Having already tried Peterson's 3P Perfect Plug I wanted to try out some other plugs. Unfortunately my tobacconist only had the Peterson Plug and Ilsted's Virginia Plug and Dark Fired Kentucky Plug. So the last two were added to my collection.
This Virginia Plug is quite similar in taste to Peterson's Plug (just compare the ingridients) but can be cut far more easily and is more mellow in taste. Maybe Ilsted does not use as much brazil tobaccos for their plug as Peterson seems to do. The VA flavor is, together with a light fruity note (I guess it's the classic plum topping), in the foreground while Brazil and India help to give a deeper and richer taste to the body. The smoke stays cool and creamy from beginning to end. The taste develops from fruity VA to a mellow mix of VA, Brazilian and Indian tobacco with the topping moving more and more to the background. The flavoring somewhat reminds me of old fashion-topped VA-Flakes like Erinmore.
Another big benefit of this plug is its slow burning. If cut, rubbed and filled properly in the pipe you can easily smoke this plug for far over an hour, leaving nothing behind but a pile of dark grey ash. Also perfect for outdoor smoking.
I had actually wanted to get the Dark Fired Plug, but sometimes, you just have to go with what you can get. I like plugs, I like the general direction Kohlhaase, Kopp & Co. are going in with the Ilsted brand, so I bought it after complaining about not getting the Dark Fired.
The pouch's content was rather surprising. Stick tobacco, anybody? Took me a few moments to figure out how best to cut the plug, which could just as well be considered to be the world's thickest-cut flake. Clue: you need a really sharp knife. I cut off thin slices, a few more than I would with most other plugs, and I do notice that this 'baccy has been pressed to within an inch of its life; higher pressures probably would lead to this leaf collapsing into a Black Hole.
The slices I cut cross-wise to make cubes. The pouch note is nice and fruity atop the good VA notes--and yes, there's matured red in there, as has been noted before. Lighting is the usual affair for a plug... but the smoke... ah... cool, tasty, full-flavour VAs all the way through. Use small bowls; the strength does pick up throughout the smoke.
But this blend is very, very tasty... glows slowly, fully sweet, the fruit sauce is rather remeniscent of Peterson's University Flake (made by the same manufacturer). Of the two, I prefer this offering, though.
For me, this is an excellent evening blend for my smallest bowls, to be accompanied by a solid Bock beer (seasonal if available) or maybe a good, fruity dry white wine.
Update 2015-07: neither Ilsted plug is being offered in Germany any longer. Bummer.
Pipe Used: Jean-Claude churchwarden, BC Cobra, BC Marseille
this plug is a good example for professional making of tobacco. It comes in a pouch, so you can always carry some slices of this plug with you or you use your knife, if you always carry one with you. Cutting down stripes is easy, because the plug has the perfect moisture to do so. I don´t rub it out, i cut the stripes into little pieces and fill the pipe with it. Moisture and flake mean not a single light is necessary to light up, everybody knows that for sure. If you got it going, you don´t need too much to keep it lit. Perfect for a good pipe outside or while you work. Smoke is dense, no high nicotine content, a bit of flavour I can´t really detect, lovely sweetness of the good va leaf. Perfect for me, maybe for long time smokers and newbies. Why not for starters - the over all performance, especially the taste is not that sufficient, it fades a bit towards the end. There are older and a younger far better ones on the market that make more out of your leissure time.
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