I received this sample from Zach (Zfog) in the MAW. I have been putting trying this for a few days until I had some time to really have a go at this one. It was my first bowl of this, and I am going to have a few more tries at this.
The smell of the plug is very faint. It reminds me of Anni Kake. It's almost slightly ketchupy, but sweet. I simply can't get much else from it.
I have taken to using sharp scissors to cut plugs or ropes lately. It gives me a lot more control over the result. I took my scissors and cut some thin flakes from it; it was very easy to cut. I rubbed the flakes out a little and I let it sit on a paper towel for about 30 minutes because it is very moist.
Keep in mind that I am a VaPer guy. VaPers are always my go-to blends, but it seems only VaPers with St. James; Acadian doesn't do much for me. St. James adds a certain richness to a VaPer that Acadian just can't duplicate, especially when the St. James blend has some age on it.
Triple Play is easy to pack properly. Although it was still quite moist, I got the pack right the first time. The draw was perfect.
It took a few charring lights. It expands like crazy during the light, as well as during the whole smoke. Every time I tamped, a couple of minutes later it was back at the top of the bowl. Even over half-way through the bowl, it would expand back to the top after a few puffs. It never went out, and was a very easy smoke.
Speaking of smoking, this is by far the weakest plug I have had. JKP is much stronger, but that's probably because of the amount of Kentucky in it compared to Triple Play. That said, Triple Play leaves something to be desired. There's nothing that really sets it ahead of the pack. The VAs are good, but not very bright. The Kentucky is there is the shadows, but it's a bit shy and doesn't want to be seen. And the Acadian is what I usually see from Acadian, it's just so-so. It doesn't give that richness that St. James offers. It's almost like just another tobacco. All of these together created a smoke that left me feeling empty. It was lacking in a lot of areas and almost seemed bland. I was hoping this would be my last smoke of the day, but my last smoke of the day is always something that makes me feel like the day is done. I will probably pop a fresh tin of IF or cut some Tambo and have a short bowl because Triple Play just didn't do anything for me.
This is not at all what I expected from Greg. Every one of his blends I have had to this date have been extraordinary in their own way, even if they aren't up my alley. They have all been expertly blended, and have their own nuances that set them apart from everything else. Triple Play isn't one of those blends. The only memory I will have of it will be that it's just not all that good. It's not horrible in that it tastes bad (this is no M79) but it's what it lacks that makes it not so good.
I am going to have one more bowl tomorrow afternoon to check myself, then the rest will get jarred up for some aging. I am hoping age will help this blend. Sorry guys, but this one isn't a Home Run; it's barely a bases empty intentional walk.