21 October 2018

Swedish Match to re-release Mörkbrunt Lös! 21 October 2018.

I've been hearing for a while that Swedish Match is preparing to revive some of their classic brands, and it looks like this rumor is coming true. According to the e-store NetTobak.com, the first product they are bringing back is Mörkbrunt Lös. Swedish Match will be temporarily bringing back these products (I'm assuming on a limited edition basis) to see what consumers think. They're going to use the original techniques and recipes, so if you tried this product in the past, this new one will taste about the same. This snus has "a dark, smoky tobacco flavor with a certain saltiness and a little spice."

This snus was manufactured from 1916 to 1998. It was originally made by J.L Tiedemann's Tobacco Factory in Charlottenberg, Värmland, which was eventually taken over by the Swedish Tobacco Monopoly. Eventually, as with other brands, production was moved to Göteborg with the Charlottenberg factory ceased production around the 1940's. It originally came in two versions, mainly sold in Dalsland and Värmland. You can see what the old cans looked like, pictured on the left.

This is what the can looked like towards the end of its life. You can see that the new can looks very close to the original can.  I'm excited to try this, because I never had the original, and this is a way to enjoy Swedish Snus history.  Now let's just hope the US is able to buy it.  Most Swedish Match limited edition releases the past several years have been limited to their e-store, so I'm not too optimistic.  But, we'll see!

19 October 2018

U-Sample Chew Bags (Black Arctic & Cold Arctic) - Reviews. 19 October 2018.

The U-Sample chew bags line from AG Snus recently went through quite a few changes, so instead of updating the old review as I usually do, I'm writing a new review on these products. What changes you may ask? We'll get into that shortly. First, if anyone is new to Nordic Chew/chew bags/chewing tobacco, these products are basically the same as snus, but legal to be sold in the EU because they are called "chew bags" or "chewing tobacco". The only difference is that usually the tobacco is cut instead of ground, and the bags are thicker so you can technically chew them. Though, I will admit, I never chew them - I use them just like regular snus. If you want to learn more about the differences between Swedish Snus and Nordic Chew, check out this video, as it explains all that.

What Changed?
First, it looks as though the original flavor was discontinued, and the mint and licorice mint flavors remained.  There was, of course, a design change.  Arctic White was renamed Cold Arctic, and Black and Arctic was simply renamed Black Arctic.  The portions are no longer the large size, they are now the slim size.  Also, the portion count stayed at 24, but the can weights dropped from 16.8 gram to 10 grams, so the portions went from 0.7 grams to 0.5 grams.  Yes, I know that math sounds wrong - because a 10 gram can with 24 portions would 0.41 gram portions.  However, when I weighed them individually I found the portions to actually be 0.5 grams.  And yes, I did weigh them.  I'm that big of a snus geek.  Now, with all that out of the way, let's get into the reviews!

U-Sample Black Arctic Chew Bags

The flavor description for this product says, "Sweetness from licorice and freshness from mint in these extra strong chewing bags."  This product contains 24 portions, and while the bottom of the can says the can weight is 10g, it's actually around 12g.  The portions weigh, on average, 0.5 grams each.  I'm not sure what the nicotine strength is, but Northerner.com has it listed at 20mg/g (2.0%), which would be 10mg/portion.

To preface this review, I'm not a fan of mixing licorice and mint.  I just wanted to be up front about that.  Now, on to the review.  As far as the aroma/taste of this product, that hasn't changed.  When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is a mild, mellow smell of licorice.  I don't really smell mint, but there seems to be some menthol in there.  The portions, being only 0.5 grams each, feel lighter in the lip than regular portions, but aren't too light.  They're also soft, and quite comfortable.  They also come with a mild cooling presence in the lip, as well!  The taste, like the aroma, is a gentle, mellow taste of black licorice accompanied by a little hint of menthol.  The flavor on these lasts quite a while; I find I can keep them in for up to an hour, sometimes more! As far as the nicotine goes, I'd say it feels just a hair above regular strength.

U-Sample Cold Arctic Chew Bags

The flavor description for this product says, "Peppermint, spearmint and menthol in these extra strong chewing bags."  This product contains 24 portions, and while the bottom of the can says the can weight is 10g, it's actually around 12g.  The portions weigh, on average, 0.5 grams each.  As I said above, I'm not sure what the nicotine strength is, but Northerner.com has it listed at 20mg/g (2.0%), which would be 10mg/portion.

The aroma and taste of this product hasn't changed, either.  The aroma is a sharp, present smell of peppermint accompanied by light tones of menthol.  The portions are, like the others, a little light in weight, but not too light.  They are still comfortable in the lip!  Being a mint product, you'll notice that gentle cooling presence in the lip when you put one of these in. The taste is much like the aroma, a present, sharp, lightly sweet taste of peppermint accompanied by a mild touch of menthol.  The flavor, on average, lasts up to an hour, sometimes more.  And the nicotine, like the last one, feels to be just a little above regular strength.

As far as these products go, I love the new design.  U-Sample Cold Arctic was pretty tasty and enjoyable.  U-Sample Black Arctic wasn't really for me, but I think people who like licorice/mint snus products will enjoy this one.  If you're in the EU and can't get snus, but can get chew bags - these are both worth a try!

16 October 2018

Lyft - Nicotine Pouches From Epok! 16 October 2018.

It looks like BAT/Winnington is looking to get into the nicotine pouches category. Via Snusbolaget, today I discovered the new Lyft line (not to be confused with Lyft, the ride-sharing service).  This is a new product line that is catching on to the growing nicotine pouch category.  This category contains products which are free from tobacco, but contain nicotine.  Usually, they are made of some form of plant fiber and contain tobacco-derived nicotine.

The product line looks to have all the familiar tastes from the Epok line:  Blueberry, Licorice Strong, Melon, Ice Cool Mint, Mint, Lime Strong, and Lime.  I imagine the flavors will be similar.  The nicotine contents and can weights also look to be the same.  Regular Strength products are 16.8 gram cans with 24 portions for 0.7 gram portions and nicotine strength of 8mg/g (0.8%) and 5.6mg/portion.  Strong products look to be 16.8 gram cans with 24 portions for 0.7 gram portions, and nicotine strength of 14mg/g (1.4%) or 9.8mg/portion.

I imagine these products should be for sale soon in other stores.  These products do not contain tobacco, so I imagine they'll be able to be purchased in the EU, as well.

15 October 2018

Gotlandssnus Blåbär & Vanilj - Review. 15 October 2018.

Gotlandssnus has released the latest snus in their Henrik Jakobsson's Special series, this one with a flavor of Blueberry and Vanilla!  The Henrik Jakobsson's Special series is a new-ish line from Gotlandssnus where they test flavors.  The first one they released was Jakobsson's Special: Cola, which proved popular enough to be added to the full time line-up.  Next came Jakobsson's Special: Salmiak, which didn't stick around long.  Most recently we say Jakobsson's Special: Peach, which I've heard is being discontinued as well.  With this new product, the can design has changed.  Jakobssons has been removed from the top lid and the design scheme has changed, as well.

The flavor description for this product says, "Blueberry is the dominant flavor with a more subdued tobacco taste and a slight hint of vanilla."  This snus comes in a 20 gram can with 20 portions for 1 gram portions.  The nicotine content is 14mg/g (1.4%) for 14mg/portion!

When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is predominantly blueberry with a smooth, creamy vanilla smell in the background. There also seems to be a presence of grape, as well, but it's pretty mild. The portions are plump, moist, and quickly release flavor and nicotine. The taste is very much like the aroma! I notice blueberry front and center, it comes through a little sweet but not as sweet as I expected. I also, for some reason, notice something that tastes like grape. Behind the blueberry flavor you'll find the vanilla, and it's pretty mild, natural, and smooth. I don't notice the tobacco character until about 20 minutes in. The nicotine on this one feels stronger than a regular strength, but it's not too over the top strong. Being a Gotlandssnus portion, the flavor lasts a pretty good amount of time; on average I can enjoy this snus for 45-55 minutes.

As far as this product goes, it has a pretty decent taste, but it's not for me.  I appreciate that Gotlandssnus is doing some different things, and the flavor is pretty unique.  I imagine a lot of people are going to enjoy this.  But for me, it's just not something I feel the need to use again.  I imagine this would be at home in someone's rotation as a dessert snus.

Small Batch #6 - Svensk Skog. Preview. 15 October 2018.

When I reviewed the last Small Batch snus from Swedish Match, I assumed it was the last one. It doesn't appear as though that is the case, as today they announced a new one - Small Batch #6: Svensk Skog! Small Batch 1, released in January, had a taste of champagne.  Small Batch 2, released in February, had a taste of blood orange.  Small Batch 3, released in May, had a taste of apple and mint. And lastly, Small Batch 4, released in July, had a taste of raspberry and licorice.   Of the 5 so far, Small Batch 2 - Blood Orange was my favorite.  Swedish Match describes the small batch series by saying, "We at Swedish Match have produced thousands of products over the course of a few hundred years. Our experts are experts in the correct sense of the word. But they have not been tired of developing new ideas. In order for them to get that opportunity - and for Swedish snusers to be able to share it all - we now launch a new range of products called Small Batch, where the flavor is replaced several times a year. Each flavor is produced in a small edition."

This new one has a very interesting flavor, however.  The flavor description says, "For Small Batch 6 we have taken inspiration from the Swedish Forest in the fall. This snus has flavors of earthiness, plants and mushrooms, that are supported by a dark tobacco character."  I don't know the nicotine content, as it hasn't been listed yet.  In the past, these white portion products have come in 24 gram cans with 24 portions, for 1 gram portions.  Once I get ahold of this product I'll make sure and do a review.  We'll see how this one tastes!

12 October 2018

Snubie Mr. Bacon Lös and Cheese & Bacon Lös - Previews. 12 October 2018.

Recently, I partnered with Snus.biz to release my second ever Snubie branded snus: Snubie Blood Orange and Goji Berry Los.  We decided to partner up again to release a unique flavor that has never been done in the snus world before:  bacon!  Nowadays, you can get bacon flavored everything, and it's time the snus world got to enjoy it.  We are releasing two products:  Snubie Mr. Bacon Lös and Snubie Bacon and Cheese Lös.  These products are available exclusively in the lös format!  One of my favorite nasal snuff products is Toque's Cheese and Bacon, so that's a big reason I wanted to see this in the snus format.

Snubie Mr. Bacon Lös

For this unusual and experimental snus, we used two types of tobacco: Virginia and Turkish Dubek.  This snus comes in the combo grind, which is a mix of long cut and fine grinding. Combo grinding allows a unique way of releasing flavor, and nicotine! For the broth that flavors this snus, we used Tokyo-K Duroc marble pork (Hungarian Mangalitsa "Wooly"). This is the only breed of pork experts recognize as meeting the standards of "marbling". It's been called "the Kobe beef of pork". This snus comes with a variable nicotine content between 12-25mg/g, and the nicotine kick is strong with a smooth delivery.

Snubie Bacon and Cheese Lös

This snus is the same as Snubie Mr. Bacon Lös, but with an added ingredient to give a unique flavor:  the elegant Dorblu Cheese! Dorblu is a German cheese with a creamy, slightly buttery, spicy taste. It serves as the perfect compliment to the robust tobacco flavor and smokiness of the bacon.

Both of these products will be available soon!  Once they are produced, you can order them by sending an email to hello@snus.biz.  I will put announcements on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram once they are available to order, so make sure you're following Snubie on social media for all the latest updates!

03 October 2018

Epok Freeze (X-Strong) Slim All White - Review. 3 October 2018.

Winnington has launched a new product in the Epok series, and this one is their strongest snus release to date: Epok Freeze X-Strong! This product is, of course, another mint snus. They have two other mint products in their lineup - Epok Mint Slim (8.5mg/g nicotine), and Epok Ice Cool Mint Strong (14mg/g of nicotine).  This new one is a touch stronger than their strong products, at 16mg/g of nicotine.  As of the date of this article, I couldn't find anywhere selling this to the US, but a friend of mine grabbed me a can from SnusHof.com - so thank for helping me get ahold of this! Their product description says, "Epok Freeze X-Strong Slim Portion has a rich mint flavor. Delivered in completely white portions that do not stain your teeth." This product comes in a 16.8 gram can with 24 portions for 0.7 gram portions. The nicotine content is 16mg/g (1.6%), which breaks down to 11.2mg/portion.

As usual, I had to cut open portions to look at what's inside an Epok portion. Now, if you're new to Epok, you may be asking yourself what "white tobacco" is. This is how Winnington describes it: "White tobacco is produced in a patented, environmentally friendly process that gently cleanses and refines brown tobacco. In this process, unwanted substances are minimized, such as heavy metals and nitrosamines. The feeling under the lip, nicotine strength and flavor experience is the same as in a regular snus pouch - but without the snus running or coloring your teeth. White tobacco contains white tobacco, nicotine, water, stabilizer and flavoring agents. White tobacco is produced in a water-based process, ensuring the tobacco is clean of all unwanted substances. White tobacco contains no natural sugar. Instead, xylitol is used as a sweetener."

When you open the can, the aroma that jumps out at you is a sharp mint smell. It's closer to peppermint, in terms of type. The portions are soft, slim, and comfortable in the lip. When I put a portion in my lip I notice it has a pretty hefty burn to it, and it has a nice cooling sensation in the lip, as well.  The flavor releases pretty quickly, and so does the nicotine!  Within a few minutes, I'm already feeling a major kick from this stuff.  The flavor is much like the aroma.  It's a present peppermint taste, which comes through in mildly sweet way.  The peppermint flavor is sharp, but pleasant at the same time.  Back to the nicotine, this stuff feels above the extra strong level, which is interesting because it's only 11.2mg/portion.  I don't know how they do it, but it hits hard.  I can't keep these in for very long, but I was able to keep a few portions in up to 45 minutes, so I imagine they last about as long as other Epok products on average.

If you like mint products, enjoy the all white category, and want something that has a super strong kick to it, this may be the product for you!