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A sumptuous blend of Virginias and perique, this plug incorporates a generous proportion of St. James Parish, LA perique.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
Packaging250 grams box
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 8 Users

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3047)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Original review: 4-20-2015. The Virginia (which is the same used in FVF and FVP) is dark and stewed tangy, slight tart and vinegary, sugary dark fruit sweet, bready, light vegetative grass, tart and tangy citrusy, floral, woody, and very earthy as the lead component. The earthy, woody perique offers raisins, plum, and plenty of figs with some pepper as a supporting player. In comparing it the flake version, I find this is a little sweeter, a tad more well rounded, and the perique is a little more noticeable. The very consistent flavors overall have a little more depth, roundness, and smoothness than they do in the flake version. I figure that's caused by the processing and stoving, and the fact that tobaccos left in plug form will ferment more, often creating a sweeter flavor than when they cut into flakes, ribbon, cube, etc. It takes a little time to prepare the plug to whatever your preference of cut is. It does need some drying time fresh out of the box, but if you dry it completely, you lose a little of the flavor. The strength is medium, while the taste level is a couple of steps past that mark. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite or harshness. It burns cool, clean and slow. Requires some relights, and you may have to stir up the tobacco at the bottom just a little, depending on how you prepare it for smoking. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. Has a very pleasant, lightly lingering after taste, and room note. Can be an all day smoke. Four stars.

Update 9-6-2015: Having just smoked some year 2009 SJP, I noticed what grassiness is there has mostly vanished, save for a whisper. The sweetness is a little more deeply fermented than it already is and slightly diminishes the spice from the perique, though its other attributes seem lightly more noticeable. Smooth, smooth, smooth with a little spice and a continual deepening taste for the tongue to enjoy.

Update 1-13-2023. There are a few differences in the current production. There’s a greater variance of colors in the plug. Lighter grade Virginias have a higher presence, and the tart and tangy citrus and vegetative grass take a little of the lead. The sugary stewed dark fruit is a few steps less potent. The tangy dark fruit and stewed fruit are more of a condiment. The spice from the perique is a little milder though the fruit aspects are close to earlier versions, although this is a little less figgy. It’s a notch more floral. This has a little less flavor depth and body with a few more rough notes. The taste level is now medium. All other aspects of my original review remain the same. Three stars for the current production, and my ratings reflect that.


23 people found this review helpful.

THROATHIT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I love sweet natural tobacco with no topping. For me it represents my standard tobacco or mid point on the scale. Aromatics to one side and full on lat bombs on the other. So this tobacco is for me a very important one indeed.

I have never tried the flaked version so will make no compare. For one thing the plug is way sexy and stores and travels so much better. The other big plus is you can cut what you like how you like and options is good things in my mind.

Moisture regulation like all pipe tobacco is important and getting the tobacco to the right point helps no end so do try drying it if the first smoke is hard to keep lit or to peppery. Once you get it down you will not look back and this tobacco will give you an excellent smoke.

I find it takes some heat to get this going well and a good tamp once lit and another good light will set the pipe. After this it burns very well in my pipe.

TASTE. Initial sweet and spicy with mild floral and grassy vg notes to be found with ease. The fermented fruity rich tastes follow very soon after. The lovely honey caramel flavour is the part I love best and all the different flavours and peppery zing marry in to one superlative.

The creamy richness just builds mid bowl and gets stronger and warmer but never so hot as to bite unless you are stupid.

All in all my benchmark tobacco and worthy of six stars if you like sweet creamy rich tobacco then try this for sure and do not be scared by the peppery Perique because in this mix it is a condiment and after the first few draws mellows to round off the taste at the end of the exhale. Vitamin N is neither low or high just hits the spot and you will look forward to the next time you have the time to smoke some more.

Pipe Used: Molina briar

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: g q

13 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

St. James Plug is claimed to be just St James Flake in plug form. Although tobacco blenders can be a little loose with descriptions, I think this is as described. The plug is dense and rich. I use a shape knife to cut off small pieces and smoke it in small chunks. I have also smoked it after grinding it up in a coffee grinder. I prefer the former verses the latter. I would offer a similar review to the one I did for the flake. It’s a little earthy and sweet, and burns coolly. It has just the right amount of Perique (not too light) and I love it! The overall flavor is a little deeper than the flake as one might imagine given that this is a plug. But since the flakes are also pressed and often cut a little thick, I don’t find the difference to be that substantial, but still noticeable. I do believe this to be sweeter as if it were already aged. I don’t find this stronger in nic than the flake either. If you love St. James Flake and don't mind the extra prep time, than you will likely love the plug as well. Personally, I find the plug version to be better. The big question on my mind is, how will the plug age compared to the way the flake ages? I do not believe that this plug is offered anywhere here in the States as of the time of this writing and it is somewhat expensive to buy it overseas and have it shipped. But I have a feeling that most lovers of St James Flake will have no problem overcoming that small challenge. Highly Recommended!

Age When Smoked: New

11 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2081)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Sam Gawith - St James Plug.

This is the usual scenario for a plug tobacco, a typically dense unlit ordeal! The plug is mostly Dark Brown in colour with one or two lighter specks in there. I prepare this by slicing the Plug with a sharp knife and then treating the shavings of tobacco as I would St James flake, a thorough rub and I have a good consistency to smoke.

As I cut/rub my plug to a fairly fine texture it lights up great and once it's going it gives a good and steady burn. The smoke is of a cool temperature and only bites slightly if really strained, only very lightly not at all hard. The flavour of the smoke is as you would expect from the name, think St James Flake! I find the tobaccos to be excellently balanced, I can taste the Virginia very clearly and also there is a wonderful spiciness from the Perique which stays at the same level for the whole pipe long, a steady and consistent flavour. There is not one underlying flavour, just a very honest and full flavour from the tobaccos. I think this will be perfect for "N" lovers, it's not too much or too little but the perfect amount to be inhaled. The room-note is again the same as St James flake, a honest tobacco smell without being heavy on the nose or creating a fog like atmosphere in the room. As a rule I normally avoid plug tobaccos, I just cant see a the taste validating all the time in prep' but St James plug is possibly the first one to give credence to all the time spent getting it ready.

A very enjoyable smoke and if you have the time to dedicate then I think after one bowl of this you won't look back!

Pipe Used: Peder Jeppesen IDA Cherrywood

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: G.Q Tobaccos

Similar Blends: St James Flake in taste.

9 people found this review helpful.

John Frum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
John Frum (19)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mmm, tasty. Have been playing with St James Plug for a while and for me it's a definite winner. Maybe not as refined as my other favourite VaPer, Dunhill Davy Rolls, but a great smoke. I find DNR quite punchy, but SJP is not so intense nic-wise. Lovely taste and mouthfeel. Burns rather hot, though, and needs some drying for the best results. Compared to 3P, say, this plug is easy to slice and rub to order. I don't find the Perique comes through as clearly as other reviewers have reported, but it is there. (For extra oomph I find the addition of 5% mixing Perique is spot-on for my taste.) Recommended for a quality VaPer experience.

Pipe Used: Bent Falcon, small bowl

Age When Smoked: Loose 25gm pouch

Purchased From: GQ online tobacconist

6 people found this review helpful.

John_B Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
John_B (35)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Well where do I start ? It is rare to have a tobacco that excites in so many ways that I feel the need to do a review after the first bowl. I was contemplating ordering some St James Flake and then I saw this listed as well and being ever cautious, decided that buying loose by weight was a good way to go if I decided that it was not for me. I ordered a 25g bar of this wonderful stuff and it landed on my doorstep 18 hours later. Well done GQ tobacco ! I prepared 3thinish slices off the end of the bar and rubbed them out well and filled my Falcon. Moisture seemed perfect with no drying time allowed, and I was keen to get started. Pouch note is not strong, but once rubbed out the usual figgy raisin Perique smell was there and accompanied by a mature Virginia aroma of fruits and hay. It took 4 charring lights and finally I was away with no relights needed to the fine ash at the end of the bowl. Plenty of fruit flavours and a gorgeous smooth smoke with zero heat and no tongue bite at all. Strong in Perique flavour all the way down, more on the fruity plummy sort with a good tingle on the retrohale. A full bodied smoke with no harshness and plenty of nicotine, although not enough to floor an experienced smoker. The after taste is very fruity and all in all a really great smoke. I may allow some drying time on the next bowl, but it is not the over moist wet tobacco that some complain about from Sam Gawith Flakes. It is in summary, a very satisfying smoke and a good introduction to plug for someone who loves VaPer blends. Worth the trouble in preparation and worth every penny. Highly reccomended.

Update:- I have tried the Bulk Flake version recently and have to say that the Plug is the better product. In a straight comparison, the flake has a tendency to bite me in a chemical way that the plug doesent. Also the Plug has a richer flavour and aroma.

Pipe Used: Falcon

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: GQ Tobaccos

4 people found this review helpful.

tschenyinkoh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tschenyinkoh (51)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Very hard to get outside the UK.

St. James Plug has the same composition but different cut from St. James Flake. A perfect tobacco for all Virginia-Perique lovers. No scenting, just tobacco to enjoy.

From new tin, it is a little earthy and sweet; medium plum spice come from the fair amount of Perique. Because the plug version ferment more than flake version, it smokes deeper, smoother, sweeter and richer than flake version. As I said, plug always is far better than flake that is better than ribbon.

If you can, grab more to cellar because St. James Plug with more cellaring time will show more deeply fermented sweetness and diminishes the Perique's spice as well as Virginia's grassiness or hay smells.

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Rattray - Marlin Flake (British Collection).

4 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (218)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Of all the Va/Pers I tried, this one is very mellow and I would recommend it to beginners. The flavors meld well together, the strength is easily manageable, no bite and slow burning.

This could easily become an all day smoke even for experienced Va/Per smokers. Flavor wise, the plug form allows for a superlative melding of the two components. The Virginia is of the earthy, grass/hay spectrum and the Perique adds plums, figs and some roundness. A cool and smooth pipe experience that gets even more satisfying as the bowl progresses.

Virginia lover

4 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I was sent a good sample of this with a pipe I purchased off a forum friend. I was very grateful that he thought to include this. Not to look a gift horse in the eye, I love St. James Flake, so there was no doubt I would and did love this, but I am not a fan of plugs.

St. James Flake is in my top 5 VaPer blends for sure and could be my number one any given time. Its combination of sweet and spicy is intoxicating. It burns well after it is allowed to dry some. St. James Flake, like FVF, comes in tins and bulk. In the tins both of these blends offer flakes that are like stubborn pieces of rubber that are difficult to rub out. In their bulk form, these flakes are like long slender pieces of bacon that are easily rubbed out. Both of these are coming from a plug like this and I much prefer the bulk flake over the tinned flake.

The reason I didn't care for the plug form is that my cutting skills render flakes more like the tinned version than the bulk. Far be it from me to knock a blend due to my poor cutting skills. The flakes are four stars, so too will this be four stars.

Purchased From: gift

Similar Blends: St James Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

David E Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
David E (4)
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Hi everyone, I purshased 200 grams of this plug last week and I've been smoking this exclusively for a few days now. I can say that I'm really happy with my purshased and I will be buying some more for sure.

I prepare my plug by cutting 1 cm flakes with a cigar cutter then put the flakes in a grinder. This process removes the need of drying. Lighting up my bowls are easy. The mouth feel is full, no hot air here.

Concerning flavour this is a flavour bomb. From the 1st puff to the last you get major sweetness, dark fruit, a bit of honey and at times a bit of chocolate. It is a bit spicy but only while exhaling through my nose. By far this is the best Toby that I've smoked and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Pipe Used: Altinok meer

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: My smoking

3 people found this review helpful.

da'rum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
da'rum (5)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I think the other reviewers have supplied enough flavour descriptors so I'll keep my review short. Tobacco quality 98 Taste ::: 94 Prep time 87 (SG=wet tobacco) Value for money 85

All in all a great smoke but a bit expensive and comes wet. There are better Vapers out there. Lastly, I think that if a block was cellared for a number of years it would be a whole new wonderful beast.

Pipe Used: Bulldog meer, Falcon, Design Berlin

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: GQ Tobaccos

2 people found this review helpful.

Sir John Moore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sir John Moore (29)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Upon first opening the pouch note is sharply vinegary, grassy with the fruit notes from the combination of the Virginia citrus and Perique spice combining. I first tried St James plug when first opening before storing. New to VaPers this I found it to be an acquired taste and quite overpowering. After three months in a large jar the pouch note profile had changed significantly as did the smoke. The fruit profile marries perfectly with the pepper with the grass and hay of the Virginias far more subdued yet retain their sweetness. The vinegar is still there but not as sharp and forward. While not a water to wine type dramatic change in flavour it would be more accurate to say that the rough edges are blunted with a small amount of time to infuse creating a far more nuanced smoke. The fruit, sweetness and pepper notes are far more identifiable as individual flavours complementing each other not competing. Both new and jarred this excellent blend, in the plug form should be in the cellar of any VaPer fan who appreciates both of these profiles described.

Pipe Used: MM Cob

Age When Smoked: New and Three Months

Purchased From: The Black Swan Shoppe

Similar Blends: Peterson De Luxe Navy Rolls.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30171)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A lovely tobacco. Smells wonderful.burns forever and a day.not ultra smooth but it would be boring if it was. Can be smoked all day. Great morning is great quality.smells figgy in the room.

Pipe Used: Nording 1995 Newmarkt special

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: My smoking shop

Similar Blends: The flake version.

1 person found this review helpful.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (156)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Excellent Virginia Perique plug, heavy on the Perique and featuring the excellent quality Virginias that we've come to expect from Sam Gawith.

This plug is a brown rock of delight, fairly hard but not quite so hard as the Irish nuggets. It has a natural aroma of bready Virginias and plummy Perique. I prefer to shave my plugs with a sharp pocket knife, very thin, and barely rub the shavings. Don't pack too tight, and put some rubbed stuff on top as kindling, it will light with ease.

The Perique is very prominent in this blend, it hits you right from the start with a sour blast, a stewed plum flavour with generous peppery spice is present throughout. It is well supported by fruity, bready Virginias, which add a flavour like lightly toasted granary bread. As the bowl progresses, the sourness of the Perique does recede just a little, while it's pepperiness comes to the fore near the end of the bowl. The strength is moderate, and room note not too heavy.

It burns well needing a couple of relights, and if not packed too tight, there isn't much dottle. Owing to the generous dose of Perique, it's not a biter, although it has some pepperiness as you might expect.

I've not tried the flake version, that's next on the agenda. I can however compare it with Cabbies, another heavy Perique blend. Cabbies is more figgy, St James is more plummy and sour. Both have more perique than the more moderate Navy Rolls / Orlik Bullseye, which in turn have more than the "only a pinch" Va/Pers like Dark Flake and Orlik Golden Sliced.

All in all, cracking stuff. Nice as an after breakfast smoke, or as a thoughtful pipe in the evening. Nice at any time of the day in fact! Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Northern Briars Liverpool

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Mysmokingshop

Similar Blends: Cabbies Mixture.

1 person found this review helpful.

McQueen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McQueen (41)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very good blend, but it takes a lot of work to prepare it, too much work! Id much rather have the flake version...

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