13 September 2019

FEDRS Nicpacks (Russian) - Review. 13 September 2019.

There are a LOT of new nicotine pouch products coming out of Russia. It seems like every day I see some new product line on Instagram.  I've seen Alfa, Corvus, Pablo, and many others.  I've also reviewed the Killa ones.  I've had requests to review some of them, so today I'll be talking about FEDRS.  A friend on Insta sent me some of these, and they've certainly been interesting to try out.  These products are made of pharmaceutical nicotine, which they apparently get from Switzerland. In addition to that, each product contains cellulose and flavoring. Apparently Russians like their nicotine, because these products definitely have it. They come in two levels, Level 4 (Light) and Level 8 (Extra Strong). “Light” has a nicotine content of 28mg/g, and “Extra Strong” has a nicotine strength of 55mg/g. Yes, this is the strongest product I’ve ever tried.  Each can seems to have between 20-22 portions.

So I don't repeat myself with each review, I want to touch on two things that's the same for each product: flavor longevity and nicotine.  I can't speak to how long the flavors last because, honestly, I can't keep them in that long; they're very, very strong.  I feel the nicotine within about 5 minutes and at 10 minutes my head is spinning.

FEDRS Barberry
Flavor Description:  "Favorite childhood candies of every generation".

I don't know what barberry is, but my friend Snus.biz told me it was a very popular sucking candy during the USSR era.  Wikipedia says it's a type of evergreen shrub, and apparently the small berries are used in jams.  The aroma is a very, very mild, non-sweet berry smell.  It's like an extremely muted cranberry.  The portions come with a burn in the lip once you put them in.  The flavor is like a very mild, non-sweet cranberry with a slight herbal hint to it.  I've never had barberry but that's the best I can do to describe it!

FEDRS Vanilla Cola
Flavor Description:  "Megamix of vanilla and cherry flavors".

I'm a big fan of the vanilla cola flavor.  When I make my own snus, it's one I make often.  When you open the can, the aroma is a mild mix of vanilla and cola.  It burns a bit when you smell it, and it also burns when you put it under the lip.  The flavor is pretty solid though, it's one I'd certainly dig in a snus.  It's a mildly sweet flavor of vanilla and cola.  I notice more vanilla than cola, but they're both there.

FEDRS Energy
Flavor:  "Energetic for extreme lovers".

Side note, as a hockey fan I really like this can design.  This one has a tangy, kind of energy drink smell to it.  When you a portion under the lip, like with the others, it has a mild burn to it.  The flavor has a very straightforward energy drink flavor.  It's pretty mild in nature, and not overly sweet or anything.  It's a little tangy, like with an energy drink.  So with this one, you get the energy drink taste, but a nicotine kick.

Flavor:  "The best taste of summer".

The aroma of this one is a very mild melon smell.  It seems reminiscent of cantaloupe.  It's not too sweet, either.  When you put a portion under the lip, you'll encounter a mild burning sensation, like with the other FEDRS products.  The flavor is a pretty mild flavor of melon, which reminds me mostly of cantaloupe.  It's not overly sweet, either.  It's a pretty gentle taste.

Flavor:  "Uncompromising aroma of fresh mint".

Like the energy one, I like the can design of this one.  I'm a hockey fan, so I like the hockey guy on the can.  The aroma of this one is seems to be a gentle smell of peppermint and menthol.  Like with other FEDRS products, I get a mild burn in the lip, but also a light cooling sensation since this is a mint product.  The flavor seems to be a really light, mild taste of peppermint.  It's not super sweet, either.  It does have a little sweetness to it, but it's not overdone.

Flavor:  "Ripe pear - bright colors of summer".

This one has a pretty mild aroma of pear.  It's not really in your face, and not overly sweet.  Like with other FEDRS products, you'll encounter a little burn when you put one of these under your lip.  The flavor is a pretty mild taste of pear.  Like the aroma, it's not overly sweet, either.  I don't notice much else, it's pretty much just the flavor of pair.

FEDRS Spearmint
Flavor:  "The taste of the legendary chewing gum".

This one has a mild spearmint smell.  It's got a little sweetness to it, but not too much.  Like with the mint one, you get a little burn when you put one of these under your lip, but also a light cooling presence since it's a mint product.  The flavor is a pretty straightforward spearmint taste. It's mild, and gentle in nature.  There is a little sweetness to it, but it's not overdone.  It tastes a lot like spearmint gum, like the flavor description mentions.

One takeaway I had from all these products was that they weren't overly sweet.  I don't know if that's a characteristic of Russian flavor profiles, but I did notice that.  I'm glad I got to review these, but it was definitely a challenge to get through them.  They are incredibly strong.  If you're a nicotine junkie, you may like the kick these have.

07 September 2019

Thunder Chew Bags: Original - Review. 7 September 2019.

I did a review of this one in early 2018, but it has a slick new can design so I figured I would revisit this one. V2 Tobacco is the undisputed king of these Nordic Chew products - they kicked the category off, and they have more of these products on the market than anyone else.  Now, if you're not familiar with what Nordic Chew/chew bags are, I've done a video on it in the past.  Basically these are products that are made the same way as snus, but the tobacco is cut instead of ground, and the portion material is a little thicker so it can technically be chewed, though I never do.  Those two differences make these able to be sold in the EU, while snus is still banned.  I know, it makes zero sense.

When it comes to this product, the flavor description says, "Thunder Original Chew has a traditional tobacco flavor with hints of bergamot".  The can weighs 17.6g and has 22 portions for 0.8g portions.  The nicotine content is 16mg/g (1.6%), which breaks down to 12.8mg/portion.

This is how V2 describes these chew bags: "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."  Looking at the photo, you can tell that chew bags don't look that much different from regular snus.  In the lip, they feel the same, and are used the exact same way!

Aside from the new design, one thing I noticed is that chew bag material feels softer, as does the tobacco inside the pouch; it's not as compact as it used to be. I don't know if V2 changed how they do these, but I did notice a difference from the last time I had them. But everything else - aroma, flavor, and nicotine - all the same. The aroma of this one is a raw, natural tobacco smell. The portions are much more comfortable in the lip than I remember. The taste is really good if you like tobacco flavored products. It's a natural, mild tobacco character. It's very raw in nature, and seems to have a very faint sweetness to it. It's really good stuff. The nicotine feels to be between strong and extra strong; it has a little extra kick to it, but its not too over the top. The flavor lasts a really long time, usually between 1-1.5 hours on average!

If you had these before, you will definitely enjoy the new design.  I was also very impressed with the portion and tobacco; I'm not sure if it's changed or not, but if it has - I like the change!

06 September 2019

R42 (Red Licorice) Super Strong White - Review. 6 September 2019.

Several years ago, I heard about a Swedish Match product named Rocket that was for sale in the border stores (which I did eventually get to review in 2017). At one point, that product evolved into one called Revel by Rocket. Revel by Rocket eventually evolved into R42, which now is a whole range of products with mint flavors (Cool Mint, Peppermint, and Green Mint, and "Super Strong"), a licorice flavor, and a tobacco flavor.  The R42 line also comes with some of the best looking snus cans on the market today.  It's grown from a border store only product line to now being for sale on the Swedish Match e-store.

The flavor description for this one says, "Dark and spicy tobacco character with clear raspberry and licorice elements." It comes in a 10g can with 13 portions for 0.77g portions. The nicotine content is 26mg/g (2.6%), or 20.02mg/portion.

If you've had Small Batch 4: Raspberry Licorice, this one is a lot like that one, but more mild. The aroma is a mild tobacco smell, a light touch of raspberry, and a nice licorice presence. The portions are a dryer white portion, but not uncomfortable in the lip or anything.  The taste is really good; it's a pretty even balance of raspberry and licorice, but mild in nature.  The raspberry is natural, and lightly sweet.  The licorice flavor is present, and works great with the licorice flavor.  There's also a very mild tobacco character in the background.  The nicotine kick is quite strong, and feels well over the extra strong mark.  The flavor also lasts quite a while; I've found I can usually keep this one in for up to 1-1.5 hours.

It's nice to see this flavor living on in a product, I just wish it wasn't so strong.  But, if you like really high nicotine levels - give this one a try.  The flavor is delicious!

05 September 2019

Zyn Cool Mint (X-Slim) Nicotine Pouches - Review. 5 September 2019.

Swedish Match is a company who likes to break new ground - and the super slim category is an example of that. They kicked it off back in 2016 with G3 Mint Super Slim, a snus product. In 2019, they released the first "all white" super slim product - G4 Tact. And now, they've released the first super slim nicotine pouch product: Zyn Cool Mint (X-Slim). I've reviewed this flavor in its other forms, including the dry mini US version of Zyn Cool Mint. I've also reviewed the extra strong Swedish-market version of Zyn Cool Mint, which comes in an extra strong nicotine strength and a more moist pouch.  This is another Swedish market version, so it's a moist pouch, but now super-slim in format!  If you're new to this type of stuff, nicotine pouches are a growing category which are like snus, except they contain nicotine, but no tobacco.  This is how Swedish Match describes this product: "NICOTINE WITHOUT TOBACCO: ZYN is for those who like to enjoy nicotine but dislike the experience of tobacco. You can use ZYN anytime and anywhere - just put the portion under your lip.

The flavor description for this one says, "Zyn Cool Mint has an intense peppermint flavorwith a refreshing and chilling aftertaste." This product has 20 portions in a 10.6g can, for 0.53g portions. The nicotine content is 14mg/g (1.4%), or 7.42mg/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.

This one reminds me a lot of the G4 Blue Mint product. The aroma is a gentle, mild, lightly sweet, smooth smell of peppermint. The portions are super slim, as the name says, but they're not tiny or anything. Though they have as much material in them as a mini portion does, they feel more substantial, if that makes sense.  Since it's a mint product, you'll also get a mild cooling sensation in the lip.  The flavor is a very smooth, mild, lightly sweet flavor of peppermint.  It's not too sharp, and not too bold.  I like how gentle it is.  The nicotine strength feels to be around the regular strength level, so it's not too strong.  The flavor, on average, seems to last about 45 minutes.

If you like nicotine pouches, but want something in a much slimmer format, you may really dig this one.  It's a Swedish-market product, and I haven't seen any stores selling it to the US.  But if you're in Sweden, check it out.  It's pretty tasty stuff.

NEW LD Vit and LD Vit Stark! 5 September 2019.

Nordic Snus AB has announced a new product, LD Vit Stark! Not only that, but they've also done a change to LD Vit. The new LD Vit Stark has a nicotine content of 14mg/g (stronger than their regular 10mg/g). This new LD Vit Stark is said to have a much softer portion, a change they also passed on to regular LD Vit.  These products, with the new changes, were made available on September 3rd, 2019.  As far as their press release goes, here is my best Google translation:

Premiere for new LD White Strong portion

One of the Swedes' favorite snuses just got a little better. And stronger. Nordic Snus is launching the new LD Vit Stark with a new softer bag material. In addition, the LD White portion gets an update as well. The latest addition to the product portfolio is, just as the name suggests, a stronger version of the popular LD White portion. The nicotine content has been jacked up from 10 mg / g to 14 mg / g, making it perfect for the snuser who likes when there is a little more nicotine.

"Last year we launched a strong version of LD Original Stark when we saw that higher nicotine content was required in our products. With autumn now underway, it is therefore perfect to show off in the coming autumn darkness with a white portion that looks exactly the same as before, but which is improved from every aspect", says Jacob Dahlbeck, Brand Manager at Nordic Snus.

In addition to the new strength, the moisture content of all white portions in LD's product portfolio has also been adjusted so that the portion delivers a smooth and long-lasting taste experience without drip when it lies under the lip. And as a bonus, the new Vit Stark portion is launched with a bag material that is even softer than before.

"We went back to the drawing board to see how we could take our white portions that our consumers love and make them even better. As for LD Vit, we are confident that our consumers will like the new improvements that take the product one step closer to perfection", concludes Jacob Dahlbeck.

New LD Vit Portion and LD Vit Stark will be available in stores and online from Tuesday, September 3.

04 September 2019

Lots of New Snus! 4 September 2019.

A whole bunch of new snus has dropped over the past week, and I figured I would just write one big preview article about all the new stuff instead of doing individual ones. As many of you know, the end of the year seems to be when snus companies release a lot of new products. Some stay around, some don't. But that's the name of the game. Some of these I'm particularly excited about. Some of these I've never heard of before. So, with that being said - let's get into it and talk about all the new products!

SISU The Emperor Original Stark (White Portion)

This one is a new product from AG Snus that I'm rather curious to try.  The SnusBolaget flavor description says, "Emperor is a reference to Finland's independence from Russia. Traditional snus flavor with bergamot, tobacco, citrus and a slightly smoky taste with whiskey tones.  The tobacco blend created by master blender Lars Olsen."  Each can is 14g and has a nicotine content of 20mg/g.

SISU 1917 Wintergreen (Extra Fresh) Super Strong

This is another new product from AG Snus.  The SnusBolaget flavor description says, "Fresh with a clear taste of Wintergreen. 1917 is a wink to Finland's independence proclaimed in 1917. SISU Fresh Wintergreen White portion is one of the latest additions under the SISU brand. The tobacco blend was developed by master mixer Lars Olesen and the snus has a clear wintergreen taste that gives a fresh taste."  Each can weighs 14g and has a nicotine content of 20mg/g.

Alida Los

This one launched in the Summer of 2019 and I (gasp!) somehow missed this one.  It's not listed for sale anymore, so it probably sold out.  It looks to be a small batch type product from a new manufacturer, so I'm really curious to try it.  The SnusBolaget flavor description for this one says, "Alida from Monopolet is a brand new loose snuff. Only 1000 pieces of this unique variant will be manufactured. The tobacco is 100% Swedish and organically grown in Fjälkinge, Skåne. Each can is uniquely numbered and comes in an associated wooden box.  Monopolet is a new manufacturer with long experience in the snuff industry. The can with the premium snus comes in a beautiful and rustic wooden box where it is carefully packaged.  The producer has put a tremendous amount of love on his first release of loose snus.  Mildly processed to retain all natural flavors. In the background you can feel tones of Swedish herbs. Of course, the herbs are supplied by a local company."  Each package has 120g of tobacco and has a nicotine content of 8mg/g.  Now, even though this one isn't made anymore, I wanted to cover it because they also have a portion version out now.

Alida Original Portion

This is the portion version of the product listed above.  The SnusBolaget flavor description for this one says, "An exclusive original portion from the snuff manufacturer Monopolet. The tobacco is 100% Swedish and organically grown in Fjälkinge, Skåne."  Each can weighs 18.5g and has a nicotine content of 8mg/g.

Knox Xtra Stark White

The Knox brand from Skruf is incredibly popular and now comes in an Xtra Stark version!  The SnusBolaget flavor description says, "The latest addition to the Knox White family. The same snuff as Knox White but with higher nicotine potency and the same clear tobacco taste in combination with citrus tones."  Each can weighs 19.2g and they have the nicotine content listed at 12mg/g, but I suspect it is actually stronger than that.

Catch XRANGE Raspberry & Licorice (Slim White)

This one I am ridiculously excited about.  I was a big fan of the Small Batch 4 Raspberry Licorice Snus and glad it's here to stay full time!  The flavor description on the Swedish Match e-store says, "The taste combination Hallon & Licorice, which was first temporarily launched through the Small Batch concept, is now also available in Slim White format.  Light tobacco character with clear elements of raspberries, and some licorice and anise."  Each can weighs 16.8g and has 21 portions, at 0.8g each.  The nicotine content is 8.5mg/g (0.85%) or 6.8mg/portion.

General Onyx Guld (Svart Portion)

This one was a nice surprise.  I've been a big General Onyx fan for quite a while, so I'm glad to see SM doing more with that line.  The flavor description on the Swedish Match e-store says, "Maximum taste - low drip.  Dark and smoky tobacco character with hints of tar, dried fruit and licorice."  Each can weighs 21.6g and has 24 portions for 0.9g portions.  The nicotine content is 12mg/g (1.2%), or 10.8mg/portion.  I'm excited about this one because the flavor description sounds a lot like the discontinued Roda Lacket Portion snus.

Zyn Espressino Mini Dry (Nicotine Pouches)

Swedish Match is releasing another new Zyn product (in Sweden, sorry US folks).  The SnusBolaget flavor description says, "ZYN Espressino is one of two new products from ZYN. It has a dark character and as its name implies it has a clear element of coffee, mixed with cocoa, nougat and vanilla. The combination gives a deep flavor complemented by creamy sweetness.  These flavors form a dark character with deep flavors and sweet tones."  The nicotine content is listed at 7.5mg/g.

Zyn Lemon Spritz (Nicotine Pouches) Slim White

Another new Zyn product, but this one is not the mini dry type.  The SnusBolaget e-store description says, "ZYN Lemon Spritz brightens up life with its fresh, sour taste of citrus and grapefruit along with mild sweetness from peach and rose water. Together they form a sour sweet feeling under the lip. ZYN Slim Lemon Spritz is the latest flavor in ZYN Slim. It stands out from the rest by combining sour taste from citrus and grapefruit with sweetness from peach and rose water. ZYN Lemon Spritz has a strength of 2, which is a lower strength than the other ZYN Slim."  This one comes in a 16.8g can and has a nicotine content of 8mg/g.

As usual, I'm not sure which of these products will be available to the US.  I know SnusCENTRAL posted on their FB page that they would have the new Onyx Gold, but that's the only one I've seen so far.  I imagine they'll get the Catch XR one as well, maybe the new SISU products.  And of course I'm working on getting these for review, so hold tight!

03 September 2019

R42 (Classic) Super Strong White - Review. 3 September 2019.

Several years ago, I heard about a Swedish Match product named Rocket that was for sale in the border stores (which I did eventually get to review in 2017). At one point, that product evolved into one called Revel by Rocket. Revel by Rocket eventually evolved into R42, which now is a whole range of products with mint flavors (Cool MintPeppermint, and Green Mint, and "Super Strong"), a licorice flavor, and a tobacco flavor.  The R42 line also comes with some of the best looking snus cans on the market today - this one particularly.  It's grown from a border store only product line to now being for sale on the Swedish Match e-store.

The flavor description for this one says, "Dark and spicy tobacco character with clear hints of pepper and smoke." It comes in a 10g can with 13 portions for 0.77g portions. The nicotine content is 26mg/g (2.6%), or 20.02mg/portion.

The product this most closely reminds me of is G3 TNT, in terms of the flavor.  The aroma is a mild, but robust tobacco smell.  It's lightly smoky, and very raw smelling.  The portions are dryer than the average white portion, but not uncomfortable in the lip or anything.  The flavor of this one is a mild, raw, earthy, slightly smoky tobacco flavor.  It's not sweet, there's no hints of anything, it's just a straightforward tobacco taste.    That's pretty exciting, given that everything is mint flavored now.  The nicotine kick is quite strong, and feels well over the extra strong mark.  The flavor also lasts quite a while; I've found I can usually keep this one in for up to 1-1.5 hours.

I enjoyed this one.  It's a little strong for my taste, but I'm glad I got to try it.  If you like the taste of tobacco and want something with a really strong kick - check this one out.