12 July 2019

Velo (Nicotine Pouches) Mint & Citrus (4mg) - Review. 12 July 2019.

Today, we're going to be talking about Velo Nicotine Pouches, a new product from RJ Vapor, an RJ Reynolds company. Velo is the latest release in the growing nicotine pouch category, and joins other nicotine pouch products for sale in the US such as Zyn and Dryft. If you're not familiar with nicotine pouches, these are products that are similar to snus; Velo Nicotine Pouches are smoke free, spitless pouches that do not contain tobacco. This is a growing category for people who may want to quit tobacco, but not nicotine. These products have been available in Sweden and the US for years now, so it appears RJ Reynolds wants a piece of the action. They are launching in 70,000 retail stores in the US, first with 4mg. 2mg strength with follow in the Fall of 2019.

According to Reynolds, Velo contains "no tobacco leaf or other tobacco plant matter apart from the nicotine extracted from the tobacco plant". I've cut open a pouch so you can see what's actually inside the pouch. It's a very fine material. Their website says Velo Pouches consist of nicotine derived from the tobacco plant, microcrystalline cellulose, water, salt, sucralose, citric acid, and artificial flavor. As far as how it's made, I don't know. Reynolds has never been very transparent about how they make their products. I've tried for 10 years to get information about how their "snus" is made and have yet to hear a reply. So I imagine this will be much like that, a mystery about how it's made.

Velo Citrus 4mg

Flavor:  “A crisp and flavorful citrus taste experience”.
Contents:  6.5 gram can, 15 pouches, 0.43mg/pouch.
Nicotine:  4mg (not sure if that is in mg/g, or mg/portion)

When you open the can, the aroma is very citrusy and comes through as a sweet mix of lemon and orange. It may sound weird, but the smell reminds me of Pine-Sol. The pouches are the slim type, so they have a better fit in the lip. The material inside these pouches is very firm, and isolated to one side of the pouch, so I suggest breaking it up and fluffing the pouch to move it around a bit more. The flavor itself is a really sweet citrus taste, which seems to be mostly orange-y, but with a little lemon in it, too.  As far as the nicotine strength goes, I don't really notice much in these.  I have to use two to feel about the same nicotine strength I notice with one regular strength Swedish Snus portion.  I find the flavor, on average, lasts about 25-30 minutes.

Velo Mint 4mg

Flavor:  “A refreshing and cooling mint flavor experience”.
Contents:  6.5 gram can, 15 pouches, 0.43mg/pouch.
Nicotine:  4mg (not sure if that is in mg/g, or mg/portion)

When I first opened a can of this one, the smell was very familiar. It smelled just like Camel "SNUS" Frost. It has that really, really sweet mint smell. The Velo Mint pouches are slim, but unlike the citrus ones I find the material inside the pouch to be more evenly distributed; I didn't really have to fluff these much.  Usually with mint products, I notice a cooling presence in the lip.  I didn't really notice one with these.  I did notice a light tingle, but that was about it.  The taste of this is like a milder Camel Frost.  It's a very, very sweet mint flavor.  I find the flavor on these lasts up to about 25-30 minutes, like the citrus ones.  I don't notice much nicotine with these, but when I put in two it feels about as strong as one regular strength Swedish Snus portion.

Final Thoughts
In the end, I wasn't really a big fan of these.  And no, it's not because they're RJR products.  As a harm reduction advocate, I love when safer products are introduced in the US that help people quit smoking.  I'm not a big fan of Velo because there are much better products out there.  When it comes to the Citrus flavor, I enjoyed the Dryft Citrus (which you can get in the US) much more than the Velo Citrus.  Or, if you want to order online, Lyft Lime is a great tasting citrus nicotine pouch.  When it comes to the Mint flavor, I think Zyn's Spearmint has a much better flavor and nicotine delivery.  Or, if you want to order online, Lyft Mint is a great one, as well.

Gotlandssnus Wisby (Norderport & Söderport) Reviews - 12 July 2019.

Gotlandssnus has released a brand new line of snus which, for them, is huge. This new line is called Wisby and contains two products - Norderport and Söderport. Shortly before this line was announced, Gotlandssnus discontinued a favorite of mine, Jakobsson's Flader, but thankfully that flavor lives on in Söderport! What's interesting about this one, is that it also is a white portion snus, which is different as Gotlandssnus usually does original portions.
As far as this line goes, this is the description Gotlandssnus gives about Wisby: "At Gotlandssnus, we love our origin. Getting to Visby is an experience, here you will find old and genuinely well preserved, narrow alleys inside the City Wall. Many people have a relationship with the city and memories from here, regardless of the season. The snus Wisby is our tribute to the Visby gate to Gotland and also to our hearts. The names of our new snus, Norderport and Söderport have been inspired by the City Wall and the flavours were inspired from the Gotland flora. The first flavours are rose and elderflower."

Wisby Norderport

Flavor:  "Clear tobacco character with a hint of rose hip."
Contents: 18 grams, 20 portions, 0.9g portions.
Nicotine: 14mg/g (1.4%) or 11.2mg/portion.

When you open the can, the aroma is a mildly sweet, floral smell. It's very much a rose-like aroma. The portions are soft, and plump. They're a little dryer than the average white portion, but are still comfortable in the lip! The flavor reminds me a lot of the Lundgren's Västkusten snus. The flavor is a gentle floral taste, and comes through in a mildly sweet way. It's very much a rose-like taste. There's also a little herbal taste, and a mild tobacco character. The nicotine strength feels just a touch above regular strength, and I find the flavor lasts about an hour on average!

Wisby Söderport

Flavor:  "Clear tobacco character with a hint of elderflower."
Contents: 18 grams, 20 portions, 0.9g portions.
Nicotine: 14mg/g (1.4%) or 11.2mg/portion.

As far as this one goes, it's basically a white portion version of Jakobsson's Flader. The aroma is very much elderflower, which is like a mix of green apple and honeysuckle. The portions are also plump and soft, but a little dryer than the average white portion. The flavor is a lightly sweet floral taste, like the aroma it seems to be a mix of green apple and honeysuckle in terms of what it tastes like. Again, a white portion version of Jakobsson's Flader. The nicotine feels to be just a little above regular strength, and the flavor lasts up to an hour on average.  Of the two, this one was definitely my favorite and one I'll be ordering again.

I enjoyed both of these releases and I look forward to seeing what else comes of the Wisby line from Gotlandssnus!

10 July 2019

Small Batch 10 (Rosé) White Portion - Review. 10 July 2019.

Swedish Match has released the tenth snus in their Small Batch series, this one with the flavor of Rosé! The Small Batch series has included some unique flavors, and at the end of this review you can see my rankings of all of them and links to those reviews. If you aren't familiar with Rosé, it's a pink wine, and to me it's more of a summer taste. To me, Rosé seems sweeter, but that may be because when it comes to wine I drink mostly Cabs. What's interesting about this one is that it is a new flavor, but not really. Swedish Match actually released this flavor a year ago, fpr Almedalen Week, which is a big political themed event in Sweden. As a snus lover and a political science major, this is right up my alley. The release was rather tongue in cheek, with Patrik Strömer, Secretary General of the Swedish Snus Producer Assocation, saying "Imagine if we had a government that had stood up for the snus industry the same way French politicians stand up for their wine industry". Yes, indeed.

The flavor description for this one says it has a "crisp, lightly bitter, refreshing citrus with tones of peach, red apples, and a finely tuned floral presence, complemented by a light, aromantic tobacco." This one comes in the white portion format, with a 24 gram can containing 24 portions at 1 gram each. I'm not sure what the nicotine strength is, they don't list it for these products.

When you open the can, the aroma is a bright citrus smell with hints of peach and a light floral sweetness. The portions are soft, but do require fluffing as they come in the star formation format. The flavor is a lot like the aroma, it's a very crisp taste. The citrus flavor is mild, and tart. There's also a lightly sweet floral presence behind it, and hints of peach. It's a really nice summer flavor. I find the flavor lasts up to about an hour, on average, and the nicotine feels to be about the regular strength level.  I enjoyed this one though.  If it were available again in the future it would be something I'd grab a can or two of, especially for the warm summer months. If you like Rosé wine, or fruity flavored snus, this one may be right up your alley.

Small Batch Releases (Links to Reviews)
1/2018 - Small Batch 1 - Champagne
2/2018 - Small Batch 2 - Blood Orange
5/2018 - Small Batch 3 - Apple Mint
7/2018 - Small Batch 4 - Raspberry Licorice
9/2018 - Small Batch 5 - Coffee
10/2018 - Small Batch 6 - Mushroom
12/2018 - Small Batch 7 - Orange/Chocolate
3/2019 - Small Batch 8 - Gin/Pepper
5/2019 - Small Batch 9 - Banana
6/2019 - Small Batch 10 - Rosé

My Rankings of Previous Small Batch Releases
1 - SB#2 - Blood Orange
2 - SB#4 - Raspberry / Licorice
3 - SB#7 - Orange / Chocolate
4.  SB#9 - Banana
5 - SB#5 - Coffee
6.  SB#10 - Rosé
7 - SB#1 - Champagne
8 - SB#8 - Gin / Pepper
9 - SB#3 - Apple / Mint
10 - SB#6 - Svensk Skog

08 July 2019

G4 Fizzy (All White) - Review. 8 July 2019.

The G4 line has gradually been growing since it launched in 2017. While it originally only featured mint products, such as G4 Blue Mint, G4 Blizzard, G4 Cryo, G4 Tact, and G4 FU:ZN (Apple Mint), it has been growing to include other flavors such as the recently released G4 Blush (Ginger Blood Orange) and now G4 Fizzy! This one comes with a new flavor in the snus world: champagne. This flavor first appeared with Swedish Match's Small Batch #1, then later with The Lund Edition, and most recently with GR XRANGE Sparkling. Now, we are seeing an all white version of this flavor! The flavor description for this product says it has "clear elements of peach and citrus, with hints of grapefruit and elderberry". The can weighs 19.2 grams and has 24 portions, for 0.8g each. It has a nicotine content of 13mg/g (1.3%), or 10.4mg/portion.

Redefining White 

If you aren't familiar with G4, this is how Swedish Match describes it: "More than 150 years ago General was launched as loose snus. In the 80s, portion snus and thus the second generation of General came out. G.3, launched in 2014, was the third generation with higher strength and pouches in the Slim format for lower drip and an optimized fit. Now we present G.4 – the fourth generation of snus from General and our latest step in developing the snus of the future. With G.4 we were able to create a completely white pouch with the same consistency and feeling as traditional White Portion snus, but without any taste of tobacco. We call this format All White. Through a composition of fiber and a small share of white tobacco, G.4 is an All White snus before, during, and after use."

This one has a big, fresh, citrusy aroma. It's like a mix of orange and grapefruit. The portions are slim, soft, and quite comfortable in the lip. The flavor of this one is quite good; it caught me off guard! It has a bright, fruity flavor to it. The citrus flavor is very present and seems like an orange/grapefruit mix. There's also a mild hint of peach as well. The snus itself has a mild sweetness to it, but it isn't overdone. There's also a mild floral hint in the background. The nicotine feels to be about the regular strength level, and I find the taste lasts around 45 minutes on average.
I really enjoyed the taste of this one and found it to be a nice summer snus. I'm glad to see the G4 line branching out and releasing some non-mint flavors!  And, according to the label under the label, our friends in Norway will be able to enjoy this one in September of 2019!

30 June 2019

G3 Blue Mint Extra Strong (Slim White Dry) - Review. 30 June 2019.

I saw this product on Northerner.com and found it interesting that that was the first store I saw it. Usually Swedish Match puts their products up on their webstore before anyone else, but it didn't appear to happen this time.  This is an interesting release, because it's a white dry version of their G3 Blue Mint Extra Strong (White Portion).  The flavor description of this one says "G.3 Blue Mint Slim Extra Strong Dry White has a mellow and spicy tobacco taste with distinct notes of peppermint, along with hints of cedar and cocoa". This one comes in a 16.6g can with 24 portions for 0.69g portions. The nicotine content is 26mg/g (2.6%), which breaks down to 17.94mg/portion.

 It is interesting to note that this one is stronger than the old G3 Blue Mint Extra Strong. That one had a nicotine content is 18mg/g or 1.8%, which breaks down to 12.45mg/portion.  Compared to the new one at 26mg/g and 17.94mg/portion.

The packages these come in when you get 5 cans says “NEW FORMULA - White Dry. This extra strong snus in a slim white dry format comes with a new formula making it 20% less runny.”  I talked to Swedish Match yesterday, because I was curious why this product was on their webstore but G3 Blue Mint Extra Strong (White Portion) was no longer listed.  Also, this product on their store now says "New Design", even though this is a brand new product.  Swedish Match informed me that this product would actually be replacing the white portion version.  So the G3 line now has a mint slim white dry extra strong version, but not a mint white extra strong version.

When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is a sharp peppermint smell with a light sweetness to it. The portions are, of course, dryer than your average white portion. They're slim, and have a good fit in the lip. Even though they're a little dryer, they're not uncomfortable or anything. Being a mint product, you'll get a mild cooling presence when you put a portion in the lip.  The taste is a gentle, lightly sweet taste of peppermint.  It's a lot like the taste of the old G3 Blue Mint Extra Strong, but this one just seems a little more subdued and gentle.  The nicotine on this one definitely feels stronger than the old one.  I feel it within 5 minutes of putting it in my lip and it kicks hard.  Also, being a white dry product, I find the flavor lasts quite a long time; I've had these in for up to 1.5 hours!

If you like peppermint and want something really strong in a white dry format, give this one a try.  You may really enjoy it.

24 June 2019

Onico Pure White Mint (Slim) - Review. 24 June 2019.

This product is really interesting to me. In the past, I've reviewed Onico, which is a tobacco and nicotine free product. Those products are similar to snus, even containing a darker material that is similar looking to tobacco. This new Onico product from Swedish Match is all white, but still tobacco and nicotine free. I think regular Onico is designed to help people quit snus, or cut down on snus usage, and this product is designed to help people quit all white snus or nicotine pouches, or just cut down on their usage. I'm not sure if that's the case or not, but that's my guess. The flavor description for Onico Pure White Mint Slim says, "Light and spicy character with clear elements of peppermint, and slightly eucalyptus and vanilla".  Each can weighs 20.8g and has 26 portions at 0.8g each.  The nicotine content is 0, because this is a tobacco and nicotine free product.

When you open the can, the aroma is a present smell of peppermint with a light hint of menthol and a touch of vanilla. The portions are slim, soft, and quite comfortable in the lip. Being a mint product, you'll also encounter the familiar cooling presence which is common of most mint product. The flavor of this one is pretty interesting. It's a present, lightly sweet peppermint flavor with a hint of menthol, but there also appears to be a tea-like quality to it. Not sure what that is, perhaps the plant fiber used to make Onico. The vanilla is very mild, and in the background, but I do pick it up.  The flavor lasts a pretty good amount of time, I find I can keep these in for up to 45 minutes on average.  Obviously, it's nicotine free, so I can't speak to a nicotine kick on this one.

This product isn't for me, I don't really use this kinda stuff.  But, if you use all white products or nicotine pouch products and want to step down your usage, you may like it.

21 June 2019

G4 TACT Spearmint (All White) Super Slim - Review. 21 June 2019.

Swedish Match is a company that likes to break new ground, and with this product they appear to be doing it again. Back in May of 2016, Swedish Match released the super slim format with General G3 Mint Super Slim. Now, they appear to be doing another first, releasing G4 Tact which is the world's first super slim all white product. If you're new to the G4 line, this is how Swedish Match describes it: "Thanks to new technology, G.4 has been able to produce all white portions, with the same type of texture and feel as traditional snus, but completely without tobacco flavors. We call this format All White. Through a combination of plant fibers and a small amount of white tobacco, G.4 is a white snus before, during and after use. The portion has a soft fit, low drip and delivers a similar nicotine experience as traditional snus from Swedish Match."

So, how slim is super slim?  Looking at this photo comparing a regular slim white portion to a super slim all white portion, you can see it's a much slimmer portion format.  Snus is already discrete, but you could say this format is super discrete.  I used to joke around and call them nicotine toothpicks, but now that I've reviewed Nicotine Toothpicks, I don't really make that comparison anymore.

When it comes to G4 Tact, this is how Swedish Match describes it: "With G.4 TACT, we are the first in the world to launch a Super Slim product in the All White segment. TACT is our most discreet slim product so far and is designed to take as little space as possible, both in the mouth and in the pocket, but without sacrificing taste. This snus has a bright and spicy character with clear elements of spearmint."  G4 Tact comes in a 10.6g can with 20 portions, weighing 0.53g each. The nicotine content is 19mg/g (1.9%), which breaks down to 10.07mg/portion.  The can is also slightly smaller than a regular snus can in width and height, but not much - maybe a few mm.

When you open the can, the aroma is a fresh, smooth, lightly sweet smell of spearmint. The super slim portions are, of course, super slim. They feel lighter than a regular snus portion in the lip, but they don't feel as small as mini portions. Being a mint product, you'll encounter the familiar cooling sensation when you put a portion in the lip.  The flavor is pretty nice if you like spearmint.  It's a gentle, lightly sweet taste of spearmint.  I really like how smooth the flavor of this one is.  The nicotine strength on this one feels to be around the regular strength level.  As it is only 10.07mg/portion, I didn't expect it to be too strong.  The flavor, on average, lasts up to about 45 minutes.

In terms of the G4 line, I think this one might be my favorite.  I really dig the smooth spearmint flavor, the slimmer can, and the super slim portions!