The Virginia in the RO is like a malted or meady flavor, with the added zing of perique. Dan's Salty Dog, for me, I taste the casing over the Tobacco and is not really close to what Russ has done in this one.
The price is rather high, but it is very processed and a limited run. If they had of had a process set up for a larger run, they might have been able to shave some money off costs. But, it just isn't the way the stars are lined up, but... However, for the experience (I) think it's worth it, but if others don't, that just means more for me. IMO, it is delicious.
Yo salt - re "What's the difference between these blends pressure-fermented VA and VA plug such as Dan's Salty Dogs?", Virginia that's been aged undergoes random fermentation(s). Acadian Gold is special in that the leaf is barreled, much like Perique with its burley. I don't know if Mark Ryan and RussO introduced a brew of the micro-organisms used in Perique, but Acadian Gold does have a unique flavor very reminiscent of some Periques.