The smoke is quite creamy and its smell evokes at times that of church incense, which is why some pipe smokers with many years of experience associate this tobacco with English blends from the last century. The only problem I have had with this mixture is that regardless of how long I have let it dry (I have let it dry up to four hours) I have always needed frequent relighting. Of course I have already taken care of having another tin in my cellar since it seems that it can improve by aging it.

Pipe Used: Stanwell Pipe Of The Year 2011, Freehand Missouri

Age When Smoked: 4 months

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