20 June 2018

G.3 TNT Super Strong (Slim White Dry) - Preview. 20 June 2018.

Swedish Match released a new product today that both surprised me, and, didn't surprise me at the same time. I wasn't surprised to see it's a super strong; it seems like people really love high nicotine snus. But one part of this release did surprise me. This product is not a mint snus! And not only that, it's a tobacco flavored snus. That is unheard of, because everything these days is mint! Swedish Match describes it by saying, "G.3 TNT is the latest snus in the Swedish Match Super Strong series. The previous products in the series have all had a characteristic flavor, but TNT stands out from the others with a light, neutral and tobacco-like taste."

The flavor description for this snus says, "G.3 TNT Super Strong has a light and spicy tobacco character with elements of green herbs, oak and cedar.". G.3 TNT comes in a 16.6 gram can with 24 portions, weighing in at 0.69 grams per portion. The nicotine content is 2.6%, or 26mg/g. That breaks down to 17.98mg/portion.

I am excited that this product is not a mint snus, but it's a bummer it's so strong.  I don't use a lot of the strong stuff and this one sounds like it will be quite tasty! This product is currently available to Sweden on Swedish Match's webstore. I know SnusCENTRAL.com carries the G.3 Super Strong line, so I imagine they'll have this one soon, as well!

19 June 2018

Chainsaw (Cold Dry) Chew Bags - Review. 19 June 2018.

V2 has launched another chew bag product on the market - Chainsaw Cold Dry! This product comes with a bold can design and the insanely strong nicotine strength of 45mg/g! V2 describes this product by saying, "CHAINSAW Cold Dry White provides a cutting-edge experience of strength and freshness! Cold Dry White chewing bags contain strong cut tobacco mixed with a ripping mint flavor, that gives a truly unique experience." The product details at Northerner.com say it comes in a 13.5 gram can with 15 portions for 0.9 gram portions. The nicotine content is 45mg/g which, with 0.9 gram portions, breaks down to 40.5 mg/portion. I'm not going to go to in depth on this review about the differences between Nordic Chew (as these chew bag products are called) and Swedish Snus, but if you want you can check out this video and it's more in depth about the differences.

In case you're new to chew bags, here is a V2 chew bag and a V2 snus portion, cut open to show a comparison between the two. This is how V2 describes their chew bag products: “The tobacco leaves are heated and moistened with steam so they can be cut into smaller pieces. The tobacco for Thunder Chewing Bags are pieces cut with a length of between 5 - 50 mm and a width of 0.6-0.8 mm. The bags used are specially designed to be chewed to release flavor and nicotine. It is made from a paper with a special weave which is thicker and much stronger than the type of bag that snus is packed in. Thunder Chewing Bags are also fundamentally different from the other chewing tobacco products on the market by being cut tobacco in small bags while others are made from spun tobacco.” Though these are called "chew bags" and V2 mentions the pouches being able to be chewed, I have never done that with these or any other chew bags. I simply put them in my upper lip and enjoy them like snus! Chew bags are basically made the same as snus but are called "chew bags" so they can legally be sold in the EU where snus is banned. I know, it makes no sense but hey - that's the EU.

When you open the can, the aroma that jumps out is a sharp, biting peppermint smell. The portions are plump, but the tobacco inside is relatively compact so I just fluffing these to break the tobacco up. When you put a portion in, there is a mild burn in the lip, then a gentle cooling sensation. The taste is much like the aroma, a sharp taste of peppermint accompanied by a gentle taste of menthol. These are super strong in the nicotine department. I can’t keep these in for very long because after about 20 minutes my head is spinning. But, with most chew bags, they usually last me about an hour and a half on average.

If you're somewhere where you can't get snus but can get chew bags, these are worth a try.  Especially if you like the really, really strong stuff.

18 June 2018

Zyn Slim Citrus (All White) Strong - Review. 18 June 2018.

At Snus Con this year, a friend from Sweden gave me a can of this stuff to try. I kept it around and used it here and there and eventually fell in love with it. I found this snus to be the perfect product to pair with beer; the citrus flavor is on point.  This isn't like the dry Zyn products I reviewed in the past; they are much different. Also, these sadly aren't available to the US. So, I've been using this last can of it slowly. The flavor description at SnusBolaget says, "ZYN Slim Citrus illuminates its existence with its sunny, healthy and refreshing taste of lemon, lime and a little orange zest." This product comes in a 16.8 gram can with 0.8 gram portions. Doing some math, it looks like a can contains 21 portions. The nicotine content is 12mg/g (1.2%), which breaks down to 9.6mg/portion.

When is Zyn not Zyn? If you're used to the Zyn products sold in the US or those sold as "Zyn Mini Dry" in Sweden, these probably look quite different. They aren't as dry, and they look much like the other all white snus products sold on the market. These don't contain tobacco, however, so they're not going to be like an Epok or a G4. These are going to be closer to Skruf's new Skruf SuperWhite. This Zyn product is a moist product, still tobacco free, and containing nicotine, vegetable fiber and cellulose powder (E-460). While it may look like other white tobacco products, it doesn't actually contain tobacco.

When I open the can, the aroma is a really nice mix of lemon and lime. It's not overly sweet, and has a little tartness to the smell. The portions are soft, slim, and feel comfortable in the lip, much like regular snus does.  The taste is where this one really shines.  It's a great lemon taste with hints of lime.  It doesn't taste too sweet, which I really like about this one.  It's also not overly tart.  As the product description says, it's very refreshing.  Larry from SnusCENTRAL said the taste reminds him of Country Time Lemonade.  The nicotine strength feels to be at about the regular level.  It's not too strong, but you can notice it's there.  The flavor lasts a good amount of time; I've found I can keep these in for an hour or more.  When pairing with beer, I've kept them in for about an hour and a half.

If this product was available online to the US, I'd definitely buy more of it.  It's a good one to keep around, especially for pairing with beer.  If you can get it, definitely try it, it's quite tasty!

16 June 2018

R42 (Super Strong) White - Review. 16 June 2018,.

The R42 line is a new line of "super strong" products from Swedish Match.  I originally only heard about these products being available at the border stores, but now it appears as though they're available on Swedish Match's e-store, as well!  I first reviewed R42 Peppermint (Xtra Strong) and R42 Green Mint (Xtra Strong) in April of last year, but it appears as though these products have been discontinued and new super strong versions of these products have been launched.  In May of last year I reviewed R42 (Cool Mint) Super Strong, which had a taste of peppermint.  It looks as though the R42 line is focusing on the "super strong" level of products at the 26mg/g (2.6%) nicotine level.

This product is interesting because it's an R42 product that looks like the R42 Cool Mint product, but doesn't have a flavor listed on the can like R42 Cool Mint does.  As of the date of this review, this one isn't available on the Swedish Match e-store, either.  Also, R42 Cool Mint was an 11.2 gram can with 16 portions for 0.7 gram portions.  This new R42 is a 10 gram can with 13 portions, for 0.77 gram portions.  I'm not sure why the change occurred.  The nicotine strength is 26mg/g (2.6%), and with 0.77 gram portions that's 20.02mg/portion.  This stuff packs quite a kick!

Whereas R42 Cool Mint seemed to be a peppermint focused product, this one appears to be a spearmint focused product. When you open the can, the aroma that comes through is a sharp, biting smell of spearmint. The portions are white, soft, and though they are lighter in weight they still feel plump, which is interesting. When you put a portion in the lip there's a mild burn, which fades and gives way to a nice cooling presence.  The flavor is a present taste of spearmint, which has a very mild sweetness to it.  I notice it to not be as sweet as other spearmint products I've had before, which is nice!  The nicotine kick is immediate, and it is strong!  This definitely packs a punch.  The flavor lasts quite a while; I've found with these I've been able to push them past the hour mark.  Generally I can't keep them in too long because my head starts spinning, but I've been able to keep a few in for a while after a meal.

If you like the spearmint flavor and want something really strong, this is definitely worth a try.  It's much too strong for me personally, but the nicotine extremists of the world will probably enjoy this product!

15 June 2018

General Gastronomy Series (Summer 2018) - Review. 15 June 2018.

In the Spring of 2017, Swedish Match released General Kardus: Hernö Gin. They followed it up, for the first time ever, with a portion version - General (Blended by Hernö Gin). It looks like the tradition is continuing, as Swedish Match has released this product, an original portion version of General Kardus Spring 2018. The side of the can says, "General Gastronomy Series is a snus line developed in collaboration with the chef Karl Ljung. The snus in this box has a dark and spicy tobacco character and the taste is inspired by Swedish herbs."  This product comes in a 20 gram can with 20 portions, for 1 gram each.  This product comes with a nicotine strength of 16mg/g (1.6%) which, with one gram portions, is 16mg/portion.

I won't go too much into the background of the General Kardus Spring 2018 release in this review, but if you missed it, you can check out my preview of that product, which goes into the background. Also, here's my review of it, for comparison purposes. Basically, that snus was a collaboration with Karl Ljung, who is a passionate bar-keeper and also snuser. This is how he described this snus and flavor: "As a bar-keeper, I have a philosophy in terms of quality; That's when you feel you've got more than you expected. Not in quantity, but in experiences, both safe and unexpected. That's when the elegant and well-produced grows together. When we go to the pub do not bother it too much and when we are honest. So, without worrying too much and being honest: Snus is basically no more than tobacco, salt, water and a few condiments. If you are to develop a qualitative snus, you must start by producing qualitative raw materials. In this way, snus reminds you of cooking - how much you refined and refined you will not have to start with the ingredients."

If you had General Kardus Spring 2018, this one is virtually identical. I was hoping it would be! The aroma is a heavy presence of herbs; rosemary in the front, thyme behind it. There is a dark tobacco character in the aroma, and a light hint of spruce. The portions are plump, and very moist; you'll encounter a quick release of flavor, and nicotine as well.  The taste is utterly delicious! There is a dark, robust tobacco character which you'll notice almost immediately. But, the star of this snus is the herbal flavor. There are flavors of rosemary and thyme which blend quite well with the dark tobacco character. There's also a mild taste of spruce in the background, as well. The flavors all mix together really well. The nicotine level feels between a strong and an extra strong and has a nice little kick to it. The flavor lasts, on average, about 45 minutes.

This snus isn't something I could use full time.  But, it is a delicious snus.  I've found the best times for me to use this snus are before or after a meal, which I think is what they may have been going for as this is part of the Gastronomy Series.  It's definitely something I'd buy a roll of and keep in the freezer to use from time to time.  Hats of to Swedish Match, this stuff is delicious!

New General Snus Design For The US! 15 June 2018.

Out of Snus Con 2018 came some big news from Swedish Match.  If you missed Snus Con, you should probably attend next year.  We always have a great time and it seems like some great news always seems to break at Snus Con.  This year, Swedish Match announced strong snus was coming to the US market. But they also announced something equally exciting, that General Snus was getting a redesign for the US market! This was particularly exciting for me.

I don't know if you all have had this trouble, but it's hard to see what products are in the General chiller when you're in a gas station. The current designs are hard to differentiate behind the glass.  This is a photo of a chiller I saw in Illinois on my way home from Snus Con.  First, it's hard to tell what products are behind the class when you look at the photo.  Second, when you tell a clerk which one you want, they have no idea what you're talking about.  This is where the new designs come into play.

Meet the new General Snus cans. As I mentioned, it's hard to tell a clerk which product you want when they're behind the glass.  Some know, but some don't.  So now, if you encounter a clerk who has no idea what they're talking about when you ask for "General White", you can say "the Silver General Snus", or something like that.  The new cans look much, much better. General Original is gold, General Wintergreen is green (of course), General Mint is blue, General Mini Mint is light blue, and General White is silver.  These colors also mirror what we see in Sweden, as well.  Also, it is important to note that the top label no longer peels off.  This was a design decision that Swedish Match went with for the new products.

The new designs will be rolling out later this year!

Small Batch #4: Hallon & Lakrits - Preview. 15 June 2018.

Today, Swedish Match has announced the fourth installment in their Small Batch line, a snus with the flavor of Hallon & Lakrits! To date we have seen Small Batch #1 (Champagne), Small Batch #2 (Blood Orange), and Small Batch #3 (Apple Mint). My favorite of the ones I've tried so far has been the delicious #2 (Blood Orange). Another interesting thing to note about this one is that Swedish Match has upgraded the can design to a much more classy look.  The old ones were very simple, and didn't have much going on.  These new ones, however, look very sleek and elegant.

Also, most of us know by now that lakrits is licorice, but some may not know what hallon is. Well, if you tried Gotlandssnus Jakobssons Hallon and Jordgubb you might. When I reviewed that snus I found out hallon means raspberry in Swedish.  I'll be honest, I'm excited to see how the blending of raspberry and licorice tastes in this product!

Swedish Match describes this snus by saying, "Small Batch No 4 is developed by our experienced product developer Mattias Schyberg and Lars Jonsson in Gothenburg. Mattias and Lars describe that the flavoring has a combination of raspberries and salt, anise and licorice to take the Swedish salty licorice flavor into the snus field. The tobacco character is light and rounded off by the balanced sweetness from the licorice. 

In connection with the launch of Small Batch No 4, we have also developed a new design on the can. The design will show the special taste and characteristics of each new product and therefore there will be a description of the taste of the lid and the numbering it has. The colored ring on the lid is inspired by the taste of the snus. Small Batch No 4 has a taste of raspberry and licorice and we have therefore chosen red as tones against a purple shade."

This snus is available now on the Swedish Match webstore. As with the last ones, however, it probably won't be available to the US.