21 January 2019

Snubie.com at 2019 Vapers Carnivale in OKC! 21 January 2019.

Some rather exciting news has come down the pipeline - I was invited to speak at the 2019 Vapers Carnivale in Oklahoma City, OK. This is a two day event taking place on January 26th and 27th. I will be speaking there on the 26th at 3:00pm on the big stage! Afterwards, I'll have an hour in an offstage room for those who want to meet up, talk snus, or have any questions. Tickets are available at EventBrite for those who want to attend. They're super cheap, too. The event is taking place at the Cox Convention Center at 1 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

I'm not a vaper, but I am a harm reduction advocate.  As someone who has written about snus for going on 10 years now, I'm excited to speak about snus to a brand new audience.  I'm looking forward to this conference, and hope to see some of you there!

19 January 2019

Three Snus.biz Reviews: Bumbo Lös, Gingerbread Man Lös, and Barrel Aged Porter Lös. 19 January 2019.

I recently did an order with Snus.biz to try out some of their new flavors I've been curious about. Today, I'm going to review 3 of them. In this review, we're going to talk about Bumbo Lös, Gingerbread Man Lös, and Barrel Aged Porter Lös. If you aren't familiar with Snus.biz, they're a Swedish Snus manufacturer located in Ukraine. Yes, Ukraine. Before you ask, yes, their snus is legit. Everything they produce is done in small batches, so each product has special attention paid to it's quality.  I'm not just saying this because they're the producer of three of my snus products - Snubie Blood Orange & Goji Berry Lös, Snubie Mr. Bacon Lös, and Snubie Bacon and Cheese Lös.  I also happen to be a user of their products.  But, cheap plug, if you want to try any of my snus products - you can order them, here.

Pay special attention to the can designs below, as well.  Snus.biz is making their cans look better than they originally looked.  When I first reviewed their products in March of last year, the can designs were very bland and basic.  But now, they're looking much better!

Snubie Blood Orange and Goji Berry Lös

This isn't a review of this product, but I did want to show the new can design.  We switched the black can to a grey can, and I think it looks much better this way.  If you're interested in reading that review, you can check it out - here.

Snus.biz Bumbo Lös

Bumbo Loose is a snus with flavors of dark rum, citrus juice, grenadine, and nutmeg.  Bumbo was a popular drink in the Caribbean during the era of piracy.  I've never had it before, but it sounds tasty.  The tobacco comes in the combo grind, which is a mix between long cut grinding and traditional snus grinding.  This snus has a nicotine strength of 19mg/g.

When you open the can, the aroma that jumps out at you is a fresh citrus smell and hints of dark rum. There's a little tartness to the aroma, which may come from the grenadine. As with the last one, the tobacco comes in the combo grind, which is a little different than you regular snus grind, but allows for a unique release of flavor. It's not as easy to handbake as the usual grind of snus, but it's still doable. If you don't wanna bake it, you can do the farmer's pinch and be on your way!  This snus has a really nice taste.  The tobacco flavor is present, earthy, and rich.  There's a present citrus taste to it which seems orange-y in nature.  There's a light sweetness which I suspect may be from the nutmeg and a little tartness which is probably from the grenadine.  The flavor of rum is relatively mild and in the background and mixes well with the citrus flavor.  I really dig the way this stuff tastes.  The nicotine feels to be around the extra strong level and the flavor, on average, lasts about 45 minutes.

Snus.biz Gingerbread Man Lös

Gingerbread Man Loose contains a mix of Golden Virginia and Cuban Partagas tobaccos.  The tobacco comes in the combo grind, which is a mix between long cut grinding and traditional snus grinding.  The flavor is a mix of ginger root, ginger molasses, and organic vanilla, and comes in a nicotine strength of 19mg/g.

Yes, I know, Christmas is over. But, I still wanted to give this one a try. When you open the can, the sweet, present smell of ginger greets you along with light tones of vanilla. The tobacco comes in the combo grind, which is a little different than you regular snus grind, but allows for a unique release of flavor. It's not as easy to handbake as the usual grind of snus, but it can be done. If you don't wanna bake it, you can easily just shove some under your lip and be good to go! The flavor of this one is an earthy, slightly spicy tobacco flavor complimented by a present taste of ginger, a hint of vanilla, and some light sweetness. It's a really nice flavor. The nicotine strength feels firmly at the extra strong level, and I find the flavor lasts up to about 45 minutes!

Snus.biz Bourbon Porter Barrel Aged Baltic

Bourbon Porter Barrel Aged Baltic Los Snus has a hint of bourbon, an invigorating aroma of freshly brewed coffee, a rounded chocolate malt backbone, hints of toasted oak, and a balanced touch of vanilla for a smooth finish.  This snus contains a mix of three tobaccos:  Turkish Dubec, Cuban Partagas, and Golden Virginia.  The tobacco was aged for six months in old oak barrels, similar to the Perique tobacco aging process.  The tobacco comes in the combo grind, which is a mix between long cut grinding and traditional snus grinding.  This snus has a nicotine strength of between 15mg/g-25mg/g.

I don't drink a lot of porters, but I love beer, so I was very excited to try this one. If you aren't familiar with porters, they're dark beers, originally developed in London around the 1800s. They come from a brown malt, and the name comes from their popularity with river porters.  When I reviewed this beer, I paired it with Boulder Beer's Shake Chocolate Porter.  I was just in Colorado a few weeks ago and grabbed some to bring back with me to pair with this snus.  Now, on to the review!  When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is utterly beautiful; there are aromas of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and oak.  It is a beautiful medley!  Like with the last two, the snus comes in the combo grind which isn't the easiest to handbake but again, it can be done.  Or, you can just grab a pinch and throw it in your lip and be on your way!  The flavor is absolutely delicious.  The tobacco flavor is rich, earthy, and has a slight spice to it.  There are rich notes of chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and vanilla.  In the background I find tones of oak, and a light smokiness.  It's a very well rounded, well done flavor.  The nicotine strength feels right at the extra strong level and the flavor, on average, lasts about 45 minutes.

I really enjoyed all of these products, but my favorite of the three new ones I hadn't had yet (Bumbo, Porter, and Gingerbread) was definitely the Porter flavor.  It may be one of the best tasting snuses I've had in a while.  All three were great though, and I'd definitely suggest giving each one a try if you haven't yet.  Cough cough, don't forget my Snubie Blood Orange and Goji Berry Los.  Sorry, I had to throw that in there.  Happy Snusing!

18 January 2019

Lyft Nicotine Pouches: Blueberry - Review. 18 January 2019.

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.

Today, we're talking about Lyft Blueberry.  I wanted to do this one next because Epok Blueberry is a favorite of mine.  The flavor description says, "LYFT Blueberry Slim All White Portion clearly tastes of fresh, sweet and sour Swedish blueberries."  This product comes in a 16.8 gram can with 24 portions for 0.7 gram portions. The nicotine content is 8.5mg/g (0.85%) for 5.95mg/portion.  Note, this is the same as Epok Blueberry 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.

As a big fan of Epok Blueberry, I will say this - this product seems almost identical to Epok Blueberry, even though Lyft Blueberry doesn't contain tobacco. I was really impressed with that. The aroma is a sweet but tart smell of blueberry.  It's very fresh and very natural! The portions are slim, soft, and feel very comfortable in the lip. The flavor is very much like the aroma; a natural flavor of blueberry!  Like the aroma, it's lightly tart, and lightly sweet.  It's not overly sweet, but does have a little touch of sweetness to it.  But, it's very natural and fruity tasting!  The nicotine strength feels to be about the regular 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!

17 January 2019

Snus News! 17 January 2019.

The new year is upon us! Happy New Year to all of you, and let's hope for a great 2019! To kick off this new year, I've got lots of smokeless tobacco (and non-tobacco) news and it's kind of all over the place. But, I figured I'd throw it all in one article so I can tell you about all these new products launching this year. So, let's get into it!

Assens A/S - Devil's Own Chew Bags

A special thanks to Matevž Zupančič on Facebook who sent a photo of this over to me.  Meet Devil's Own Original Chewing Tobacco.  This is a product from Assens A/S, which I think is AG Snus, has launched a rather bold product.  Now, I'm Catholic, so if I review this I'll probably throw a rosary on to be safe.  I don't know much about this product, but I'm working on getting a can for review.  Wish me luck.

V2 Tobacco - Thunder Frosted Extra Strong White Dry Discontinued

V2 Tobacco has started off 2019 by discontinuing one of their variants of Thunder Frosted - the Extra Strong White Dry version.  Honestly, I don't know anyone personally who used this, so I imagine the sales volume was low which is why V2 delisted it.  Their catalog seems to have been slimming a lot since Swedish Match bought them.

GN Tobacco - Cyclone CBD Shattered Mint

I'll be honest, I know absolutely nothing about CBD, marijuana, THC, or any of that stuff.  I know there is a company called Cannadips that makes CBD pouches, but that's really the only other ones I know making them.  Now, GN Tobacco appears to be getting into the game with these new CBD pouches.  I saw this on their Instagram, so I'm not sure when it launches.

GN Tobacco - White Fox (All White)

I really dig this can design.  I also really liked that "What Does The Fox Say" song, and for some reason this makes me think of that.  This product is GN Tobacco's first entry into the "all white" category, which is growing more and more.  I assume these are products that contain nicotine, but no tobacco.  I haven't seen them for sale anywhere, so I'm not sure when they're going on sale.  But, it looks like they're coming soon.

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!