27 May 2020

Småland's Brukssnus (White Portion) - Review. 27 May 2020.

Today, we're going to be reviewing Brukssnus, a product from Skruf! Brukssnus originally launched as Småland's Snus, in the original and white portion format. I've reviewed it several times. First in 2014/2015 when it launched, again in 2017 when it became Brukssnus, and I'm re-reviewing it now because the can has changed slightly; it has gone from a partial catch lid to a full catch lid. So, here we go!  The flavor description for this one says it has a "pure tobacco flavor". This snus comes in a 12 gram can with 20 portions, or 0.6 gram portions. The nicotine content, according to SnusBolaget.se is 8mg/g or 0.8%, which breaks down to about 6.72mg/portion.  I've seen it listed other places as 10mg/g, so if that were the case it would be 8.4mg/portion.

When you open the can, a light, mild tobacco aroma greets you along with a light floral hint to it. The portions are smaller in size, due to their light weight. They're moderately soft to the touch, and under the lip. The flavor is very mild, and gentle. Much like the aroma, there is a light tobacco character, which is accompanied by a light floral hint. The nicotine strength on this one feels to be a little less than regular, and the flavor lasts about 1-1.5 hours on average.  This is a pretty sold snus, and it comes at a budget price.  It's also a good introductory product for people who are new to snus, due to it's mild and approachable flavor!

Nicotine MAY Help Against COVID-19 - 27 May 2020.


It's been making the news lately that nicotine may have an effect in fighting COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Aftonbladet.se, a Swedish publication, picked up the story today, as well. According to the article, researchers in Sweden will be investigating if Swedish Snus can reduce the risk of dying from COVID-19. The results of the study could be ready in two months, unless more data is needed. Studies have been going on in France to determine whether or not nicotine can protect from COVID-19.  In France, 5% of admitted patients suffering from COVID-19 said they smoked daily, and they have been studying the effects of nicotine and coronavirus. A similar effect was noted in England.  Now, the French are looking to Sweden.

 
So, how is this possible? The theory is that nicotine binds to the same receptor as the COVID-19 and thus prevents entry into the cells and proliferation. The study could indicate that nicotine could even be used as a treatment against COVID-19. Nicotine could be used to make it more difficult for the virus to attach to the cells and proliferate. Cecilia Magnusson, Professor and Head of Operations at the Center for Epidemiology and Community Medicine (CES), notes that "Sweden has a unique opportunity because we are the only country that uses snus to such an extent".

VERY IMPORTANT:  Smoking is bad for your health.  This isn't news, but do not relate this story to saying "go light up".  Snus is the safest way to consume nicotine, and if these studies are valid, it shows a lot of promise to smokers!

References/Attribution/Credits
Sweden - Aftonbladet.se (5/27/2020):  "Forskare: Snus kan skydda mot corona"
France - Reuters.com (4/27/2020):  "French scientists to test theory that nicotine combats COVID-19"
England - BBC.com (5/18/2020):  "Coronavirus: Can nicotine replacement products help combat Covid-19?"
Translations (Swedish to English) - Bengt Wiberg, Sting Free Snus / EU For Snus

Also, thanks to EU For Snus for their letter to the Swedish Public Health Authority (Folkhälsomyndigheten) on April 23rd, 2020, concerning Swedish Snus and coronavirus.

Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional and this should not be interpreted as medical advice.  This is simply a reporting of the news surrounding this issue.

26 May 2020

Crafted Snus: Whisky (White Portion) - Review. 26 May 2020.

It’s been 4 years since I’ve reviewed this one, so I figured it was time for an update! Crafted Snus Whisky is a craft snus created by Conny Andersson, produced by AG Snus in Denmark. This snus is made of six different tobaccos containing 100% Lamina, meaning no filler - only full tobacco leaves! This tobacco contains Mata Norte (from Brazil), Latakia and Green River (Amish tobacco from Green River/Pennsylvania, USA). There are also tobaccos from Kurnool (India), Guatemala and Spain. The tobaccos are aged for more than two weeks in whisky barrels from Glenfarclas Distillery, which is the single malt/Scottish Highlands whisky used to blend this snus.

There's a few whiskey products on the market, and I enjoy them all, but for different reasons. I like Islay Whisky Snus (GN Tobacco) for the tobacco taste, General Mackmyra (Swedish Match) for the tarry taste, but this one for it's intense whisky presence.  If you like whisky, this is the snus you want.

The flavor description for this one says, "Premium quality tobaccos, including Mata Norte and Latakia, are matured in used whisky barrels and flavored with a Highland region single malt whiskey, Conny teases out tones of chocolate and walnut creating a one of a kind craft portion snus." It comes in an 18 gram can with 20 portions, for 0.9g portions.  The nicotine content is 11mg/g (1.1%), or 9.9mg/portion.

When you open the can, the whisky aroma is quite present for a white portion. It's not a weak aroma. There's a light wood presence, and a light touch of smoke. The portions are nice and plump, and feel quite big for only 0.9g portions. It's one thing I love about AG Snus. The flavor is more mild than the original portion version, but it's still pretty present. The whisky flavor is right up front, with a gentle earthy tobacco character in the background. There's a little oak in the background, a light smokiness, and a hint of chocolate. It's very well rounded, and has quite a present taste for a white portion. The nicotine on this one feels a little less than the strong level, and the flavor lasts about an hour on average!

If you like whisky, this is the snus you'll want to pick up.  It has the most present whisky flavor of any of them.  I also like it more than the original portion version because it seems to be more well balanced in the flavor department.

Småland's Brukssnus (Original Portion) - Review. 26 May 2020.

Today, we're going to be reviewing Brukssnus, a product from Skruf! Brukssnus originally launched as Småland's Snus, in the original and white portion format. I've reviewed it several times. First in 2014/2015 when it launched, again in 2017 when it became Brukssnus, and I'm re-reviewing it now because the can has changed slightly; it has gone from a partial catch lid to a full catch lid. So, here we go!  The flavor description for this one says it has a "classic tobacco taste". This snus comes in a 15.2 gram can with 18 portions, or 0.84 gram portions. The nicotine content, according to SnusBolaget.se is 8mg/g or 0.8%, which breaks down to about 6.72mg/portion.  I've seen it listed other places as 10mg/g, so if that were the case it would be 8.4mg/portion.

It's important to note, due to a new Swedish law, this will be going to 20 portions per can.  The can I have isn't 20 portions, but any new cans going out will have 20 portions in each can.

When you open the can, the aroma is a mild, earthy, lightly sweet tobacco smell. It's very raw, very natural. The portions are smaller in size, but still feel comfortable and substantial in the lip. They aren't overly moist, either. The tobacco taste is front and center, and it comes through in a mild, natural way. There's a light sweetness to it, which reminds me of a floral-type presence. However, the flavor is mostly a raw tobacco. The flavor lasts quite a while; due to the less moist portion, I find I can keep these in for up to an hour. The nicotine on this one feels to be about the regular strength level.  As far as this one goes, it's a good budget snus.  Cheaper price, and a solid flavor!

17 May 2020

RITE Mint (Slim & Large) Snus - Review. 17 May 2020.

Back in November of 2018, I reviewed RITE Mint Chew Bags, which are now called RITE Polar Chew Bags. Now, it appears there is finally a snus version available for those outside of the EU who want to try out RITE products! From what I've heard, SnusMe.com is going to be stocking these soon, so folks in the US will be able to get their hands on them.  RITE is a Swedish Snus made by Ministry of Snus in Denmark.  They're a pretty legit company that is really invested in connecting with the snus (and chew bag) community.  In fact, they made my most recent snus release, Snubie x Ministry of Snus Bourbon Vanilla.  So, needless to say, I'm a fan.  Now, with all that being said, let's get into the reviews!

RITE Mint (White Large)

The flavor description for RITE Mint Large says, "A careful mix of spearmint and mint."  This product comes with a 13.2g can with 24 portions for 0.55g portions. The nicotine content is 28mg/g (2.8%), or 15.4mg/portion.


When you open the can, the aroma is a nice, lightly sweet mix of spearmint and peppermint. The portions are soft, and nicely plump! When you put a portion in the lip you'll get a mild burn, which gives way to a gentle cooling presence, as well. The nicotine on these comes on quite quickly, as does the flavor! The taste is a fresh mint taste, which comes through in a lightly sweet way. It's a gentle mix of peppermint and spearmint, and both seem to be pretty equally present. The nicotine kick on this one is quite strong, and feels to be a little above the extra strong level! The flavor also lasts quite a while, usually up to about an hour.

RITE Mint (Slim White)

The flavor description for RITE Mint Large says, "A careful mix of spearmint and mint."  This product comes with a 15g can with 20 portions for 0.75g portions. The nicotine content is 28mg/g (2.8%), or 15.4mg/portion.

This review will be easy - everything is the same except the portion and the nicotine.  The portions are slim, pretty soft, and comfortable under the lip.  I like the fit of these more than the large white.  The nicotine feels to be just a little below the extra strong, due to the lighter weight portions and less nicotine per portion.  This one is my preference of the two.

If you like mint products and want to try something new, check out the RITE line.  It's pretty solid, and has some pretty good flavors!

Zyn Espressino Strong (Mini Dry) Nicotine Pouches - Review. 17 May 2020.

Today, I'm going to be reviewing another Mini Dry product in the Zyn Nicotine Pouch series, and this one is a stronger version of one I've reviewed before! Many of you may remember, back in October of 2019 I reviewed Zyn Espressino. That one was a 2/4 strength (7.5mg/g). It appears as though it was popular, as this is a stronger version of that one! This one is a 4/4 strength, or 15mg/g. I don't usually use products like this, but I grabbed some from SnusMe.com on a recent order because I actually enjoyed the flavor of the less strong one.  The flavor description for this one says it has a "taste of freshly roasted coffee, chocolate, nougat and vanilla."  Each can weighs 8g and has 20 portions, for 0.4g portions.  The nicotine content is 15mg/g (1.5%), or 6mg/portion.  That is twice as strong as the 2/4 one, at 3mg/portion.

Now, this is a version of Zyn that is sold in Sweden. It is similar to the Zyn sold in the US, and comes in the "mini dry" format. There is also a moist version of Zyn, which is similar to other nicotine pouch products on the market, but that version isn't sold in the US. Zyn Mini Dry contains flavor, non-tobacco filler, nicotine salts and pH balancers. It looks a bit like table salt.  Products like these, which are free of tobacco, are good for people who may want to quit tobacco, but not give up nicotine.

When you open the can, a smooth, sweet smell of coffee greets you along with light hints of vanilla. The portions are pretty flat, and quite dry, so don't bother fluffing them. They do get more comfortable as they get more moist, it just takes a minute. The flavor is pretty good. It's a sweet, but mild, creamy coffee flavor. There's a mild hint of vanilla in the background that works really well with that coffee taste.  The nicotine strength feels to be about the regular strength level, and the flavor lasts about 30-40 minutes on average.  Honestly, I don't like coffee, but if this came in a regular sized version, I'd order it again.  It's a surprisingly tasty product!  I like the Zyn Coffee product sold in the US, and this one is better, in my opinion!

16 May 2020

Epok (Mint) - Review. 16 May 2020.

I recently got ahold of some Epok products that are sold in Switzerland, and today we're going to be doing a review of Epok (Ice Cool) Strong! This one may sound familiar. It feels like I've had it a billion times.  I first had Epok Mint (white tobacco) in June of 2016.  Not much longer after, I had a nicotine pouch version, Lyft Mint, in February of 2019.  Also that month I had another white tobacco version, Epok Mint Chew Bags, which were sold in Denmark.  The following year, in January of 2020, I had a white tobacco version sold in Norway: Epok No2 Arctic Blue S2.    Needless to say, this is quite the popular flavor it seems.  The flavor description for this one says it has "a refreshing mint flavor".  Each can weighs 16.8g and has 24 portions, for 0.7g portions.  The nicotine content is 8.5mg/g (0.85%) for 5.95mg/portion.

Now, there's a lot of terms out there for the "all white" category, such as "nicotine pouches", and "white tobacco".  This can get confusing!  Looking at this photo, Lyft and Epok don't look that much different.  However, I wanted to differentiate.  Lyft is a nicotine pouch product, meaning it doesn't contain tobacco.  Epok actually contains white tobacco.  This is how they describe it's production:  "Before the treatment, the carefully selected brown tobacco is prepared.  In the next step tobacco is treated through a washing process in order to obtain white tobacco.  This process lasts until the brown tobacco is completely cleaned into white tobacco.  When the tobacco has its all white color, it’s refined with different and fresh flavors."  So, while they may look similar, they are quite different.

The last time I had this one, it seemed to be more spearmint. This time, this version seems to be more peppermint.  The aroma is a mild, lightly sweet smell of peppermint.  It seems like there may be some menthol in the background, as well.  The portions are slim, soft, and feel great under the lip.  They also come with a cooling presence when you put one in.  The flavor is a gentle, refreshing mint taste.  It has a light sweetness to it, and seems to be mostly peppermint, but with a light menthol touch to it.  The flavor lasts a good 45-55 minutes on average.  The nicotine strength feels to be right around the regular strength level!  If you like mint products, you can't go wrong with this one.  If you're in Switzerland and looking for a new mint taste, check this one out!