07 December 2016

General Kardus 2017 - Preview. 7 December 2016.

I was becoming worried that we wouldn’t see a General Kardus this year, and that is partly true. We will have to wait until February of 2017 for General Cards. This year’s batch, like last year and the year before, will come with 100 grams of snus. The theme, however, has not been announced. Carl Egeberg, brand director of General and head of General Kardus did say that the only clue he can mention is “that 2017’s Kardus will be produced at approximately the same latitude as last year.  He also mentioned a new ingredient never used in Kardus before.  So, it goes without saying that I am very excited and looking forward to February!

When asked about the delay, Carl Egeberg said, “I want to start by regretting the delay. It is sad but for a Kardus only the best is good enough. What happened was that the original tobacco blend, we thought we were not optimal in relation to the other ingredients. This year, we are working with a new ingredient not used in Kardus earlier. Therefore, we made a new tobacco mixture that we are very pleased with, but given the lead times in production will be launched in late February. We want to outdo ourselves every year, and there's simply not room for compromise in quality work. Now the logical question what 2017 years Kardus will have for the theme. I do not want to be stingy, but the only clue I can mention is that even 2017 years Kardus will be produced at approximately the same latitudes as last year. We regret that those interested will have to wait, but we still think this was the best solution.

If you missed out on Kardus 2016 - you are in luck!  In December there will be a small number Kardus Fäviken 2016 sold in Swedish Match's stores in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Strömstad and Åre. I don't know a number but it is said to be "limited".

Thunder X (Original Portion) - Review. 7 December 2016.

When I started using snus back in 2009 - there weren't a lot of strong snus products. There was General Extra Strong (14mg/g nicotine), Nick and Johnny Strong (14mg/g), Thunder Frosted (16mg/g) - but that was about it.  Somewhere towards the end of 2009 began companies focusing on making stronger and stronger snus.  But the competition has been fierce between two companies in particular:  V2 Tobacco of Denmark and GN Tobacco of Sweden.  For a long time, Thunder Extra Strong (16mg/g) was king of the mountain.  Then GN Tobacco released Oden's Extreme (22mg/g) in early 2011. V2 countered with Thunder Ultra Strong (22mg/g) in late 2011. GN Tobacco decided to go much higher and released Siberia (43mg/g) in 2015. V2 countered in 2016 and released Offroad Arctic (45mg/g) in November 2016 and now Thunder X (45mg/g) in December 2016.  The competition has been fierce!  As a snus reviewer who doesn't use a lot of strong snus, I'm hoping it doesn't go much farther than this.  This stuff is becoming much too strong for me, and it's hard to review!  Usually when I do a review I like to use an entire can of the stuff before I write my review, but with stuff this strong I'm lucky to get through a half a can.


Now, let's talk more about the nicotine.  I made this chart that compares the "on paper" aspects of the "world's strongest snus" products.  I wanted to compare them in two ways - total nicotine and nicotine per portion.  If you rank by total nicotine, on paper the new Thunder X products are the strongest in the world.  If you rank by nicotine per portion, Siberia Brown still has the crown and Thunder X falls in behind it.  As I've mentioned before, "on paper" nicotine levels aren't the only things to consider.  You have to look at types of tobacco used, free nicotine levels (the amount of nicotine actually usable) and pH, which affects the nicotine absorption, as well.  So one snus may be stronger than another on paper, but the weaker snus may "feel" stronger due to various factors.  That's where things get interesting.

When it comes to Thunder X (Original Portion), the product description says, "Thunder X Original Portion Snus takes natural nicotine to a new extreme (or Xtreme). Tobacco with mint/menthol flavors combine with the high powered nicotine infusion to give you a snus experience just like gloriously walking naked in the Scandinavian winter...without the frostbite!"

When I timed these products for my review, I wanted to see how quick I felt the nicotine, and when I had to take the portion out. For my first portion, I felt the nicotine at 2 minutes, 15 seconds. I had to take the snus out at 8 minutes, 18 seconds. I've maxed out at being able to keep the snus in at 10 minutes, but I really can't keep it in any longer than that, the nicotine is too much for me. When you open the can, the aroma reminds me a lot of Thunder Cool Mint, but it’s much more sharp and focused. The aroma is a clear, crisp peppermint smell. There is also a strong cooling sensation and burning feeling that you’ll feel simultaneously in the lip. The flavor is a sharp peppermint taste, a little menthol, a mild tobacco taste and a faint hint of chocolate. I think that may come from the type of tobacco they used. There’s a little pepper, as well as a little salt in the taste. The sharpness of the peppermint eventually dies down and becomes a more smooth and mellow taste of peppermint.

As far as the nicotine goes, I can say that, in terms of feel, this is the strongest snus in the world.  I found that with Siberia my average was being able to keep it in for 15 to 20 minutes.  With these I can keep them in for up to 10 minutes, but that's it!  V2 has always been good about their free nicotine levels and it shows in this product.  The nicotine hit is fast and hard and it doesn't let up.  If you're looking for a strong product to kick you in the face, this is it.

06 December 2016

G3 by General - Redesign. 6 December 2016.

It appears as though the G3 by General line is getting a redesign. Swedish Match says,

"G.3: NEW DESIGN - SAME CONTENTS 

The G.3 series gets an updated design. We have clarifyed the characteristics of the different products on the labels, which makes it easier to find what you are looking for. The contents of the cans is the same as before. The new design is gradually rolled out, starting in the end of November."

What I like about this redesign is that G3 Original (Normal Strength) is being renamed G3 Original (Strong) and G3 White (Normal Strength) is being renamed G3 White (Strong).  When I reviewed these a while back I remember finding it strange that they were called "normal strength" but were actually on the strong level of nicotine.  I am hopeful that we'll see a G3 released that is regular strength (8mg/g), because I find the G3 flavor to be better than the XRANGE flavor.

Mustang Snus Discontinued in 2017. 6 December 2016.

Swedish Match announced yesterday that Mustang Snus is being discontinued. In their press release, they said:

"TIME TO SAY GOODBYE TO MUSTANG

Soon, we cease the production of Mustang. But the flavor remains.

To make room for new and updated versions of other snus brands, Mustang will be discontinued this spring. In its place, we launch the new product Kaliber+, which has a similar flavor. Kaliber+ is available as both original portion and white portion from February and onwards."

I did a preview recently of Kaliber+, so if you missed that, these are the flavor descriptions of those new products.

Kaliber+ Original Portion has a "dark, spicy tobacco character with hints of berries and bergamot, as well as hints of cocoa and bitter orange."

Kaliber+ White Portion has a "light and spicy tobacco character with clear hints of bergamot and tea as well as slight hints of rose and cardamom."

Kaliber was originally said to launch this year, but it looks like it will actually be launching in 2017 when Mustang is discontinued.

05 December 2016

Lundgren's Infusion (2016 Limited Edition) - Preview. 5 December 2016.

The end of the year is upon us and that means new snus! Today, a new snus was put up for sale at SnusBolaget, this one is Lundgren's Infusion 2016! SnusBolaget describes it as, "Lundgren infusion has a bright and round tobacco character with lavender in the base. The vivid and deep flavor is enhanced by spicy ginger, the Ortiga characteristic aroma of juniper berries and hints of wood and resin from eucalyptus. The taste was achieved by steam carefully selected plants and spices. The steam, which is then transferred to the tobacco, bind the flavors at a molecular level."  I will be honest - that sounds utterly delicious.  I can't imagine this will be for sale to the US - so those of you who have access to it, try it out!  I'll be doing my best to try and find someone to forward us a can of it for review.

Lundgren's Infusion - 2016

Weight - 21.6 gram can

Nicotine - 8mg/g (regular strength)

Format - Vit (white portion)

Amount - Only 3,000 made (very limited edition)

02 December 2016

Granit Slim White (Extra Strong) - Review. 2 December 2016.

I recently noticed a new Granit product for sale on TopSnus.com, Granit Slim White Extra Strong. Luckily, I have a friend in Europe who will get these products for me and ship them over, so a special thank you to him.  A couple of things I want to touch on first about this product: the design and the portion.  First, Granit is doing a redesign on their products and I really like the way the new cans look.  Next, this is the first slim portion to hit Granit's regular/traditional flavored snus line. They branched into slim portions with Granit Sensations (Mint) Slim White and Granit Sensations (Lakrits) Slim White in May of this year.  It's always exciting to see companies changing things up!  Now, when it comes to this snus, the product description says, "Granit slim white extra strong have a pure and clear taste of tobacco - and hints of bergamot and peppery. White slim portion type with higher nicotine for the nice nicotin kick."  This snus comes in at 16mg/g of nicotine.

I was a little bummed when I opened the can to see that the Granit line hasn't got the FlexLid that we're seeing with the Lundgren's line.  Hopefully someday they'll bring it to the Granit line.  When you open the can you're greeted with the aroma of tobacco, a present peppery smell and a presence of citrus.  The slim white portions are quite comfortable in the lip, as well!  The flavor profile seems to be a balance between mild tobacco character and mild citrus flavor.  There's also a hint of pepper in the background.  I also notice that this snus is a little saltier than the average snus, but they may be due to the fact that salmiak is listed as an ingredient on the bottom of the can.  As far as the nicotine content goes, it is 16mg/g.  Though it is called "extra strong", this snus doesn't quite feel as strong as an extra strong. I do notice a nice nicotine kick from it, but it doesn't feel as strong as an extra strong from Swedish Match or V2 Tobacco might.

As far as budget snus goes, Granit is pretty solid.  It's not going to be as expensive as General - it's less than $3.00 USD per can.  Though it is a cheaper snus, it's a pretty decent tasting snus.  So if you're looking to save a few bucks, this might be a good one to try!

Lundgren's Slim White (Extra Strong) - Review. 2 December 2016.

In February of this year I reviewed Lundgren's Slim White and now it appears that it has become popular enough that Fiedler and Lundgren felt the need to release an extra strong version of that snus.  The nicotine content of this one is 16mg/g.  This one has a different can design and, surprisingly, is not perforated like the regular strength version of this product. I saw this product for sale at TopSnus.com and thankfully a friend of mine in Europe was able to order and forward a can over to us for review. When it comes to Lundgren's Slim White Extra Strong, the product description says, " Extra strong slim white for the right nicotin kick. Rich in tobacco flavour with notes of meadow flowers and pine needles. With a new, perforated pouch which allow the taste to get out faster and feel more."  Though the pouches are not perforated, I was glad to see that the FlexLid carried over to this product, as well.

The can pictured to the left is Granit Sensations: Mint Slim (White), but the FlexLid is the same in this product.

If you've never heard of Flex Lock, or FlexLid as it is sometimes called, it is a new type of catch lid that Fiedler and Lundgren began with Lundgren's. It's a really cool concept that I hope everyone begins to do. It's basically a rubber/elastic material in the catch lid instead of plastic that grows with the more portions you add. If you're someone like me who constantly uses your catch lid and has to empty it often, this allows you to continuously fill it up and the catch lid expands to allow for more space for used portions. It's a really neat idea and one I'm excited to see more companies embrace.

When you open the can, you'll notice that the portions aren't perforated like the regular strength Lundgren's Slim Fresh. They are, however, slim white portions.  When you open the can you'll be greeted by a very present smell of pine, a light herbal presence, and a little tobacco.  The taste is quite complex, and that's one thing I like about the Lundgren's brand - they make some complex tasting snus.  I get a very present taste of pine and a mild, earthy tobacco taste in the background.  There is an accompanying herbal taste, as well, and a light floral presence just the tiniest hint of sweetness.  If you've had the Lundgren's Slim White regular strength snus before, the taste of this one is virtually identical.  The only difference is the nicotine.  You'll definitely notice extra nicotine with this one.  It's only 16mg/g, so it's not as strong as most extra strong snus out there, but I do notice the extra nicotine.

If you like complex flavored snus and higher nicotine levels, I definitely suggest giving this one a try!