G. L. Pease JackKnife Plug

(3.43)
JackKnife Plug: dark-fired Kentucky leaf and ripe red Virginia tobaccos, with their deep, earthy flavors, are layered on a central core of golden flue cured for a hint of bright sweetness, then pressed and matured in cakes, and finally cut into 2 ounce blocks. Slice it thick and rub it out for a ribbon cut, thin for a shag, or chop it into cubes. The choice is yours.
Notes: The first blend in the New World Series - JackKnife Plug was introduced in January, 2011. From GL Pease: This one has been a long time coming. I’ve had more requests than I can count to make a plug, and to make some stronger blends. There’s something about playing with the tobacco, cutting it, rubbing it out, preparing it for smoking, that connects us more closely with the whole process. A plug like this can be sliced thick or thin, so the smoker gains complete control over the way it will pack and burn. It’s quite rewarding. My favorite approach with JackKnife has been to slice it very thin, about 1/32″, and rub it completely into a fine shag. Filling the pipe carefully, not packing too tightly, results in a wonderful, cool, effortless smoke, and the fine cut seems to enhance the sweetness of the Virginias and bring out the subtle, natural perfume of the dark fired Kentucky leaf.

Details

Brand G. L. Pease
Series New World Collection
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Plug
Packaging 2 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.43 / 4
91

38

20

3

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 151 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 18, 2013 Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Looks like dense tobacco brownie or a geological core sample -- clay brown, umber, tan layers tightly packed into a cube. They measure this stuff with precision; in addition to my cube, there was a small additional slice. Very rich smell of ketchup and cloves. It feels slightly dry, but there's moisture here that will stay awhile -- 30 minutes' drying for the rubbed-out flakes was not long enough.

Cutting and packing this is interesting, too. I hadn't read the description above so I just cut small chunks off the cube with a knife and rubbed them into fragments. The resulting irregular shapes and remaining moistness caused a plug in my draw, but that was cured by a couple of pokes with a pipe tool. I did manage to throw a burning chunk of the stuff out of my pipe and onto my leg. Ouch. Next time I'll try the Pease method given above!

The taste is incredible. The *umami* never ends -- currants, mace, molasses, beef *jus*, the gruyere-covered croutons on your french onion soup, cloves and honey, tangy whiffs of smoke from a far-off diesel. It's everything I'm looking for. I puff pretty quickly and only flirted with bite once. This has a broad no-bite envelope.

And it is strong. Water-sippin' strong. I went through two liters of ice water. Stronger than Irish Flake, just about equal to Samuel Gawith Brown No. 4 or Gawith Hoggarth's Kendal Kentucky. But it's amazingly smooth; the strength doesn't lurch upwards, it just builds slowly until, halfway through the bowl, you realize that you've become a boiled frog. It's wonderful stuff, and I hope G.L. Pease makes many more like it.
Pipe Used: MM Washington
Age When Smoked: 1 week from purchase
68 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 14, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
I was gifted some Jack Knife Plug recently and liked it so much I went ahead and popped the lid on one of my own tins even though I know this blend has the potential to be an Atomic Bomb in the flavor department once it gets some age to it.

Jack Knife Plug arrives very moist. I tried it fresh out of the tin. I tried it moderately dried out and I tried it crispy dry. All three moisture levels presented three different impressions as the smoke washed over my taste buds.

First, it is a "loose" plug that breaks up easily when sliced. You can ribbon cut it, shag cut it, cube cut it, broad cut it or apply chunks to your bowl. I always ribbon cut my flakes for an even burn and less relights.

The flavors varied only slightly as I worked my way down the bowl. When fresh out of the tin the flavor seemed muted. I enjoyed it much more moderately dried. At the crisply level the burn was quicker and the nicotine hit made me quiver in delight. This blend bears an old time deep & rich tobacco taste (delicious) that belted me and the flavor swayed only slightly to the sweet side as I puffed.

As for my thoughts about aging Jack Knife Plug. Do it. I did detect that unmistakable "fresh" Virginia taste as I smoked this blend. The listed components as well as the flavor presentation leads me to believe this one will mellow and provide a depth only the ocean can match once it's had 3-5 years added to it. I only hope I live long enough to try a 10-15 year old tin of Jack Knife Plug. I can't think of a better way to go to Heaven!
60 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
The dark fired Kentucky is the star. Perhaps it's a little less spicy than some grades of DFK, but it has enough to satisfy the desire for it. It's very earthy, woody, mildly nutty, floral, herbal, vegetative, dry with a light sour barbecue essence. The red Virginia is earthy, woody, ripe tangy dark fruit sweet, and lightly bready in a support role. The bright flue cured Virginia offers a mild tart citrus, with milder grass and floral notes in the background. Experienced smokers will notice that the processing melds the tobaccos so that you always notice the individual components, which undergo a little fermentation. Not as complex as it seems because the Kentucky does at times overshadow the other tobaccos, but it burns smoother than many blends with this high a percentage of Kentucky. As it is sold in plug form, it seems to be just a little sweeter and tangier because of fermentation than the ready rubbed version, but it’s not a night and day difference. Has a medium nic-hit. The strength is in the center of medium to strong, while the taste is a step past that center. No chance of bite, and has a few rough edges. Takes time to cut and prepare it to whatever your preference is, and needs a little dry time. It burns very clean, cool, and slowly, requiring a number of relights. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but no real dottle, though you will have to stir up the bottom a bit to burn it all up, unless you really dry it out. Has a mostly consistent flavor. The pleasant after taste lingers a little. Has a strong room note. Not an all day smoke.

-JimInks
54 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 30, 2013 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
OK, let's start with the presentation. Stop trying to make a plug, my American friends, all the good old steam-powered equipment is clearly on the other side of the Atlantic!

Truly though, I intend those opening remarks as the gentlest of jibes, because I can see what the blender has tried to achieve here in melding the flavours together.

And what could be more basic, a simple blend of Virginias and Kentucky? Well, somehow Mr Pease has selected his tobaccos so well and fused them together so skilfully that the sum is far greater than the parts. The fruity smell is instantly appealing. The preparation, though, is a bit of a pain in the proverbial, cutting across the grain is not easy given the propensity of the so-called plug to fall apart horizontally.

Leaving those slight woes aside, once you have a few slices in hand it rubs out easily enough. Quite moist, it benefits from a little airing and drying at this stage.

Pack it up and off you go. Absolutely delightful. An instant tangy hit, at once sweet and sour, a hint of citrus in there perhaps? Easy burning. Quite potent too, so go easy, difficult as that is because you just want to absorb that beautiful combination of flavours quite greedily, at least I did. Consistent and beautifully balanced from start to finish, when I discovered that the bowl was done I just wanted more.

Highly recommended.
35 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 16, 2012 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I've been smoking a pipe about five or six months, and this is my first tobacco review. I was gifted a pipe in January. The givers thought it suited my style and after a little while I began to agree. I began as a complete novice but feel I'm beginning to be able to clearly discern the qualities that, for me at least, make a tobacco worthwhile.

The first proper pipe tobacco I smoked was Parson's Pleasure (unremarkable, dull even, never again). Then St.Bruno; some of the Peterson's (Irish Whiskey and University Flake to Irish Flake), then the Dunhill's (Standard Mixture for a morning smoke, London for an afternoon, Night Cap for...exactly that). I'm discovering a taste for full-bodied smokes. I'm finding these mixtures good staples, but I like rituals, cutting, storing, drying.

A few weeks ago I tried - and got to like - Peterson's Perfect Plug. I enjoyed the preparation, and wondered what else of its type was out there. I've been reading about G.L. Pease with interest (I glad there is still such a thing as an Artisan Tobacco blender). I'd thought Pease blends were unavailable here in England, but I noticed that Gauntley's of Nottingham stocked it (I think I got the last two tins, or nearly). Incidentally, Gauntley's gave great service, the bloke had a great phone manner, and the tobacco arrived 2 days later very well packaged.

On my second bowl of JackKnife, I felt I had to write something down about it.

First Impressions: Cutting against the grain as advised, this is easier to cut that the Peterson in terms of pressure or cutting action, but harder to do neatly. It's a much softer plug. If I'm reading the right things then this must be more like what they call a 'crumble cake'. I wanted it to behave in the same way as 3Ps, but it wouldn't. Fair to say it breaks up in a rather more unruly fashion, much harder to get clean flakes. The whole exercise was perfectly fun, but what I have now is a Kilner jar full of broken flake and loose leaf. Anyway, onto the pack: Into a Peterson Standard 317 (still a beginner with a beginner's pipe) was no trouble. It's easy draw, full, but not heavy, earthy textures, it feels like I wanted my first ever bowlful to feel, slightly woozy from the hit, although I've read that this isn't terribly strong. In short, a great first impression. I drifted off a little bit into an easy cadence, thinking about nothing in particular. I'd recommend this to anyone.

Two-days in:

My favourite tin-note so far. After a couple of days I feel like I'm getting to know this tobacco. I've tried working with flakes, cubing it, rubbing it out, and tamping down loose leaf and it all works fine. I'd just repeat the standard advice - not too tight, leave plenty of room for for it to expand. What I'm noticing is that having broken it up in several different ways, I'm getting a variety of unpredictable - but all very fulsome - smokes, the mouthfeel is often cigar-ish, at least to me, but nowhere near as hard-going as the Gawith Twist I've tried (brown bogie, if I recollect).

Two weeks in:

I am half-way through my second plug and am seriously slowing down, to prolong the satisfaction that this blend gives. A reasonably thick flake (cut slowly and surely) yields 2-3 loosely-pressed bowls in the 317. The cigar-ish note persists. It's a tobacco that, once packed and lit, smokes cool, dry & clean smoke. If it's not 'very' strong, then it's 'strong enough'. When I'm on the mood and I have some time on my hands, is the first thing I want.

Apparently, though, Gauntley's have run out (of the plug, they still have ready rubbed), so it might be some time before I get to cut up my own.

Probably the best-quality tobacco I've smoked. Heartily recommended. If you can get it, do.
29 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 19, 2011 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant
Well, this one is certainly interesting! I, too, had a bit of a moisture content issue but I found that when I dried it out too much, it lost some of its character. I also found that it worked best not as a ribbon, a shag or cube cut as stated in the description, but when I simply peeled off the tobacco from the "brownie". The cut was sort of a chop or "dead leaf" cut. It looked awful but it worked.

Also, the flavor was interesting. I got the deep dark flavors with the hint of bright sweetness but this sweet character only opened up on a host of occasions and would only stay for a short while. It was the most enjoyable palate cleanser and it kept this blend from becoming a tasty but monotone one. I bought it for its stoutness and I was not disappointed but those fleeting bursts of sweetness were perfect... too long and they turn this into a lemon/chocolate candy. I have to think Mr Pease did this on purpose! 🙂

3.5 stars for this rounded down, more due to the fact that I haven't yet figured out how to keep it lit as I'd like than to any inherent flaw in the tobacco. I'm getting more of this one.
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 19, 2013 Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable
I have left my original review of JKP up in order to "encourage" anyone who might have a similar first or first few experience(s) with this blend. Since my initial review, JKP has become a go-to favorite for me, as expressed in my present/updated thoughts, summarized in my (interminable) updates, below. Sorry (on the one hand) to go on and on, but (on the other hand) I really love the original iteration of this very special blend, and I want to be sure I put this across here at TR.

Initial review: Despite my best efforts to date, I have yet to enjoy the first 25% of a bowl of JackKnife Plug. The remaining 75% is another story, however; I quite like that. We'll see if serious aging (me and/or the JKP...) takes care of the weird profile. Meanwhile, here's my review:

JackKnife Plug in a young tin was moist (not wet), also dark, and tough as shoe leather. Tin note was Liquid Smoke over fermenting raisins, over dark fired KY, over the mélange of VAs used in the blend. Fortunately, the (hated-by-me) Liquid Smoke smell quickly faded to what could reasonably pass for the "smoky" part of the KY. (Note that, oddly, subsequent tins have not featured the Liquid Smoke...)

Because the constituent tobaccos are both leathery and rather loosely layered, I've razor cut thin flakes from the plug "against the grain" then rubbed them out to dry to taste. I've tried it at different moisture levels and found I prefer to smoke it very dry. So far, it's been fairly harsh, ranging from flat to bitter off the match and through the first 1/4 of a bowl. At this point in the early going, I was always thinking, why not toss this out and smoke something else? HOWEVER, from 25% on, something magical happens. Perhaps it's as simple as the brighter VAs coming up to save the bowl; I don't know for sure. Whatever it is that happens, JKP ultimately - finally - bails out then floats my boat with its deep, tightly knit TOBACCO BLEND, the zesty VAs easily holding their own with the earthy, piquant KY. No one flavor dominates in this intense mélange as it simply saturates my senses in a way that is unique to JKP. I do not get fruit, or spices, or anything like that, just pure tobacco, and plenty of it, better and better, to the bottom of the bowl.

As others have mentioned, JKP is STRONG in the "strength" department, and also in the aroma and taste departments, deeper and more intense than Triple Play. I would not smoke it indoors except, perhaps, at my tobacconist's. The aftertaste is also strong and persistent, all tobacco, slightly sweet, and I think it's very delicious.

JackKnife Plug reminds me of certain vintage performance cars and motorcycles in that it's only enjoyed with a mindset that accepts its "flaws" as part of the overall experience. Ingratiating, it is not. While I can understand why someone would shy from JKP's boldness, I have to give it 4 stars, based on its singular attributes, as I smoke it. Despite the weirdness (or maybe because of it...), it is a staple in my rotation.

Update 12-18-13: Either my using sample has suddenly matured after a few months spent "breathing" in a jar, or my current technique of smoking rougher "ribbons" and chunks has worked a treat. Now the flat and rough smoke I originally experienced for the first 25% of a bowl has been replaced from the first puff by full-spectrum, varietal forward themes augmented by wood resins and toothsome spices that interleave delicately throughout the smoke, with no loss of overall intensity, and this continues through to the end. No, it doesn't burn as well when the tobacco is smoked "lumpy"; but who cares. The new harmonics play out very well indeed over a sort of "fatty"/buttery, tannic quality that I just love. Still strong, and still very much about tobacco, per se, JKP is now a formal "favorite" of mine, as well.

Update 04-36-14: Why don't I just leave this alone and enjoy my stash? For one thing, I seem to be going through my stash rather quickly! Indeed, the ticket for me has been to carefully cut the layered "plug" (across the grain) into flakes and the flakes (also across the grain) into strips, then I roughly rub it all out and re-blend it before drying it. PITA, for sure, but it's so effing strong and good this way that it's well worth the effort to me, Also, FYI, time is your best friend where JKP is concerned, no doubt about it. "Ripened" JKP is stunning from a pot, letting the flavors develop "themselves" instead of chasing them. But I remind readers again that this is strong stuff; enjoy, but proceed with caution until you know you are OK with the nicotine.
Pipe Used: various briars; a pot is nice
PurchasedFrom: Liberty Tobacco
Age When Smoked: 6 mos. to as old as it gets
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 04, 2016 Strong None Detected Full Very Strong
Summary: a dense plug that favors the dark-fired flavors, "JackKnife Plug" also retains the sweetness of Virginia.

This Burley-inclined plug won me over after a long battle. Not quite as solidly pressed as the European plugs, it nonetheless follows the formula of matured Virginias mixed with dark-fired Burleys, creating a strong and nuanced smoke. Unlike the European plugs, "JackKnife Plug" favors the dark-fired taste, but the Virginia is always present as a wine-like sweetness rising effervescent from within. A bowl lasts a long time and provides enough Vitamin N for late-night contemplative smokes.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
I was gifted some Jack Knife Plug recently and liked it so much I went ahead and popped the lid on one of my own tins even though I know this blend has the potential to be an Atomic Bomb in the flavor department once it gets some age to it.

Jack Knife Plug arrives very moist. I tried it fresh out of the tin. I tried it moderately dried out and I tried it crispy dry. All three moisture levels presented three different impressions as the smoke washed over my taste buds.

First, it is a "loose" plug that breaks up easily when sliced. You can ribbon cut it, shag cut it, cube cut it, broad cut it or apply chunks to your bowl. I always ribbon cut my flakes for an even burn and less relights.

The flavors varied only slightly as I worked my way down the bowl. When fresh out of the tin the flavor seemed muted. I enjoyed it much more moderately dried. At the crisply level the burn was quicker and the nicotine hit made me quiver in delight. This blend bears an old time deep & rich tobacco taste (delicious) that belted me and the flavor swayed only slightly to the sweet side as I puffed.

As for my thoughts about aging Jack Knife Plug. Do it. I did detect that unmistakable "fresh" Virginia taste as I smoked this blend. The listed components as well as the flavor presentation leads me to believe this one will mellow and provide a depth only the ocean can match once it's had 3-5 years added to it. I only hope I live long enough to try a 10-15 year old tin of Jack Knife Plug. I can't think of a better way to go to Heaven!
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
The tin description is very accurate, so I won't reproduce it here.

I would usually smoke a range of English/Balkan blends, enjoying everything from light to Nightcap. This is my first experience of a Plug tobacco, although I have smoked Cakes and lots of Flake.

I'm also not over familar with Kentuky DF, although have smoked quite a lot of St Bruno ver the years and KY is one of the tobaccos you will experience in that blend. Neeedless to say JKP is on a different plain of wonderfulness to St B.

The plug is a lot of fun to prepare and offers some interesting variations in taste and smoking experience. As has been noted by previous reviewers, this particular instance does fall apart a little and takes a bit of care and effort in order to cut along across the grain or layers. But I don't think this causes too much of a problem.

Whether cut & rubbed into very fine shag or cube cut this is a winner.

It is a very well behaved blend, no hints or bitterness or harshness at all, with the only stange exception to this being on charring or 1st true light. After that, even on re-lights or having been left for a short while, it is consistently rich yet mellow in its subtly spicey earthiness.

Before trying this I was expecting something a little more overwhelming and challenging. I am glad to say my experience was very different. I have been smoking lots of this throug out the day. It is a very moreish and never becomes either boringly routine nor is it too much after just one small bowl.

I like to smoke this in big bowls. It remains deliciously satisfying to the end. Outdoors in a cube cut it burns cool and slow; perfect for slowly savouring whilst walking on Dartmoor. Sat at home a fine shag cut burns well.

The rich and slightly spicy Kentuck leaf reminds me a little of the wonderful cigar wrapper leaf in GLP's Key Largo (the subject of my first review).

JKP has joined KL in my pantheon of all time favourites. If you have yet to venture into the world of KDF blends, want to try a plug for the first time, or like me want something a bit different to your usual Latakia/Oriental diet - Try this. It is another MasterPease.
Pipe Used: B-C Bulldog, Savinelli Goliath, Stanwell 19
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins.com
Age When Smoked: 2 and a half months
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