G. L. Pease JackKnife Plug Tobacco Review

If Clint Eastwood were to smoke a pipe, he would be smoking JackKnife Plug. The same goes for Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis or Al Pacino. These guys just ooze masculinity. A tobacco that requires the macho demonstration of being boldly cut with a sharp knife is just manly. It’s like shaving with a straight razor, chopping firewood, or catching your own food, and then turning it into a gourmet meal. These are a few things that a man’s man does. The new JackKnife Plug from G. L. Pease is a hardy plug-style pipe tobacco that comes in a compressed, solid chunk. It packs a hearty flavor that is simple at first, and gains complexity as the smoke progresses.

The initial flavor is a sweet smokiness. It is not a Latakia smoky flavor. There is no Latakia in it. It’s more like a slow-smoked duck, or smoked-meat flavor. It doesn’t taste like duck, but is reminiscent of the smooth smokiness of hickory smoke, rather than the campfire smoke you get from Latakia tobacco blends. The weather turned a little colder here in Florida recently and the chill in the air seems to go well with the stout JackKnife Plug tobacco’s full flavor. It’s a powerfully round taste that reveals a little bit of tanginess as you get to the mid-bowl point. It is evident that there is a perfect marriage of different types of tobaccos that create a natural, smooth, yet full-bodied round tobacco flavor. There is a little spiciness, but it is a smooth, sweet spice rather than a hot spice. The tanginess becomes more pronounced as you smoke.

This might not be a tobacco for a beginner pipe smoker. It might be a little too heavy, unless you have experience indulging in other forms of tobacco, like cigars or cigarettes, and have recently moved over to the pipe. I think there’s a little bit of a "nic-kick" here, but I am not sure. Usually, I am a nicotine light-weight. Other posts have implied that the nicotine might come through, but haven’t definitely stated so. For example, in G. L. Pease’s post, he states; "JackKnife Plug isn’t a casual smoke, at least for me. There’s enough strength in those blocks to deserve serious respect." In the SmokingPipes.com Blog, Ted says, "Jack Knife Plug is spicy, full-flavored and offers plenty of ‘kick’. I did get a slight buzz. I was afraid I would get a little too woozy for smoking it in the morning after reading those posts.

However, it’s a Sunday morning, and I didn’t have anything planned, so I thought, what the heck. I’ll give it a whirl right away and just take a nap if it knocks me on my butt. I wanted to get the review up right away. Maybe I only felt a slight nicotine buzz because I was smoking very slow while writing the review and editing photos. I let the pipe go out several times and smoked the bowl over an hour and 45 minutes. The tobacco from my tin was also a little moist, so it went out quickly at first. But again, I was in a hurry to try it and post my review.

I can’t compare JackKnife Plug to anything else I have smoked. It is full-bodied, packed with flavors of smooth smokiness, spice, tang, and sweetness. I highly recommend it to people that like natural full-flavored pipe tobacco. Latakia smokers, and pipesters that enjoy strong Virginia-Perique blends should enjoy this. Of course, if you like Plug tobaccos, JackKnife Plug is a must-try as well. (It is the first plug tobacco I have smoked.)

I highly recommend it!


Brand: G. L. Pease
Blender: G. L. Pease
Tin Description: dark-fired Kentucky leaf and ripe red Virginia tobaccos, with their deep, earthy flavors, are layered on a central core of golden flue-cured for a hint of bright sweetness, then pressed and matured in cakes, and finally cut into 2oz blocks. Slice it thick and rub it out for a ribbon cut, thin for a shag, or chop it into cubes. The choice is yours.
Country of Origin: USA
Curing Group: Fire Cured, Flue Cured
Contents: Kentucky, Virginia
Cut: Plug
Packaging: 2oz tin
Blend Notes: JackKnife Plug is the first blend in G. L. Pease’s "New World Collection".

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SPONSORED LINK: G. L. Pease JackKnife Plug – Click Here to Order Now!


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17 Responses

  • I am on my 3rd bowl of this in two days and I am loving it. It’s even nice to feel and touch the chunky, bold tobacco.

  • This both looks and sounds like a wonderful experience. Thanks for the heads-up, I’m looking forward to helping Mr. Pease meet his next sports car payment. 🙂

  • Bob, in the photos that show the pipe and knife, you can see the flake I cut from the plug. I cut two of those and then rubbed them out. You can see the rubbed out tobacco in the 2nd to last picture.
    I just finished my 3rd bowl and I am a little more buzzed than I was after the first two.

  • Smoked my first bowl today. This is a homerun. Plenty of this will be going into the cellar.

  • My problem is that I can’t get any. On 1/18/11 GL Pease said that the production problems had been solved and this tobacco would be wending its way out to sellers. It’s 1/30/11 and my favorite purveyors still don’t have it in stock!

  • As far as I know, the shipping problem has been fixed. People are just buying all of it within a couple of hours of the stores getting it in.

  • Its not a shipping issue at this point. Its simply supply and demand. Most folks only purchased 1 or 2 tins the first go around. Now some are buying multiple tins to smoke and put back for aging.

  • From my Tobaccoreviews.com entry:
    For me, this is a blend I find a little frustrating. I want to like it so much, but I just can’t find success. My biggest problem is keeping it lit. Out of the tin, the block of tobacco is rather moist, and is virtually fire proof. I cut the block the long way to make it half thickness and roughly double the surface area to expedite drying, and left it out for 3 days. It dried out considerably. The outer layer was dry to the touch. I took a knife and cut it into slices as thin as I could without including my fingers in the blend. Then I rubbed it out and fill my bowls in the usual 3 tier method. By the time I was halfway through the bowls, I could keep the tobacco lit, but the first half required many, many relights. I am not a newcomer to pipes and tobaccos, and this blend is the most troubling I can recall in the relight department.
    The tin aroma is intriguing. It has a smokey aroma, akin to latakia, but not really, crossed with cigar leaf. I don’t actually taste latakia, but the taste has a cigar like quality. In general, I would describe the taste as strong, and without any creamy or sweetness to round the edges. It is a bit harsh and leaves a strong aftertaste and a somewhat unpleasant kind of bitter/sour feeling on the tongue. I’ll save the tobacco and let it age for a good little while to see if time doesn’t soften it a little bit. The GL Pease blends generally improve very significantly with aging, although the ones I have enjoyed, at least, generally start out with more promise than this one did for me.
    In summary, it’s not an English and it’s not a typical Virginia blend. It is just shy of overpowering, and withoutout sweetness or complexity. Or any complexity is buried under the predominant flavors of the less appealing cigar-like qualities, probably from the Kentucky leaf and whtever casing was used in the leaf preparation. I had hoped it would be a new catagory, of latakia free smokey flavor, and maybe it will seem more that way with aging, but not in my tin from earlier this year. With a stable of other blends in the English/Balkan and VA or VaPer families that are consistent winners, I don’t feel compelled to get more JKP. Add the difficulties keeping it lit and the hassle of cutting the cube into flakes, and I pretty much lose my motivation with this one. Let’s see if more drying and aging alter my perceptions.