Thought I would try something new and experimental with whole leaf Virginia, Oriental and Perique tobacco plug. Pressing a 200g block consisting of:
- 30g Izmir
- 60g Perique
- 110g Bright Virginia
The Virginia is cased with sugar water with a 1 to 1 weight of water to sugar to make 200g of basically simple syrup with a cap full of white vinegar and spoonful of Brewer’s Best Plum Extract. The mixture is brought to a boil to invert the sugars (thanks to the vinegar) and let cooled down. I use 2oz of the mix to case 1 lb of Virginia. The Perique and Izmir do not need to be cased.
All the components are mixed in a bowl. I tried to unravel the perique from the dense clumps. Had shred by grabbing two fists full and ripping with a twisting motion. Then toss the tobacco salad and load into my steel press.
I press the mixture down using an frame press ($169ish at Harbor Freight or Northern Tools) and the remove the form and clamp it down with a C-Clamp. I will periodically tighten for a week but probably won’t need much after using the frame press.
Next I throw the whole form, clamp and all in the oven for 4 hours at 200F.
This was a really enjoyable blend. No harshness. The Virginia and Perique are at the forefront but Izmir comes through as well adding complexity.
The second plug was not stoved for 4 hours so I could compare the difference betwen the two. It was pressed for a week and did spend a few warm days in the cab of the truck. As you can see it is not nearly as dark as the 4 hours stoved plug at 200F.
Unstoved was enjoyable. No bite, nothing harsh. The Izmir did shine a bit more with sour notes of grapefruit in the background. While the big difference with the stoved is the overall sweetness was more pronounced. No doubt this is the plus side of stoving the bright Virginia.
So what is the verdict? IDK, everyone has their own opinion. For me they are both good but I am a sucker for sweet Virginia’s so stoving may take the edge on the lead.