It certainly was a fun year of pressing tobacco. Still trying to figure out the elusive straight Virginia recipe. I have gone through a couple of my old straight Virginia plugs to see how they develop. The first one I did was a Bright/Yellow Virginia plug and it is not bad. Not grassy and more of rye bread. I will try a few more odd ball ideas in 2024
Logo's were fun and made a few t-shirts of Grateful Plug logo and gave those away in various tobacco bombs. Also made a Zippo Grateful Plug logo lighter. That was a bit of annoying interaction and will just leave it at that.
One big take away was the issue of mold on plugs. The batch made in the fall seem to have the biggest issue and I believe it has everything to do with living in North Carolina. Mold spores in fall here are off the chart. As a result I don't think I will make any plugs in the fall next year.
I have in the back of my mind and idea to tweak the casing on Grateful Plug and will probably give that a try next month. Instead of blackberry casing on the Virginia I think I will try plum which might compliment the molasses cased burley.
I do want to do more with latakia and still working on a new idea to try with that as well as utilize more oriental in some blend experiments. The Apertif clone was crazy spot on for the Dunhill Apertif but in flake form.
As always I have enjoyed all the interactions with new and old friends in the pipe community and wish you all a fantastic 2024!