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A dark fired Tanzania leaf which is topped with a very floral/woody essence. An English aromatic.

BrandSamuel Gawith
Blended BySamuel Gawith
Manufactured BySamuel Gawith
Blend TypeAromatic
FlavoringOther / Misc
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Medium to Strong
Room Note

Favorite Of 3 Users

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Mongo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mongo (10)
Medium to Strong Extra Strong Very Full Strong

RB Plug is unlike any other tobacco I've experienced in 30 years. As such, it has to stand or fall on it's own merits, as there are no other tobaccos that one could claim are just like it only better/worse.

This is as dense as any plug tobacco I've ever seen. The tobacco was pressed and steamed so much that the plug resembles s solid block. Looking closely you may find an impression of a leaf that was on the outside of the block here or there, but it looks more like a chunk of chocolate than tobacco.

Finally, the aroma. At my local B&M, a patron who smelled it for the first time gave what I consider to be the perfect description: "It smells like a Grateful Dead concert." The casing is very reminiscent of incense. I won't venture to guess what's in the casing, but suffice it to say that there is a lot of it and it is very distinctive.

I find three things invaluable when I want to smoke RB Plug. The first two are a flat-bottomed, shallow ceramic bowl and a very sharp knife. With a sufficiently sharp knife, you can cut flake-sized pieces of this tobacco off of whatever sized chunk you're working with. The bowl helps in that it will catch any bits of tobacco that work their way loose, set aside each "flake" as you create it, and cut the tobacco into whatever final shape you want for smoking. Personally I try to cut very thin flakes and then I rough them up a bit in my hands. (I say "rough them up" rather than "break them up" because the latter is beyond my abilities.) I make sure I have enough finely chopped tobacco for the top of my bowl, either through tobacco falling away as I cut or from chopping up one of the "flakes". You will probably want to wash your hands after you're done handling the tobacco. The plug is very wet and oily, and your hands will definately take on the aroma of the toppings.

The third implement that you will need is a pipe. I strongly recommend a small bowl for this tobacco. Also, whatever pipe you smoke this in is going to hold the flavor for a while, perhaps forever. Early on, I dedicated a Sasieni prince to this plug and it's been the perfect companion. The bowl is small, perhaps a Dunhill group 2, and it is wider than most bowls of that capacity.

I load the tobacco up in whatever manner suits the flakes I've created. This usually entails a combination of folding and wrapping the flakes until they fill the space inside of the bowl without being packed tightly. (Pack this stuff too tight, and you will not be able to get any air through the pipe.) I then sprinkle the small bits from the bottom of the cutting bowl on top, and tamp them lightly.

This tobacco does not light as easily as most. It's generally a 4 to 6 match affair, and it's one of the reasons that I finally broke down and bought an Old Boy lighter. Even with the lighter the tobacco will require multiple lightings. If you've packed the bowl well the tobacco will stay lit once it's started, but in general I expect a few relights throughout the bowl.

So far, I've described a tobacco that's powerfully cased, oily, difficult to prepare, hard to pack, and hard to light. Why would anyone even bother.

For me, it's worth every bit of trouble or even more. Once it's lit, the tobacco is an amazing experience. It's just the Virginias and the casing, but what a combination.

The Virginias are brightly of the sweetest things I've ever tasted...but have absolutely no "cloying" sweetness at all. The tobacco feels dry in the mouth, with the casing being the perfect counter-point for the overwhelming sweetness of the Virginias. Half of the taste is just like the smell, the "Grateful Dead" smell. The other half is the amazing sweetness of the Virginias.

On their own the Virginias would likely be too simple and too sweet. But with the casing added, there are moments when the sweetness is accopmanied by a salty flavor, sometimes a very slight bitterness, and even a bit of smokiness at times. These flavors are fleeting, always returning quickly to the sweetness of the Virginias.

It would not surprise me to find out that most people find this blend abhorent. It's definately a combination that works for me, and it works very well. The tobacco demands to be smoked as slowly as possible, and tongue bite is only moments away if you start puffing hard...but with proper technique (especially breath smoking) this plug rewards me with a wonderful taste that I can experience nowhere else. I find it to be strong and sweet, and a great before-bedtime smoke.

This could never be an all day smoke for me. It's a "special occasion" smoke, for when I have the time to contemplate a bowl and to use all of my skills to maximize the flavor without moving into tongue-bite territory.

RB Plug smokes down to a very fine white ash. If loaded well, no tobacco will remain at the end of the bowl. The pipe will now taste like RB Plug. I wouldn't hazard a guess as to how one could remove this flavor from the bowl.

If you enjoy RB Plug, then I have one further recommendation for you. Occasionally fill up your RB pipe with a straight Virginia or a milder Virginia/Perique blend. The essence of the RB in the bowl will flavor the other tobacco; it's an easy way to experience the "RB taste" without having to go through the trouble of cutting up more RB Plug.

I have three pounds of this in my cellar...certainly more than I'll ever smoke. But this is one tobacco that I simply do not want to be without no matter what happens. If you like RB then chances are you'll love it. If you dislike it, chances are you'll hate it.

I'm giving this three starts based on my assumption that most people would not enjoy this enough to be bothered. For my personal rotation, though, this is definately a four-star smoke.

14 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3008)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The fermented, rugged Virginias provide a lot of tangy ripe dark fruit, wood, spice and earth, some tart and tangy citrus and grass, stewed dark fruit, bread, wood, floralness, plenty of vegetation, sugar, and a slight cigar note with a mild smoky quality. The fruity floral, mildly perfumy essences (kind of reminds me of petunias) moderately sublimate the tobaccos as they help form a very consistent, deeply rich fruity sweet, spicy and floral, mild savory flavor that translates to the long lingering, pleasant after taste. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the medium mark. The taste level is in the center of medium to full. It gets a little stronger as you go along. There’s no chance of bite or harshness here. It does have a few rough notes. This plug is moist, and may need a light dry time, depending on your personal preference. Burns cool, clean and slow no matter how you prepare it. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires a fair number of relights. The room note lingers a bit, and is a tad potent. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Will ghost a briar with repeated use.


12 people found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (222)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Tolerable

This is an exquisite tobacco!

The batch I received was subtly aromatized, nothing overwhelming - much more toned down than Kendal Cream for example. The smell of the plug is exquisite! It reminds me the aroma of the Bison Grass that is used to flavor the Polish Vodka Zubrowka. I checked on the internet and found that Bison Grass (Hierochloe Odorata which means Aromatic Holy Grass) is also known as vanilla grass and contains coumarin, as does the tonka bean which is used to flavour the 1792 flake. So I may not be completely off the mark.

The plug is dense but it's not very difficult with a sharp knife to cut out a flake and prepare it for smoking. It is moist but not very much, can be smoked as is without any drying.

The flavouring is subtle and it tastes like vanilla grass, that is it tastes of green grass with a vanilla twist. There's also a delicate florality throughout which could possibly be from the tobacco itself and not from any Lakeland essence. The underlying tobacco is of the usual high standard of the Samuel Gawith Virginias and it resembles more BBF than FVF - it's not as cooked as FVF and rubs out much more easily. (The Plug seems to consist of whole leafs pressed together which have not lost their consistency and can be peeled off)

The smoke is sweet and it gains strength as the smoke progresses with the flavouring receding a bit. It's not a strong tobacco but definitely past medium in strength and nicotine.

Smokes to a fine ash without leaving any dottle. It leaves me intoxicated! Could be an all day smoke but it's better used less often as a delicacy. As for room note I presume it's nice for smokers, though my wife complained with it...

Similar Blends: I find a lot of similarities between RB Plug and Sam's Flake, though Sam's Flake does not have the green grassiness of RB and the florality it has is more due to the Orientals it contains..

9 people found this review helpful.

PipesterJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipesterJim (47)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Excellent tobacco.

I have always thought that when it comes to 'lakeland florals' the SG line doesn't actually have anything outstanding to offer. 1792 is good, but not really floral. Bracken Flake I don't care for. Grousemoor, though excellent, is a ribbon cut rather than a flake and lacks the nicotine punch that, for me, characterises the lakeland experience as much as the added flavours and 'soap'. So, for me GH&Co has always been the sole purveyor of archetypal lakeland baccys.

Discovering these Samuel Gawith plugs I am having to completely change my opinion! RB is an absolute powerhouse in terms of added scent. The gingerbread comparison is right on, but there is a complex blend of floral additives and 'other stuff' there too, helping to create a completely unique scented tobacco experience.

The underlying tobacco is 1st class, and apparently is the same cake that goes on to become Full Virginia Flake. Flavoursome, much better manners than I would expect having smoked FVF and with sufficient vitamin N to make it feel like a proper, stout lakeland blend, although without the dark fired or air cured that is usually found in GH&Co blends of similar strength. Again, this helps to make RB Plug stand out.

Preparation is easier than a lot of plugs (McQuaid, 3Ps) and the moisture level is just right (many complain about excess moisture in other SG blends).

I seem to give four stars to almost everything I review nowadays, but what the heck! If you are a fan of proper scented tobaccos from the north of England then you must try RB Plug!

9 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Strong Strong Full Strong

Update: I purchased another RB Plug from Habana Pipes and Cigars. The plug was much easier to work with than my first review. While it does take more work and patience than other tobac's, it did nit require the ritual as previously described. I find I enjoy an occasional bowl after dinner with a frosted schooner of beer!

I had trouble identifying the pouch aroma, but after reading other reviews, GINGERBREAD! I also detect cigar leaf.

The appearance of the plug is very dense looking somewhat like hashish for those of you who grew up in the hippy days.

This is not a tobacco for the beginner, period. Even for the experienced smoker, you will either like it or hate it. It takes a lot of time to prepare it for smoking. It can take hours to get it ready. The first chore is to cut it with a pocket knife and begin seperating the leaves (I have extremely sharp knives). After that comes breaking it up into smaller pieces and letting it air dry for about one to two hours. Next comes rubbing it out and that aint easy! Let it dry for a while longer and a little more rubbing and it's ready to go into the bowl. I suggest a large diameter bowl. I use a Savinelli with a 1" bore. Then comes the attempt to get it lit. It takes about three starter lites and gentle tamping and then about two to three actual lites and more [gentle] tamping. After it is finally burning, it will stay lit for the rest of the smoke. Sound like a heck of a lot of trouble? It is!

After the cutting, tearing, drying, rubbing, still more drying and rubbing, lighting, tamping, lighting ritual, the taste is, at least to me, somewhat pleasing. It had a fruity taste and I still taste and smell cigar binding. I do not find the room note personally too displeasing. However, I have not smoked this in front of my girlfriend. The dog does not hide in the corner and the cat does not give a darn.

Overall, I think being an Eagle Scout, working on the deck of an aircraft carrier, crawling under houses in a once time pest control business, mechanical design engineer and muzzle loading rifle builder gives me the patience to continue enjoying RB Plug.

Conclusion: I cannot give this more that a three star rating because of the difficulty of preperation and would probably give it 2-1/2 stars if it were available.

Keep your powder dry, Flintlock

8 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium to Strong Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have wanted to try Gawith’s RB Plug for a very long time as it isn’t available in the US (why do manufacturers do that with certain blends in their lineup??). I wasn’t disappointed. The pouch scent has somewhat of “an old timey” smell that I remember from my father’s pipe as a young lad. There is also a "sweet "cinnamon like" smell to it. He often smoked Mixture 79 (which I hate BTW) and some call that, (I don’t) an American Lakeland so maybe that’s the reason for the comparison? Being fairly firm, it really takes some time to get this prepared for the pipe. In the end, I preferred cutting a bunch of very small pieces and rubbing a tad out rather than shaving it with the knife. This was done after considerable dry time. In the pipe, I found RB to be very, very smooth. I smoke a lot of Lakeland blends and like others, it often comes down to whether or not you like the added flavoring, regardless of the quality of the underlying tobacco. Of course, given the blender, the tobacco is of high quality, but the flavoring makes it difficult to actually taste it. I’m not going to speculate on the components of the added flavors, as there are already a lot of opinions being bandied about. I will say that it is strong and lightly sweet, kind of like a velvet hammer. The opinions on the room note of this blend appear to be really wide ranging, for me, I rather enjoyed it. I will say that if you enjoy tobaccos from the Lake District, this should be on your “must try” list. Personally, I found it to be excellent!

7 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2071)
Medium Medium Full Very Pleasant

Samuel Gawith - RB Plug.

The note from the pouch is quite spicy with a hint of fruity sweetness, I can't identify anything floral so am unsure if anything floral has been included. The plug itself is a stubborn little so and so to prepare, even if you have arms like Schwarzenegger I think you will still struggle to cut it! As expected from Sam G' it's far too moist, practically sticky so it has to be aired.

The smoke itself has quite a complex flavour, complex to the point of being too messy for some folks I would guess. There is a light floral addition but I wouldn't for one minute describe it as a floral aromatic. The most prominent flavour I get is a bready one with the zing of ginger too. I find the smoke to taste quite savoury, there is a subtle fruitiness to it but think of it in the way they use fruit as an ingredient in a savoury curry. I don't think the nicotine amount is offensive, I find it to be medium in strength at a push. The room note sits well with me, it has a spiciness to it which I find most warming. As mine was a little tricky to prepare I had left it in quite large chunks which I suspected wouldn't burn too well so I was surprised by the superb, consistent burn it delivered. The smoke remains bite free and cool for the whole duration of the bowl, a properly relaxing smoke.

I don't usually smoke plug blends and when I read the reviews on RB I wasn't at all sure what to expect but after a few bowls I can safely say I love it! Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 999

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: My Smoking Shop

7 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (393)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This came delivered in a very dense block of tobacco from a friend. I am not sure of age or how long it may have dried before i received it. I sliced off thin flakes from the small end of the block and rubbed them out. persistent chunks were pulled apart with my fingers. I have been smoking it in fairly small bowls.

I found this easy to keep lit. My preparation gives me effectively a short chopped narrow ribbon, and that burned at a good pace and without drama or lots of relights.

The flavor is somewhat intense. You always know you are smoking tobacco, but there is a fruit I can't identify in a fairly full-flavored topping. There is some spice which reminds me of cloves every now and then. The tobacco base is sweet with some hay and it is tart when puffed. You never lose the topping flavors, but the tobacco is always there supporting it.

This is recommended if you are comfortable with plugs and don't mind the preparation ritual. This is what I would consider a remarkably good aromatic for my palate. It has a pleasant topping, and I never forget I am smoking a high quality Virginia. It is no wimpy topped black cavendish in terms of strength either, and it is perhaps just a little more in strength compared to Full Virginia Flake.

I liked it, but I don't mind the prep.

6 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A Dream ...simply a dream ... Try it after dinner, in winter, in front of the fire place !

I love it for ever

6 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Strong Strong Extra Full Extra Strong

This uh, tobacco, was shared with my pipe club members a few years ago, and to a man, we agreed the stuff was simply awful. I cannot even begin to guess what ole Sam topped the leaf with, but it is deadly and lethal. Just whacking off a piece of the tightly compressed plug required a chain saw, and the shaving and packing was a chore, too. Worse still, all that work for a horrible smoke made me the bane of the club.

Spend your money elsewhere. This blend smoked exactly like it looked, butt ugly.

You reckon the club will ever re-admit me?

6 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Strong Full Strong

Samuel Gawith's RB Plug is in a class by itself. This stuff has been pressed and steamed to the point that it is homogeneous in texture. It comes in a solid block. Unlike Cob plug, which is clearly pressed leaves that can be pealed off the plug, you would not guess that RBP is made from leaves. It is like a block of black hashish.

I should note that this tobacco has a VERY distinct and unique plug aroma, hard to define, but IMHO more fruity than floral, though the floral is there for sure.

The plug is very moist and sticky. I cut some very thin slices and dried them for about an hour before trying them. Still too moist, so more drying was necessary. As noted by above reviewers, even after it seems to have dried out, this stuff still crumbles in a moist manner. Since I like to smoke flakes broken (roughly rubbed out),I decided to try- against my better judgement- these damp flakes in a narrow, tall meer dedicated to floral-type Lakeland tobaccos.

While hard to get lit, this did ultimately smoke surprisingly well for feeling so moist. The flavor was fruity and complex, hints of soap and fruit, and yes, ginger bread. RBP is more spicy than floral. The strength is considerably less than 1792/Cob Plug, but the flavor is much more intense. Sweet too, even sweeter than Rum Flake. Even a small bowl of RBP lasts a deliciously long time, probably due to the density of the product. The flavor is there throughout the bowl, getting darker and richer (can a flavor be "darker"?) near the end. Curiously, given the moisture content, this RBP does not smoke especially hot.

I would emphatically NOT recommend this blend to anyone who is not a fan of scented tobaccos. The moisture problem can of course be remedied with a little patience. I have taken to slicing and drying about 5 bowls of tobac at once, and drying for several hours. (I hate to dry longer since I do not want the flavoring to volatilize.) This seems to be a good compromise in my dry climate. It is easy to slice in its moist form, and is kind of fun, if you like to play with your tobacco...

I just can't seem to leave this blend alone. It is not an all-day tobacco, as it is too intense. After dinner though, it is a great digestive. If this type of smoke fits your particular tastes, by all means give it a try. I am ordering more today.

6 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium to Strong Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

This fine tobacco has received in my opinion, a profoundly bad rap. When I first had it, it was in a pipe that had Old Ironsides, and Balkan Sobranie regularly smoked in it. Those tobaccos proved to be just as jealous as this one.

The topping is fantastic. This is a classic, century old recipe that proves the Gawith greatness. It is elegant, refined, and a bite-free, cool smoke. The flavor is rich, as is the aroma. I cannot compare it to any other tobacco insofar, but a lychee scent is prevalent. The tobaccos are obviously virginias, and the taste is as sweet and aromatic as the room note. I might not smoke this indoors, but eventually the aroma dissipates, and you get much more of the tobacco taste towards the end of the bowl. It does not goop like so many aromatics do, and you're left with a fine, white, DRY ash. This tobacco has become a staple in my collection. My bride enjoys the smell, and unlike all the others I enjoy, this one doesn't turn her off.

This is a classic, brilliantly made tobacco, and it is worth every penny. God bless Gawith.

6 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Strong Medium Medium to Full Strong

If you are willing to take the time with a plug, this is a great one to try. Opening the package, I got a strong smell of gingerbread. The plug was easily cut to thin slices using a sharp knife. Rubbing out the slices took some patience though - the tobacco seemed somewhat sticky. I must say that once this tobacco is lit, it stays that way! The smoke was thick and seemed to sitck to things. This is a strong tobacco with a high nicotine content. It has a very sweet flavor, and is one of the few tobaccos I feel as though I could smell while I smoked it. Flavors ranged from sweet to spicy to nothing throughout the bowl. THis is one of my evening favorites.

6 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium to Strong Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I am writing one review to cover RB Plug, Cannon Plug, and Flake #7. I am guessing, and can be wrong, that Cannon Plug is a lighter version of RB Plug, and that Flake #7 is the Flake version of one or the other. This is more a description of a method to prepare them for smoking than a normal review. All are an acquired taste, and it took me many months to finally acquire that taste. Initially all three were impossible for me to smoke. All reeked from perfume that was so strong that the perfume transferred to my hands just from handling the tobaccos. I tried a few times to smoke them fresh from the bag, and had to dump them out. The perfume was overpowering the smoke. Since these blends have existed for over 200 years, I was determined to smoke them. I now cut off a chunk that would provide for about 6 small bowls. I leave the chunk in a plastic bag for a week or two. This allows some (but not all) of the perfume to evaporate. I find that I cannot rub out the drier chunks of plugs. So, I chop them into little square pieces, and then I put them into a very small jar. After about another week, they feel very dry, and I can't rub them any finer than they are at this stage. I then give each a twirl in a coffee blender. This transforms them into a decent size to smoke. And, to my surprise, after the coffee blender treatment, they are still very moist although they feel dry to the touch before the treatment. I then let them dry on a piece of paper until they reach my preferred level of moisture. I smoke them in a small meerschaum. Not only would they flavor a briar, but they actually flavor the meerschaum a bit for the next few smokes (not a bad experience). After all of this preparation, they turn into a very interesting and enjoyable smoke. The quality of the Virginias with just a lingering hint of the flavoring provide for a very decent, quality smoke. At the same time, the flavoring produces a very pleasurable and acceptable aroma that is very noticeable while smoking, and that adds to the total experience. Nicotine strength runs around 5-7 for me out of 10. With this preparation, they smoke dry and leave a very fine almost white-gray ash. The room aroma should be very pleasant to anyone in your presence. I really enjoy smoking a few bowls a week in a meer of any of the three blends. It took me decades to acquire a taste for Broccoli, but only a few months to adapt to these blends. The only negative for me is that the taste lingers in my mouth long after the smoke is finished. I will keep at least one of the three around for those special times when these unique blends appeal to me. For now, my choice of the three is the RB Plug.

5 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium to Strong Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

As an former cigar smoker, I really didn't value aromatic tobaccos before I tried this one. When I first opened the pouch the scent was really strong. First image on my mind was that this smells like an after shave, it was overwhelming. Gradually I got used to it and now I can even enjoy it. I like cutting the plug, which is easy using a sharp knife. This tobacco is worth cutting to small pieces, this is how you can get an even burn. Tobacco lights up easily and the taste is just wonderful from the very beginning. The aroma is strong and very sweet. Although this is a heavily cased aromatic you can still taste the strong tobacco in it. This is why I like it. The taste stays really even from lighting to the last smokes and gives you easily 45 minutes of pleasure when smoking it in a medium size bowl. Yes, it burns slowly. I didn't get any tongue bite, regardless of my smoking habits, what you could discribe an intense one. If you are used to smoke natural virginias and would like to try an aromatic what still tastes like a real tobacco, try this one.

5 people found this review helpful.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (147)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a nice stout plug tobacco which is not so far removed from the Irish classics (Mick McQuaid, Yachtsman, PPP) in its character, although it is pure Virginia leaf. The topping is not to my tastes excessive, indeed I find it quite subtle.

It's nice and hard so with a sharp penknife it produces good thin shavings which don't need to be rubbed much to be in perfect condition for smoking. I'm sure many of the criticisms regarding need for many matches with plugs are user error or inexperience. One match or two can see me through a bowl of this, even when it's quite moist.

The flavour is full, tobacco taste with wood and Virginia breadiness. It's not very sweet, there is a tart fruity sourness at times, and a light floral spice to it. It hasn't much development through the bowl, but builds in intensity. Strength is satisfactory and it smokes slow: even in my little Peterson system 317 I had a 45 minute smoke. It burns pretty completely. I don't think it will ghost a pipe much, but the topping is there.

There is a risk of tongue bite and a sore mouth, especially if smoked too much and too hard as I did over the course of a boozy evening... One detractor for me is that I don't find the aftertaste very pleasant, it can be a bit sour and soapy.

All in all, a fairly pleasant smoke. I'd be interested to know the story behind the name. Is it in some way related to Ogdens Readbreast flake?

Pipe Used: Falcons and Peterson System 317

Age When Smoked: 1 year ish

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Mick McQuaid, Yachtsman, PPP.

4 people found this review helpful.

tschenyinkoh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tschenyinkoh (51)
Medium Strong Full Tolerable

Long produced and generation-popular Samuel Gawith RB (Red Breast) Plug Pipe Tobacco is an English aromatic blend of dark fired Tanzanian Virginia leaf traditionally topped with floral, woody and spicy flavours. RB plug is with its unique and complex cheviot flavour with hints of gingerbread. Cheviot is used for a Lakeland style taste of sweet, woody and spicy notes.

The plug has a farmyard aroma and smokes smooth and cool. Very similar to the now discontinued Special Flake no4.

The Summary:

Contents - Virginia

Flavouring - Cheviot (Floral, Woody, hint of gingerbread and other spicy notes)

Cut - Plug

Origin - Kendal, England

Tasting Notes:

Strength - Medium

Flavouring - Strong/Aromatic

Taste - Full

Room Note - Strong

Purchased From:; gqtobaccos

4 people found this review helpful.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (59)
Strong Strong Full Very Pleasant

A great aromatic, in a british way. Full taste & strenght. Aroma: musk, green underbrush, genuine old soap. (NOT recommend to anyone who is not a fan of scented tobaccos)

4 people found this review helpful.

Griswold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Griswold (21)
Medium to Strong Strong Full Strong

RB Plug is my all-time favorite blend. It's really unique and there is no other tobacco that can be compared to it.

The work needed to pack the pipe - cutting off small slices which are then cut into small cubes which are then 'gravity-fed' into the bowl - is also something that makes plug tobaccos stand apart from more 'modern' blends.

The tobacco base is excellent and the Patchouli flavoring is...well, something you either love or loathe, there is no middle ground.

The only thing I can say is: try it; however, maybe in a disposable pipe at first.

You won't be the first one to hate RB plug and neither the last one to love it.

4 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (317)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I must admit, I am very undecided on this. The plug is a bit denser than many, but not by much. It isn't easy to get started (no doubt because I leave plugs somewhat chunky) but keeps the light well. The tin smell is gingerbread, but the actual smoke is more like pumpkin spices (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and a touch of clove) which at first is pleasant and not in anyway overwhelming. Yet about halfway through a bowl, my tongue simply goes numb (1st time that ever happened!), and it pretty much stays that way for several hours. The only pipe that I managed to avoid that with was a gourd calabash. Although interesting, this won't be in the regular rotation!

So, if you like (or think you might like) spiced tobacco, go ahead and give this a try. If not, stay as far away as possible.

Pipe Used: various briars, a clay, gourd calabash

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: synjeco's

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium to Strong Extra Strong Full Strong

I've had this kicking around the cellar for a few years and stumbled on it while looking for something else. First impression: A patchouli scented black bar of cheap soap. Now, I really love plug tobacco...the ritual of butchering something with a sharp knife and then setting it on fire appeals to my inner psycho. Despite many, many years of smoking plug tobacco, this one had me crying "uncle" almost before I had it loaded and lit. It is one tough little chunk of...some bizzare mutant offspring of tobacco and kryptonite, dipped in tar and patchouli. It smells just like a walk down any street in Berekely...un-washed "human beings" doused in that sixties era substitute for personal hygiene. Yech.

After ruining a perfectly good afternoon and a few formerly sharp knives, then running this...this...whatever through a coffee grinder, then drying it out forever, I was left with something I thought would be smokable. I was very, very wrong. I loaded it up in a corn cob of dubious heritage, then sat back for a relaxing smoke...not...I worked so hard getting it lit, I needed a crash helmet and a drool bucket. I ended up putting a few pellets of aquarium charcoal on top, fired up with a cigar torch and finally got a few puffs. Turns out the charcoal pellets tasted better than the hash, I mean tobacco. When the tobacco analog finally caught fire, I was overwhelmed with a sense of impending doom. I managed to struggle through a few more puffs. I threw the cob into my neighbors trash, chewed a few charcoal pellets, gargled with some Tabasco and chewed a few more pellets and a habanero.

I did't get the taste out of my mouth, but the guys in the ambulance and in the ER were very nice.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pikey Mick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pikey Mick (48)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable

Tin note is sweet, fresh hay. I don't get any spices or florals. The plug I got was very solid. Cut slices easily with a very sharp knife, rubbed out OK with a few hard lumps. Took the flame easily and needs to be puffed slowly as it can be a bit hot. No real tongue bite. Once you get it lit properly it's very spicy on the tongue. Not perique spicy but more dry and peppery. The ginger wafts between the sweet grass and pepper and the taste on the palate is one of the most delightful I've had. Nicotine is medium and is apparent from early on in the bowl. The flavours don't really change much( but its not a boring smoke) throughout the bowl . It's quite similar to best brown flake although this is sweeter, and the mouth feel when smoking is quite dry: like a kentucky feel which you don't expect from the sweet Virginia's. I'm not sure if a novice would fully appreciate it because a gentle steady cadence is needed to properly enjoy it. I may try to rehydrate it a tad with some ginger wine to preserve the integrity of the spice notes. #2 I'm going to revise this review because I have been experimenting with the method of preparing the plug. I have found that if you take the time to thinly slice it and pull it into ribbons, then lightly pack it it turns into one of the best plugs I have ever smoked. The sweetness becomes more apparent and it smoulder beautifully all the way down the bowl. I think this would be a great plug to take fishing as a bowl lasts me a good hour. It could be one I would be happy to smoke all day. Has a lot of great nuances that wind in and out of the base tobaccos. I'm revising this to a 10/10

Pipe Used: Molina straight billiard

Purchased From: GQ

Similar Blends: Best brown flake ish.

2 people found this review helpful.

AJS2323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AJS2323 (32)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

This is a very densely packed plug! It has a smell very similar to Peterson 3 p’s perfect plug it slightly spicier. I rubbed out the flakes this time around and I think next time I will cube to see if there is much difference. I don’t think I left it to dry as long as I should have, so it took a number of lights but nothing too drastic. A very sweet taste, some people have said gingerbread, it’s hard to put your finger on it, it’s more complex than just ginger bread. You get chocolate tones and followed by grassy floral notes. It is very pleasant though. It burn fairly cool, I had a little bite but I am thinking it’s due to not enough drying time.

I would certainly buy again, possibly a bulk pack because I do think ageing this would be beneficial

Pipe Used: MM dagner

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: My smoking shop

Similar Blends: Peterson - Peterson's Perfect Plug.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (128)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the second (new to me) plug I have tried, no flower garden smell here, mind you I have a mild touch of hayfever. This one presents a challenge when cutting, it's tough, but worth it, I don't get any florals or soap suds, just a good honest tobacco taste flavoured with something I can't put my finger on, but not unpleasant, again I'm surprised this is an aromatic, strong yes, but not an aro. The quality of the leaf is outstanding, par for the course with Sam Gawith, this is definately an evening smoke IMHO, wish I'd ordered more, still that's not a problem, what a wonderful thing the Internet is.


Just a quick update, now smoking this in the cooler months, I've lowered the strength to medium, some say the flavouring used tastes like gingerbread ! ? Not being a gingerbread aficionado, I'll limit my response to "it tastes fine to me" ok, so I'm a philistine, this is a great smoke in the cooler weather and is becoming an all day affair.

Lastly, on the "Aromatic" side, I've always thought of Aros as being those nasty cheap otc's that are loaded with flavourings to cover a poor quality leaf, full of chemicals and leaving all sorts of nasty crudd in the pipe, not so with this "Aromatic", I'm going to be smoking a lot of this between now and Spring.

Pipe Used: Clean new clay and briars

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: GQ Tobacco's

2 people found this review helpful.

Carlos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlos (21)
Strong Extra Strong Very Full Strong

It's hard to describe. Smell - very strong. Taste - very intensive. It's ok, good quality tobacco - but it's just not mine couple of shoes. Too aromatic for me. I can smoke it only from time to time.

Purchased From: Synjeco

2 people found this review helpful.

John_B Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
John_B (33)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

In 40 years + of pipe smoking, I have encountered very few blends that have left such a lasting impression as Redbreast Flake by Ogdens. It became a firm favorite of mine and I was deeply saddened when it was withdrawn from sale. It was in many ways my Unicorn blend, with just the right qualities to fulfil my need for a (just right) smoke. Nothing has ever come close, til now. I discovered that Samuel Gawith's RB plug is their take on Redbreast, hence the name. Armed with that knowledge, (thanks google), I ordered some from GQ tobaccos. There is something very special about plug tobacco. Preparing them in a time honoured way is a very satisfying part of the whole ritual of pipe smoking. It also allows you or I to have yet another level of personal control by tailoring the cut to our specific needs. Lets just say that I was very eager to try it and was all but salivating as it came through my letterbox. It did not disappoint and on opening the pouch I was met by a gorgeous scent of fresh gingerbread and hay. In mere seconds, I was busily carving flakes off the savory brick and rubbed them out ready for a good airing. In ready rubbed form, the aroma was even more intoxicating and the presence of a subtle floral element became apparent. I was tempted to stuff and puff there and then, but I'm glad that patience and experience prevailed and I let the tobacco sit out long enough to reach ideal smoking moisture. Sammy G blends can be a pain to light but this was going after about 3 charring lights. A little more dry time and/or a finer cut should help with that. The flavour was there from the start and it was (for once), not a disappointment after that phenomenal pouch note. Sweet and bready with a mix of fruit and natural tobacco taste with a hint of citrus and a woody backnote with a perfect baking spice topping. I chose a Falcon pipe for my test drive with this tobacco as I have been using it for St Bruno and the flavours wouldn't clash or ghost, but I need not have worried, as although it is in fact a Lakeland, it doesn't smell like Grandma. Smoking it was very cool experience, with the usual caveat that goes with a pure Virginia blend. Cadence is key to getting a cool rewarding smoke and boy was this good. Close to a Nirvana smoke right from first impressions. So good that I had a second bowl shortly after and the nicotine level was not an issue at all. In my book it is a winner in all respects and I can see myself buying a bulk order box of 250gms as it really is that good. A worthy 4* tobacco.

Pipe Used: Falcon

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: GQ Tobacco

Similar Blends: In a class of its own..

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