Dan Tobacco Salty Dogs

In long gone times, when imposing sail ships crossed the Seven Seas, English sailors were popularly called "Salty Dogs". They always took care to have a pocket sized block of sweet Virginia tobacco with them, which they would take a slice off to then rub out and smoke in their cutty pipes. In heavy weather, they would opt to just bite off a corner to enjoy as a stimulating piece of chewing tobacco. Selected sweet Virginias with a small pinch of perique, classically enhanced with Caribbean rum, are matured over a long time in the press. The result is a dark brown, full and pleasant pipe tobacco in traditional style offering you a comfortably cool and smooth smoking experience. Unlike ordinary flakes, it was not cut into slices, but packaged as a solid piece of real plug tobacco. Enjoy it in pipes with smaller bowls. (translated from Dan Tobacco's website)
Notes: Introduced July 2014. Dan Tobacco's Salty Dogs is, as its name implies, a classic Navy style plug: Virginias and a pinch of perique, flavored with rum and pressed tight into hard, pocket-sized blocks that would keep long, survive indelicate handling, and could be cut into slices whenever there was a moment's rest.


Brand Dan Tobacco
Blended By Dan Tobacco
Manufactured By Orlik
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Perique, Virginia
Flavoring Rum
Cut Plug
Packaging 50 grams pouch
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.49 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 49 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 09, 2015 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
The dark Virginias offer richly tangy dark stewed fruit with a fair amount of tart and tangy citrus, and a very deep earthiness and wood. It also provides a light floral note. The sweetness has a mild fermentation aspect as pressed tobacco blocks tend to do. The perique is a minor player; much more raisins, figs, earth, plums, and dates than spice, the latter note is not always noticeable. The light application of sweet Caribbean rum does not detract from the tobacco taste, and I do not consider this to be an aromatic. Has no dull or harsh spots and won't bite even if pushed. The nic-hit is a step short of medium, getting just a little more potent in strength after the half way point, but it’s never overwhelming. Both the strength and taste are a slot past the medium threshold. The block may take a little cutting and it’s moist, but it’s not a chore. I tore it apart with my fingers, and peeled off thin layers, which I cut into small flake-like pieces before each smoke, leaving the block as intact as possible for as long as I can. It’s not very complex, but it burns cool, clean and slow with a deeply rich, very consistent creamy, fairly smooth, tangy sweet, earthy flavor that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste and room note. I didn’t dry it any, but was able to burn it to finish though it left a little moisture in the bowl without dottle. Requires a fair amount of relights. Not quite an all day smoke, but if you use a small bowl, which I recommend, it’s easily repeatable during your smoking day.

76 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 10, 2016 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Salty Dogs is a dark, dense, lightly aromatic plug. I prefer to cut it into small chunks with just a tad rubbed out to get things going. The flavors are deep and rich with a bit of a “figgy” flavor that I often associate with Virginias that have had some time in the cellar. The rum and topping serve to enhance the flavor and plenty of delicious tobacco flavors dominate. The Perique is added with a light hand and complements the topping. The Virginias are sweet although I am sure they are enhanced by the rum. For comparison purposes, there seems to be a touch more rum than one would find in F&T’s Brown Flake. Personally I wouldn’t toss this blend into the aromatic category although some pipe smokers may debate that. Salty Dogs is a deeply satisfying smoke that will age with perfection although I would recommend moving it to a Mason jar due to the packaging. My only quibble is the price point and availability which will sadly limit my cellar stock.
Age When Smoked: new
33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 10, 2018 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
It comes in pouch and the plug is wrapped in an airtight cellophane bag within it, so I think one need not worry it might dry within the pouch.

The plug is solid and hard. I tried cutting thin flakes and rubbing out and I also cube cut. Both ways it takes to light easy and smokes well without any need to dry beforehand.

Now the smoke is quite potent not overwhelmingly strong however. It tastes like a Vaper alright! Actually it is very tasty. It is dry-tasting with hay-like Virginias on the front, but present are deeper notes of yeastier and breadier Virginias as well. Perique is peppery (white pepper) with just a suspicion of dried fruit. I do not get the rum notes to be frank, it actually delivers a very pure tobacco taste. Salty Dogs to me tastes very tobaccoey with a substantial peppery spiciness but it leaves a sweet and slightly bitter finish.

I experienced no bite and the burn was even and complete to a very fine white ash. Room note is very tobaccoey not sweet at all. I like it, non smokers might find it offensive. Overall I find Salty Dogs an excellent Vaper. Now, it is priced a little higher than most and this is a hindrance in making an everyday tobacco but it merits at least a try.
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 14, 2019 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
Salty Dogs.

I really don’t care who makes the stuff – I really don’t care the cost – I just love this pint-sized plug packing the prodigious plummy pleasure!

Pulled a jar containing two plugs of Salty Dogs from the cellar, dated July, 2017. (Hard to believe it’s been 18-months since I last had this stuff). Unscrewed the lid, stuck my nose inside and – “sweet, dark . . . richly dark stewed fruity” is exactly what I got (JimInks sure has a way with words). I’ve never had a real plum pudding (Christmas pudding – the kind you eat – not the kind you smoke via SPC), but this VaPer sure smells a lot like what I’d expect an authentic plum pudding would smell. I could not, for the life of me, isolate the precise rum note from the well-mixed assortment of richlydarksweetlystewedfruityplummyfiggyraisiny aromas that arose from the jar.

Tangential observation: This blend has rum flavoring, but it’s not classified an aromatic; Frog Morton’s Cellar has whiskey flavoring, but it IS classified an aromatic. (It mystifies me) . . .

Tangential conclusion: If this blend were classified an aromatic, it would not matter one iota to me – just as it matters not one whit to me that FMC is, indeed, classified an aromatic.

Jar note reminded me a lot of Dunhill DNR – only a whole bunch better (darker, sweeter, fruitier, plummier, without the hay and grass notes).

I love the plug. Remove the cellophane and you find an alluringly dark brown, densely compact and perfectly cut block of very fine-looking tobacco. For a long time, I was cutting (scoring, slicing, sawing, chopping), but at last found that a bit daft. Now I simply insert my thumbnail into a corner of the plug, then carefully peel about 2mm-worth of product away to work with. I pull most of it apart with my fingers, then finish by tailoring with a tanto.

Full of flavor, it's dark fruit what dominates the taste -- plum, fig, raisin. Surely the rum flavoring helps in this regard, but like the tin note, I have a difficult time isolating the rum from all the rest. Sweet, with very slight hay here and there, plus a pinch of perique peppering. Tasty.

Spendy? Perhaps. If one compares 34¢-per-gram for Salty Dogs versus 22¢-per-gram for Plum Pudding Special Reserve -- or 8¢-per-gram for Arango Balkan Supreme – then, yes, Salty Dogs is a bit spendy. However -- as a any recovering cigar addict will tell you -- it is but a trifling, considering the 35¢-per-gram I paid for each Sancho Panza robusto, or $38 for a single Padron 1964 Anniversario -- $38 for a single cigar -- which works out to $1.80-per-gram(!!) Someone left two Montecristos here over Christmas -- $18-per-stick. The same $36 buys 100 grams of Salty Dogs (with some change left over). 100 grams of Salty Dogs = approximately 36-hours of smoking pleasure, or 94¢-per-hour – less than $1-per-hour -- versus $18-per-hour for a single Montecristo. So, it’s all relative. (It pains me to know I squandered such exorbitant sums on cigars; I threw away so much money) . . .

Salty Dogs -- Big Bang for the Buck -- Highly recommended.

17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 10, 2015 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a Va/Per plug in which the Perique does not show up much. Actually that's not exactly true; you get a fig/plum flavor that no doubt is from the Perique but none of that leaf's expected peppery spice. The dark Viginias are pleasantly sweet and a bit citrusy; very very nice indeed. There is a rum topping, but it's not overdone at all. In fact at times it's barely noticeable.

I enjoy fiddling around with plugs and that's the main reason I bought this. Just worked out that it's a good blend. The plug is quite moist and could probably use some dry time but if you dry it too much you're going to lose some of the flavor I think. I slice off flakes as thinly as I can and rub them into a shag and then load the pipe immediately, no dry time. It will need several relights and maybe a bowl stir halfway through, but for me not drying gives the best flavor, I don't mind relights.

The only bad thing about Salty Dogs is it's a bit spendy...about $17 for a 50g plug. For that money, I won't be buying it often though I do like it.
Pipe Used: A pair of Dunhills that mostly see VA blends
PurchasedFrom: Watch City Cigar Co.
Age When Smoked: pouch fresh
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 10, 2018 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I saw this on a pipe board and having a penchant for most plugs, thought I'd try this, I'm not overly fond of vapers but the reviews here told me it was safe to try, other than the fact that this must be the easiest plug I've ever had the pleasure of working with, there is little that I can add to the notes of my esteemed colleagues here. As already stated, the Virginia's command the performance with the perique and rum only playing a supporting role to the sweetness of this superb blend. No bite at all, even though from time to time I can over puff. Definately going into rotation and with more to cellar, I just hope I live long enough to smoke up at least the majority of my TAD. Highly recommended 4 well earned stars to Dan tobacco.
Pipe Used: Various briars group 3 + 4, clays medium
PurchasedFrom: Estervals
Age When Smoked: New
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 04, 2020 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Dan Tobacco - Salty Dogs.


I received this about a week and a half ago, and I still love it as much as my first puff! It isn't a plug like some, where it could be classed as a kake. No, no, this is a steadfast plug which demands assiduous preparation; sharp knife, and in my case a coffee grinder! After I prepared some I noted the slight moistness. It suited me as I don't like my tobacco dry but if you're not like me you'll need to let some air! The cellophane pouch the plug's in has probably aided the moisture not diminishing! Although it states rum as a flavouring the nose from it, whole or rubbed, doesn't suggest this.

The smoke? GREAT! To me, like in the unlit aroma, the rum is hardly there. But, I get a very nice tobacco flavour; VaPer, albeit light on the Perique. The lead taste is rich, fruity, sweet, Virginia, with a slightly plummy backing from the Perique; a lot less 'spicy' than is often the case. My burn has been fabulous, but I grind mine quite fine. Should your prep' differ you might disagree! And, my smoke has been cool!

NICOTINE: above medium. Room-note: nice.

Salty Dogs? Plug perfection! Highly recommended:

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Dagner Poker
PurchasedFrom: Cup O' Joes
Age When Smoked: New
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 21, 2016 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Unlike some reviewers', the plug I got was a fully pressed plug at just the right moisture level for me. To me, the VAs really shine through, and the Perique and any fruit topping are more hinted at from the sweetness, which seems to me falls right at the border between natural and 'added casing', than in any way obvious. I really don't taste the rum at all, but that likely adds to the sweetness as well. This is an easy and slow smoking (likely because I leave it rather chunky), enjoyable, everyday plug. I hope it catches on and remains widely available.
Pipe Used: Cobs, briars, and meers
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: new
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 19, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Prouced by Orlik for Dan Tobacco, this isn't per se a Dan Tobacco blend.

Salty Dogs is a very dense plug, with pleasing dark-brown to black colours that holds only very few orangy-yellow spots, which left me wondering, how they processed the Virginias, so they have this black-ish colouring.

The plug comes in pouch and is wrapped with cellophane to maintain freshness. It's rather on the moist side and needs 20-45 minutes of drying. After 20-45 minutes drying time it lights well, but needs few relights.

When taking a sniff on the plug it only offers very mild notes of citrus, honey and a rum-like sweetness. Very inconspicuous, yet inviting smell.

The plug is predestined for making a Cube Cut out of it. I cut off medium-thick slices, and cut little cubes from it. Once cut into slices it almost crumbles into little cubes by itself. You can also rub the tobacco out or cut very thin slices so you can fold & stuff them. Handling this tobacco is a joy and part of the pleasure, if you take your time for it.

Once the Salty Dogs are sailing you get rewarded a rather mild (tastewise), yet tasty, refreshingly lively smoke that holds a gentle sweetness. Virginias offer mild citrusy, more grassy notes, as well as a tad of earth and gentle sweetness. The Perique is interlaced excellent into the flavour profile and rounds the taste with it's orangy, plumy and raisin-like tones, and spices up the blend with a decent share of peppery tanginess. The rum flavouring is intregated well into the natural tobacco taste and contributes a slightly sweetish, rum-like taste, that also has a slightly spicy tone to it as well. The flavouring is well done and married perfectly with the tobacco components. It doesn't subdue the tobacco taste, but only tweaks up the taste and gives it a bit of "that certain something". I don't perceive it as being alcohol-ish at all tho (which I like, as I don't like alcohol).

Even tho I find the flavour profile of Salty Dogs to be rather simple, with limited variety of flavours it's never boring and far from being one-dimensional. The taste is refreshing, tangy and delightful and keeps even me, as a Kentucky lover satisfyied and interested. Yet this is a rather mild (tastewise) to medium (nicotine-wise) smoke that's suitable for any time of the day!

Gains a bit of intensity (taste- and strenght-wise) in the 2nd half of the bowl!

Room note (as stated by my girl) is: "Sweetish, with a slightly alcohol-ish smell. Pretty pleasant!"

4/4 stars - lovely presentation; quality tobaccos; refined and rounded taste. A blend I wouldn't wanna miss in my tobacco-bar! Highly recommended to everyone, as this fits the bill of smokers who prefer mild smokes, as well as it's satisfying to smokers, who like a change of pace from their heavier blends.

**Update:** Down-rated to 3-stars, as I've grown to have smoked more Plugs and also some blends flavored with rum. This one is quite good, but not as good as it gets 😉

|| Personal rating: 2,5-stars (only a bowl when offered, I didn't buy this again)| Attempt of an 'obective rating' : 3-stars ||

9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 08, 2018 Medium Very Mild Full Tolerable
OK, I officially love this stuff, but it can be difficult to express just why within the framework of a conventional review; its eccentricities are many and its merits somewhat esoteric -though given its perpetually sold-out status, it would seem there are others who share my sentiments. What I can say is that I frequently find myself thinking about this tobacco as I fall asleep at night and it is the only tobacco that produces a kind of generalized anxiety if ever I feel stocks may be running low.

First of all, being a plug, Salty Dogs requires some significant preparation -and a fair bit of drying as well- each and every time you smoke it. Even when properly prepared it can frequently be difficult to keep lit for long periods. Also, of course, is its prohibitive pricing, which in the U.S. creeps close to $20 for a 50-gram bar. And then, as mentioned above, is its availability which is sporadic at best. However, despite all this, it’s worth it -believe me.

The plug itself is extremely pleasurable to work with and I find that its cutting even adds a certain ritualistic charm to the experience. The price, while admittedly expensive, isn’t really THAT bad… I mean, it’s from Germany and the quality is palpable –plus the thing smells incredible. The availability, well, you’ll just have to consider that part of what makes it special. And special it is. This is a smoke of profound character and nuance that intrigues in ways I have never experienced with any other pipe tobacco.

In short, it's fantastic: deep, contemplative, exceptionally smooth... flavors of brown sugar, raisins, malt, real licorice (as in those old-fashioned licorice pipes), amaretto, roasted coffee beans, raw Pu’er tea, charred meat, gingerbread, black pepper, citrus and cloves all perfectly amalgamated and with no one flavor ever dominating another. It has this incredibly dark, rich quality that gives it the aura of ancientness. It does have rum in it; I have tasted it. However, you may only get one or two puffs of it per bowl.

In fact, for all this flavor, the overall experience is a remarkably subdued affair. Flavors need to be gently teased out over time and do not develop fully until mid-bowl. This can be another aspect of this tobacco that may not appeal to less discerning, less patient or less experienced smokers (and I have been all three at one time or another). However, slow and mindful smoking will be rewarded with an extraordinarily cool, gentle and equally slow-burning smoke with waves of complex flavor; the nicotine producing an almost stoned-like, body-buzz –yet this too is strangely gentle and I’d hazard to say that even those sensitive to it will not find it at all unpleasant.

Salty Dogs definitely won’t be for everyone, but I have to admit that this tobacco has quickly become my favorite -hence the long review. Despite its eccentricities (and occasionally because of them), it is an experience not to be missed, particularly by those who enjoy VaPers or just those who have been looking for a blend with prodigious flavor that still somehow manages to never become heavy or overpowering.

UPDATE - July, 2019: I want to say that with proper preparation and good smoking technique -particularly in a pipe you know well, it is entirely possible to smoke this straight down to the heel with fewer than three relights and often with none at all. My cache has more than a year of age on it now and it has become even more sublime... this is my ambrosia. Do not let the price dissuade you; it may be twice the price of other tobaccos, but a single smoke lasts twice as long and is certainly more than twice as good.
Pipe Used: Tsuge Mizuki 943
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Unknown
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