13 January 2019

Dryft Nicotine Pouches - Review. 13 January 2018.

I've had some requests for reviews of these Dryft products, so I figured I would sit down and visit the Dryft line. I grabbed a random assortment of flavors and strengths so I could get a good idea of what the Dryft range has to offer. Now, where I live, you can buy Dryft locally. But, if you can't buy it locally, Northerner.com stocks it if you want to buy some online. Dryft is made in Sweden, though I'm not sure by who, and distributed into the US by Kretek International. It comes in a large variety of flavors and strengths! Dryft is a nicotine pouch product, meaning it contains nicotine but no tobacco. This is becoming more and more popular so these products are getting a lot more exposure as there are those who want to quit tobacco but not nicotine.

So, what is Dryft? As you can see here, it's a dry, mini size pouch. Much like Zyn (the mini dry version), which is also sold in the US. Zyn doesn't contain tobacco, rather, it contains a chewing gum base and tobacco derived nicotine. So I don't have to repeat this in each review in this article, the pouches are smaller in size, and dry to the touch.  They're not the most comfortable in the lip at first, but the more moist they get the more comfortable they become.  Dryft comes in two nicotine strengths: 2mg and 7mg.  To compare it to snus, 2mg feels about as strong as a mini snus portion whereas 7mg feels about as strong as a regular strength snus portion.  Also, the flavor, on average, lasts around 30 minutes.

Dryft Cinnamon

The flavor description for Dryft Cinnamon says, "a spicy flavor of cinnamon in a smaller white pouch".  When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is a mnild, spicy smell of cinnamon.  Sweet, but not too sweet.  The flavor is a present flavor of cinnamon which comes through slightly spicy, but with a light touch of sweetness to balance it out.

Dryft Citrus

The flavor description for Dryft Citrus says, "a fresh citrus flavor in a smaller white pouch".  This one has a lightly sweet citrus smell which seems to be a mix of lemon and orange.  The flavor is lightly sweet, and lightly tart.  It's predominantly citrus; I pick up mostly lemon, but I do notice a little orange peeking out of the background.

Dryft Coffee

The flavor description for Dryft Coffee says, "a flavor of coffee in a smaller white pouch".  I don't drink coffee, but I do like coffee flavored things.  This one wasn't too bad.  The aroma is a lightly sweet smell of black coffee.  It seems like there's a little caramel in the background.  The taste is a mild, gentle taste of black coffee.  It is lightly sweet in nature and has a touch of caramel in the background.

Dryft Dragonfruit

The flavor description for Dryft Dragonfruit says, "a wonderful flavor of dragon fruit in a smaller white pouch".  If you aren't familiar with a Dragonfruit, the flavor is a mix of melon and kiwi - not too sweet, not too tangy.  The aroma of this one is fruity, natural, lightly sweet, and lightly tart.  The flavor is quite fruity!  It is a lightly sweet and lightly tart flavor, but it comes through in a very natural way.  This one was super tasty.

Dryft Peppermint

The flavor description for Dryft Peppermint says, "a fresh flavor of peppermint in a smaller white pouch".  The aroma of this one is a mild peppermint smell with a light touch of sweetness.  Being a mint product, there's a mild cooling sensation when you put a portion under the lip.  The flavor is a light, gentle taste of peppermint with a light touch of sweetness.

Dryft Spearmint

The flavor description for Dryft Spearmint says, "a refreshing flavor of spearmint in a smaller white pouch".  The aroma of this one is a fresh, mild, lightly sweet smell of spearmint.  Being a mint product there's a nice cooling presence in the lip when you put a pouch in.  The flavor is much like the aroma - a mild, gentle taste of spearmint.  The spearmint flavor is fresh, and lightly sweet in nature.

Dryft Wintergreen

The flavor description for Dryft Wintergreen says, "a fresh wintergreen flavor in a smaller white pouch".  I'm not the biggest fan of wintergreen, but of course I was still going to review this one anyway.  The wintergreen in this one isn't that in your face, but it is predominantly wintergreen.  It's a mild, lightly sweet smell of wintergreen.  I also notice a mild, gentle cooling presence in the lip with this one.  The flavor is a lot like the aroma; it's wintergreen, of course, but more gentle and mild.  It's not in your face like dip.  It also has a light sweetness to it, as well.  For some reason, I don't mind wintergreen flavors in nicotine pouches, but I just can't get into them with snus.  Weird, I know.

As far as these products go, they're not something I'd personally use.  But, they were fun to review and I'm glad they're on the market for those who want to quit tobacco but not nicotine.  If you're looking for something new to try, give these a shot.

10 January 2019

General Kardus (Winter 2018) - Review. 10 January 2019.

In a somewhat surprising move, Swedish Match has released two Kardus releases in 2018. In March, they released General Kardus Spring 2018, a collaboration with restaurateur Karl Ljung. To wrap up 2018, they released another collaboration with Karl Ljung, General Kardus Winter Edition 2018, the second release in their Gastronomy Series. Only 800 were made this year, with the hefty price tag of 999 SEK or $110 USD. General Kardus Winter 2018 comes with 150 grams of tobacco, or $0.73 per gram. To compare, regular General Los costs around $0.10 per gram. This shows that General Kardus is the most exclusive, expensive, special release in the entire Swedish Match range. The price is well worth it; I consider this a Christmas present to myself every year. Now, let's open the box and get to know General Kardus (Winter Edition 2018) a little better!

The Packaging

Opening up the box, this is what you will find if you purchase one this year.  General Kardus Winter 2018 comes in a simple, sleek white box.  Inside the box you'll find the vessel that contains the snus, in a special fitted compartment in the bottom of the box. Again, no book was included.  It's a simple, clean packaging.  This places more emphasis and focus on the tobacco itself, which should be the key focus of the product anyway.  The flavor description of this year's release says, "This snus is inspired by General's characteristic flavors with clear elements of bergamot and herbaceous tones. General Kardus Winter 2018 has a dark tobacco character that is recognized by General's main flavor bergamot, but also has shades of rosemary, conifers and flowers."  The nicotine content is 12mg/g (1.2%).

The Product Details

This is the first year I've seen Swedish Match's Kardus snus not include a book. I've had every one since 2009, and this year it appears as though Swedish Match opted to not include a book. Rather, there is a little about the release included in the inside lid of the box. My best translation of this translates it to say: "General Kardus has been a vintage snus in the Swedish Match range since 2015 and is our most lavish and elaborate snus. We select out tobacco and flavoring with accuracy and when the Kardus is manufactured it takes place in a very small edition which is then hand-packed in our factory in Kungälv.

This year's edition has been developed in collaboration with the restaurateur Karl Ljung and the glass producer Orrefors. Together with our Master Blender Lars Öberg, Karl Ljung has produced a taste inspired by General’s characteristic taste, with a clear tobacco character and elements of bergamot and herbal tones.

The tobacco selected is from Argentina, South Africa and India and is known as all lamina, which means that only the finest parts of the tobacco leaves are used, giving a more tasty tobacco."

The Partnership with Karl Ljung

Once again, Swedish Match partnered with Karl Ljung to product General Kardus Winter 2018. Karl Ljung said "I always strive to create the best taste experience. To achieve this, skillful crafts and qualitative raw materials are required. For this endeavor, Master Blender Lars Öberg and I worked together to create General Kardus Winter 2018." Skilled crafts and quality raw materials was the motto for this year's release. According to Swedish Match, this particular Kardus was the most costly and well crafted snus that they have produced to date. The greatest care and attention was paid to tobacco quality, flavoring, and manufacturing process.

The Glass Vessel

This year, Swedish Match partnered with Orrefors again to craft the vessel. Orrefors is the largest glass manufacturer in the entire Nordic region, and Swedish Match believes this manufacturer truly symbolizes the Swedish glass industry. The glass vessel is blown by skilled craftsmen at the glass mill in Kosta. Each glass is hand signed. Since the glasses are hand made, each vessel is truly unique and one of a kind!  The glass vessel this year is brown instead of green.  General Kardus Spring 2018 came in a green one, so this separates this release from that one.

The Tobacco

Now, let's get into the snus! Looking at the loose, you'll see it looks different than standard loose. Kardus is 100% lamina, which means only the best parts of the tobacco leaf are used. The tobacco is cut into 0.72mm slices according to the single cut method. This gives a different taste sensation and feeling under the lip than regular los snus.  The tobacco itself is quite moist and soft to the touch.

The Review

The aroma is a rich, earthy, well rounded tobacco smell accompanied by light hints of citrus and herbs.  The rosemary smell isn't as overpowering as I noticed with Kardus Spring 2018; this year's release isn't as herb heavy in the aroma or taste as that one.  There is also a light floral tone in the background, as well.  Though the tobacco is single cut, I still am able to handbake it, and I find it stays together quite well under the lip.  Last year was the first Kardus I've ever been able to handbake, and it's nice to see that tradition continue this year.  The taste is also quite nice.  The tobacco flavor is the star of this snus, and it comes through in a very present, earthy, robust, rich way.  The flavor reminds me a lot of the Spring 2018 version, but more subdued and balanced.  That version was very herb heavy.  This version has a lot of herbal character to it, but it's more gentle and nuanced.  The tobacco character is accompanied by light tones of citrus, and then a light herbal character which adds a nice backbone to the tobacco.  There is a very gentle floral presence in the background, but it doesn't overpower the tobacco flavor or take center-stage.  The longer you have it in, the more the tobacco taste seems to mature and develop; it grows to be more dark with time in the lip.  It's really good tasting stuff.  As far as the nicotine strength goes, it feels firmly at the strong level and supplies a gentle, but solid, kick.  The flavor, on average lasts about 45 minutes, which is about how long I can keep the los together in my lip.

All in all, I really enjoyed this release.  In the Summer of 2018, Swedish Match released General Gastronomy Summer 2018 Original Portion, which was a portion version of the Spring 2018 Kardus, so I'm curious to see if they'll do it with this one, as I would definitely buy and use more of this!  I was very impressed with the release.  In summary, it reminded me a lot of the Spring 2018 version, but more balanced, not as herb heavy, and with more focus on the tobacco flavor, which is want I want in a special release like this.  If you have $110 to spend and want to try an exclusive snus release, I highly suggest giving this one a go!

09 January 2019

Lundgren’s Kebnekaise Winter Edition 2018 - Review. 9 January 2018.

I'm a little late with this review, as this stuff has been sold out for weeks now, but I still wanted to do a review of it. Today, we're talking about Lundgren's Kebnekaise (Winter Edition 2018). This is a limited edition release of which only 2,097 boxes were produced. Kebnekaise is a mountain in Sweden that is 2,097 meters high, hence why Fiedler and Lundgren only produced 2097 boxes of this stuff.  What's really cool about this release is that it comes in a box with a model of the mountain inside of it.  I've never seen a limited edition Snus release that had a packaging that looked this cool; it's very unique and I love what they did with it.

When you remove the top glass, you'll find the snus can is underneath the model of the mountain in its own little stand.  Also, there is a small little booklet that comes inside the packaging that tells you a little bit about the release itself.  The snus can is an orange, metal can with a plastic interior liner.  There isn't a catch lid with this release, however.  All of this is put together really well and the limited edition Lundgren's Winter 2018 has a great presentation to it; this release truly looks like nothing else I've ever seen on the market.

When it comes to this snus, here's the full product details: "Lundgren's Kebnekaise has sweet elements of cloudberry and sour tones of juniper berries and pine. The taste of the perforated portions is inspired by the changing landscape up in the north. From blossoming sweet cloudberries, sour juniper berries in the summer to hints of pine from the harsh and cold winter. Delivered in exclusive and stylish packaging. For Lundgren's Kebnekaise Winter Edition 2018, Lundgrens has chosen to pay tribute to Kebnekaise - Sweden's highest mountain. Kebnekaise is 2097 meters high and there are also so many boxes made from this exclusive edition." This snus comes in a 21.6 gram can with 24 perforated white portions weighing 0.9 grams each. The nicotine content is 9mg/g (0.9%) or 8.1mg/portion.

When you open the can, you’ll notice the aroma is slightly sour and a little tart. The juniper and pine smell are readily apparent. The cloudberry in the background contributes a mild, lightly sweet, mildly tart smell. The portions are the perforated white type, which means a quicker release of flavor than your standard white portion. The flavor is a sour/tart mix with a touch of sweetness. The flavor of mild tobacco, tones of juniper, and a touch of pine are the most apparent components of the flavor at first. The cloudberry serves as a complimentary flavor to the other flavors and contributes a lightly sweet addition to the taste of this snus. The flavor, on average, lasts up to an hour and the nicotine strength feels to be about the regular strength level.

I enjoyed this snus and will definitely be finishing off this can.  I bought it mainly for the packaging, but I also enjoyed the flavor of the snus itself.  A great release from Fiedler and Lundgren!

06 January 2019

Swedish Match: Make Your Own Snus - Review. 6 January 2018.

Swedish Match has this really neat feature on their website where you can make your own snus blend. Unfortunately, this isn't available for people in the US. However, if you're in Sweden, you can go to their website and make your own snus blend and have it shipped right to your door. It's really cool. This is how Swedish Match describes it: "Here you can mix your own box of loose snus or portion snus. Choose from 24 different flavors to arrive at your own recipe. If it feels awkward to mix completely on your own, you can start from one of our recipe suggestions. When you are ready, you can buy your mix, which is mixed directly in our factory by one of our snus experts." Now it's not cheap - prices start at 99sek (around $11 USD per can). But it is fun to play with. A special thanks to Snubie friend Muhamed in Sweden who hooked me up with this and made my blends for me. I had a lot of fun doing it!

When you do your recipe, you get to add the base flavor for the dominant taste tones, the filler flavor (for undertones). and the finish (to add light characters/balance).  With each flavor you can determine if it's going to be strong (stark), average (medel) or light (svag).

When you get your product, in comes in portion or loose. Since loose is so easy to do at home already, I figured I would make up a batch of custom portions. They came in these black portions, which look really neat.  The tobacco inside is long and cylindrical, which feels like it came out of a machine or tool, so you need to fluff it when you get it to loosen up the tobacco and distribute it a little better.  After that, your custom made portion snus is soft, comfortable, and ready to go into the lip!

Snubie's Rum and Lime Blend
For this snus, I wanted to keep it simple.  There aren't regularly produced rum products on the market, so I wanted something with a rum taste.

Flavors:  Rom (Rum) and Lime
Format:  Portion
Base Flavor: Lime (average)
Filler Flavor: Rum (average)
Finishing Flavor:  None

I really enjoyed this one. The aroma is a present blending of rum and lime. The portions, again, are soft and comfortable in the lip. In the flavor, the rum comes through as a darker rum character accompanied by an earthy tobacco flavor. There is a light hint of lime in the background which adds a nice tart component. The nicotine level feels to be about regular strength and the flavor, on average, lasts about 45 minutes.

Snubie's Cherry Limeade Blend
For this snus, I wanted to make a snus with my favorite drink flavor - Cherry Limeade!

Flavors:  Körsbär (Cherry) and Lime
Format:  Portion
Base Flavor: Körsbär (strong) and Lime (strong)
Filler Flavor: None
Finishing Flavor:  None

This one has a nice aroma that mixes cherry and lime. I found the portions to be soft and comfortable in the lip. The cherry is the most present, with a tart hint of lime in the background. As far as the flavor goes, the cherry is the most present component, there is a light hint of lime, a nice tobacco character, and a hint of salt! The flavor, on average, lasted around 45 minutes. I don't know what the nicotine strength is but it didn't feel too much stronger than the regular level.

Snubie's Eastern Orange Blend
For this snus, I wanted to get really creative and make something unique!

Flavors:  Apelsin (Orange), Kardemumma (Cardemom), Ingefära (Ginger) and Kanel (Cinnamon).
Format:  Portion
Base Flavor: Apelsin (strong), Kardemumma (average)
Filler Flavor:  Ingefara (light)
Finishing Flavor: Kanel

This one was a lot of fun to mix, and I really enjoyed the taste. The aroma is a present smell of orange, along with light hints of cardamom and ginger. The portions, again, are soft and comfortable in the lip. In the flavor profile, orange is the most present component and comes through in a natural way. In the background, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon are all present and add an Eastern backbone to the flavor. The flavor lasts about 45 minutes on average, and the nicotine strength feels to be about the regular level.

Muhamed's Blend
Muhamed sent me one of this one recipes for me to try and review, as well!

Flavors:  Lime, Spearmint, Rom (Rum), Kanel (Cinnamon).

I'm not sure which quantities he added these components in, however.

This one sounded like the flavor was going to be all over the place, and it was really unique. The aroma was a present smell of spearmint with a hint of lime and a light touch of rum. The portions, again, are soft and comfortable to the touch. The taste is mostly spearmint and rum, and in the background I found a little cinnamon and a little lime. The flavor, on average, lasted about 45 minutes and the nicotine strength felt to be around the regular level.  You wouldn't think mixing rum and spearmint would be something that would work, but it wasn't bad, I enjoyed the flavor of this one.  It was pretty unique stuff!

It was a lot of fun to mix my own snus blends. and I'm glad I got to do it!  Of the ones I made, I think the Eastern Orange was my favorite, and one I'd love to see produced!

05 January 2019

Vote in the 2018 Snus Awards! 5 January 2019.

Ladies and Gentleman, it's time! 2018 is over which means it's not time to vote in the 2018 Snus Awards! The Snus Awards is the most prestigious event of the year in the snus industry. If you haven't, check out the awards show from 2015, the awards show from 2016 and the awards show from 2017 to see how special this truly is. This year, there are 12 categories to vote in, so go and cast your vote today! Once we receive the results, we'll have a special awards ceremony to crown the best of the best!

Vote in the 2018 Snus Awards - here!

30 December 2018

Lyft Nicotine Pouches: Ice Cool Strong - Review. 30 January 2018.

The nicotine pouch category has been growing more and more for the past few years, and now it appears as though BAT/Winnington (makers of Epok) are getting into this category with their new Lyft product! Lyft is a nicotine pouch product that is made from eucalyptus and pine fiber. Lyft does not contain tobacco, but does contain nicotine. Lyft comes in all the same flavors as Epok, so if you're wanting to switch from Epok (which contains tobacco) to Lyft (which doesn't contain tobacco), you will be easily able to find your favorite flavor.

The flavor description says, "The intense and cool taste of mint gives you the experience of a cold winter day.  The flavor is a crisp peppermint flavor with hints of sweetness and herbs"  This product comes in a 16.8 gram can with 24 portions for 0.7 gram portions. The nicotine content is 14mg/g (1.4%) for 9.8mg/portion.  Note, this is the same as Epok Ice Cool Strong in terms of contents and nicotine level.

I won't go too in depth on the differences between Epok and Lyft, but if you want to know more, I wrote an article about it, and I also did a video about it.  But here's a photo just so you can see it real quick.  You'll notice the cans look similar except the name, the portions look similar, and even the material inside the pouch looks similar.  The way the pouches feel in the lip, the way the nicotine releases, and even the flavors are all very similar as well.  So if you like Epok, you'll probably also really like Lyft.

So, this product seems almost identical to Epok Ice Cool Strong, even though Lyft Ice Cool Strong doesn't contain tobacco. I was really impressed with that.  When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is a sharp, present smell of peppermint with a hint of menthol in the background.  The portions are slim, soft, and feel very comfortable in the lip.  Also, being a mint product, you do get a mild, fresh cooling presence in the lip, as well.  The flavor of this one is a fresh, sharp, focused flavor of peppermint with a light sweetness.  This product, like the Epok version, packs a solid kick!  The nicotine comes on rather quickly, and hits pretty hard, given it's nicotine strength.  It feels right at the extra strong level. The flavor, on average, lasts about 45 to 55 minutes.

I enjoy tobacco and don't plan on ever switching to nicotine pouches, but I will say this - these are some of the best nicotine pouches I've tried yet.  I think BAT/Winnington did a great job with these!

25 December 2018

Jakobsson's Glögg & Kanel - Review. 25 December 2018.

I know, you're probably saying "Dude, you've already reviews this!" Yes, that's technically true. I reviewed Gotlandssnus Julesnus in 2009, in 2010, and again in 2015. Each of those years, the design slightly changed, which is another reason I'm reviewing it again this year. It's no longer released under the Gotlandssnus name, and it now has a different product name, as well. What was once Gotlandssnus Julesnus is now Jakobsson's Glögg and Kanel and comes with a new look!  If you aren't familiar, Glögg is a kind of spiced Christmas wine, and Kanel means cinnamon in Swedish.  The flavor description says, "Glögg and Kanel Portion Snus has a distinct flavor of mulled wine, cinnamon and yummy Christmas spices."  This product comes in a 20 gram can with 20 portions for 1 gram portions.  The nicotine content is 10mg/g (1.0%), which easily breaks down to 10mg/portion!

This year, this is the only Christmas Snus on the market. In the past, another company, V2 Tobacco, has released Christmas Snus products like Thunder Frosted Christmas and Thunder "I Snow You Love Me" Gingerbread.  This year, however, Jakobsson's Glögg and Kanel is the only Christmas snus on the market!  I've used this product every year since 2009 around the Christmas holiday, and it's never quite Christmas without Julesnus....err.....Glögg and Kanel!  Also, this is a great snus to pair with Christmas beers.  My personal favorite is Abita's Christmas Ale, so give it a try if you haven't had it!

Now, let's talk about this snus!  If you've had Gotlandssnus Julesnus in the past, nothing has changed except the name.  The aroma is predominantly clove, with a touch of cinnamon and ginger in the background.  The portions are original, but not overly moist!  The portions are quite comfortable in the lip and the flavor comes on rather quickly, as well. The flavor is as close to Christmas as you can get without eating a Christmas tree. It starts off with clove, and then gradually you'll notice the notes of cinnamon and ginger mingling in. Clove is the most predominant taste, but the cinnamon and ginger flavors are still present and compliment the clove taste quite well.  The flavor, on average, lasts up to an hour, which is impressive for an original portion.  The nicotine strength feels to be at the regular strength level.

This is a great snus and one I look forward to every year.  It isn't quite Christmas until I have a portion of this in my lip.  If you've never had it before, make sure and get some before it's gone as it is a limited edition release.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Snubie.com to you and your families!  2018 was a great year and I look forward to a fantastic 2019!