By E. Roberts
It speaks highly of the blender’s art to offer two incarnations of essentially the same blend, with each displaying a distinctive character of its own. When JackKnife Plug was released in January 2011, it quite literally took the pipe world by storm—supplies were immediately sold out, not to be replenished for several weeks owing to a production delay exacerbated by severe winter weather. Released nearly a year after the plug, in November 2011, JackKnife Ready Rubbed offers the exact same leaf in the exact same amounts as its predecessor, though in a tumbled ribbon form that is a perhaps more approachable presentation. In Greg’s own words:

The blend is identical, with one small exception. The plug is constructed with a core of brights, and the darker tobaccos surrounding it. This allows the brights, theoretically, to express themselves with more purity in the blend. They’re not under as great an influence from the fire-cured and red tobaccos. Doing this with the [Ready Rubbed] wouldn’t work well, because of the way the tobacco clumps, so the blocks are not stratified in this way. The same tobaccos in the same measures are just layered and pressed for the same length of time, then the blocks are sliced and tumbled. It’s the same technique used for the Old London mixtures.

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