10 January 2018

Lundgren's Norrland - Preview. 10 January 2018.

2018 is off to a bang, and Fiedler and Lundgren have launched two new products in their Lundgren's line! I've been a big fan of the Lundgren's line ever since it was launched, so I'm very excited about these new products. Honestly, I haven't encountered a product in the Lundgren's line that I didn't like. That is pretty impressive! They have really stepped up their game in term of innovation, particularly with the perforated white portion and the pre-baked los products. Now, they have started off the year by giving us Lundgren's Norrland White and Lundgren's Norrland White Slim.

Lundgren's Norrland White Portion

Flavor Description:  "Lundgrens Norrland Slim White Portion is a modern snus in a sleek and modern format. Inspiration comes from Swedish nature! Lundgrens Norrland White Portion delivers white portions with a taste of spruce and mountain flowers."

Nicotine - 8 mg/g
Can Weight - 21.6 grams
Portion - White Portion
Lundgren's Nor[p-wrland White Slim Portion

Flavor Description:  "Lundgrens Norrland Slim White Portion is a modern snus in a sleek and modern format. Inspiration comes from Swedish nature! Lundgrens Norrland Slim White is a slim, white snus with a well-balanced and floral taste of spruce and mountain flowers."

Nicotine - 8mg/g
Can Weight - 19.2 grams
Portion - Slim White Portion

03 January 2018

Small Batch #1 - Review. 3 January 2018.

2018 is here, and my first new product review of the year is Small Batch #1 by Swedish Match, a snus with a flavor inspired by champagne! The Small Batch line is a new line from Swedish Match, but not their first small batch product. Aside from Kardus, they also released Nick and Johnny Small Batch No 5 Licorice (Slim White) back in 2015, which was also a small batch product. This flavor was developed by Mattias Schyberg and Lars Jonsson, master blenders at Swedish Match. Swedish Match describes the Small Batch line 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 is the first of 5 Small Batch products that will be launched this year.

The flavor description for this product says, "We have developed a snus where the mixture carries a taste of champagne. The flavor is characterized by citrus, bitter orange, elder and apple, but we have also added some tropical fruit for a final finish. The product comes in a white portion and has a light, bready and air dried tobacco flavor." The snus comes in a 24 gram can with 24 portions for 1 gram portions! The nicotine content isn't listed on the can, or their website, so I'm unsure of the exact nicotine level.

This snus is quite complex when it comes to the aroma, and the flavor. When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is a tart smell smell of citrus, some pepper, a tart/tropical red berry smell, a mild hint of apple, and light floral notes. The portions are soft to the touch and feel comfortable in the lip. They are wedged for the star formation, so I do suggest fluffing them! The flavor starts with a tart taste of citrus, a little pepper, and a mild floral sweetness. As it develops, you'll notice a tart/tropical berry flavor, a little apple, and a gentle tobacco taste. The nicotine feels to be between regular strength and strong. The flavor lasts a good 50 minutes to an hour, as well. The closest thing I can think to compare this to is GR Hjortron, but with more citrus, pepper, and a little apple.

Small Batch #1 is a pretty tasty snus.  We can't get it in the US, so a special thanks to my friend Michael K. in Sweden who was able to send this over for review.  If you like champagne, it's definitely worth a try.  I paired it with a champagne when I did the video review and found the two worked really well together!  It's available at the Swedish Match webstore, and their stores in Stockholm, Göteborg, Åre, and Strömstad.

01 January 2018

Vote in the 2017 Snus Awards! (1 January 2018)

2018 is here, and that means one thing - it's time to vote for your favorite snus products in the 2017 Snus Awards! We saw a lot of products discontinued, and a lot of new products launched in 2017. For the past few years, we've done the Snus Awards for you, the snuser, to vote on your favorite products!  There are several categories to vote on, and this year we added Nordic Chew/Chew Bags as a category to vote on, as there are a lot of those products launched, as well!  We will hold the voting open for a few weeks, and then once voting slows down we will have an awards show!


Vote for your favorites in the 2017 Snus Awards!

28 December 2017

Göteborgs Rapé Chew Bags - Review. 28 December 2017.

In September 2017, I wrote an article with the news that Swedish Match had purchased V2 Tobacco. At the time, I wasn't sure why it happened, however I believed it was due to V2's dominance in the "chew bag" market. If you aren't familiar with chew bags, they're a legal way to sell snus in the EU. Basically, they have a thicker portion material and the tobacco is cut instead of ground. While it is made the same was as snus, and is as safe as snus, it is viewed as a different product and is legal to sell in the EU. V2 has had a lot of success with this, which may be a motivation behind SM purchasing them. These chew bags are a Swedish Match product, but are made at the V2 factory in Denmark. It is very interesting, and honestly this is something I never believed I would be writing! Things have certainly changed since I started writing about snus back in 2009. If you want to learn more about the differences between Swedish Snus and Nordic Chew, as these chew bags are often called, check out this video I made, which goes more in depth.

Göteborgs Rapé Chew Bags - White Large

When it comes to the flavor description for these, it says, “What started as snus now enriches the chew market. The characteristic GR' recipe remains the same: mild tobacco with aromatic juniper berries and lavender. Completed with hints of cedar and citrus. Göteborgs Rapé white portions are dry on the surface, making them less runny and giving a fresh feel. The moist tobacco however provides for a long-lasting flavor release.” These chew bags come in a 14 gram can with 20 portions, for 0.7 gram portions. The nicotine content is 12mg/g (1.2%), which breaks down to 8.40mg/portion.

First of all, I want to say, if you’re expecting a clone of Göteborgs Rapé, you won’t find it with this product. This is a good product, and it tastes worlds better than V2’s Offroad Selection Blue Portion, but it isn’t a carbon copy of regular GR. When you open the can, the aroma that comes through is a present smell of juniper and citrus. The portion material is dry to the touch, and the tobacco inside is compact and requires fluffing. It feels a little dryer in the lip, but the longer you have it in the more moist it will get. The flavor is a present taste of juniper and citrus, with a very mild tobacco character in the background. The taste itself is relatively gentle. The flavor lasts quite a long time; I’ve found with this one I can keep it in for up to an hour and a half. The nicotine kick feels to be right at the strong level.

Göteborgs Rapé Chew Bags - Slim White Dry

When it comes to the flavor description for this one, it says, “What started as snus now enriches the chew market. The characteristic GR' recipe remains the same: mild tobacco with aromatic juniper berries and lavender. Completed with hints of cedar and citrus. This White Dry Slim version gives a discrete and long lasting flavor experience with less drip.” This one comes in a 13.2 gram can with 24 portions, for 0.55 gram portions. The nicotine content is 16mg/g (1.6%) which breaks down to 8.80mg/portion.

As I said with the last one, this isn’t a carbon copy of regular GR. It’s a lot better than Offroad Selection Blue Portion, but it’s not a GR clone by any means. When you open the can, the aroma is a present smell of juniper and citrus. I notice a little more tobacco in the aroma of this one than I do with the other one. The portion material is rather dry to the touch. The portion is slim, and comfortable in the lip, but a little dry at first. The taste is a present flavor of juniper and citrus, with a mild tobacco character in the background. The citrus seems to be a little more tart in this one than the full size one. Since it’s a white dry, the flavor is milder, but does last a long time! I’ve found I can keep this one in for almost 2 hours. The nicotine kick is also very strong. I feel it kick in early, and it feels right at the extra strong level.

As I said, these products aren't a clone of regular GR.  If you go into them with that mindset, you may be disappointed.  However, they are a good option if you like the juniper flavor profile.  I find them to be some of the better chew bag products on the market, and it's excited to see more Swedish Match brands transformed into chew bags by V2 Tobacco!

15 December 2017

Swedish Match - Small Batch #1 - Preview. 15 December 2017.

Swedish Match isn't slowing down as 2017 draws to a close; they have surprised us with another special release - Small Batch #1! They describe Small Batch #1 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 flavor was developed by Mattias Schyberg and Lars Jonsson of Swedish Match. They describe the flavor by saying, "We have developed a snus where the mixture carries a taste of champagne. The flavor is characterized by citrus, bitter orange, elder and apple, but we have also added some tropical fruit for a final finish. The product comes in a white portion and has a light, bready and air dried tobacco flavor."

Looking at the web store, I'm not seeing anything about can weight, number of portions, or nicotine strength. Usually they publish that kind of info, but didn't with this one. Once I get ahold of the product I'll see what I can figure out. If you want to try it, it's on sale now at the Swedish Match web store. As usual, it probably won't be on sale to the US.  I'll reach out to some of my friends in Sweden and see if I can get ahold of some for review, so stay tuned!

05 December 2017

Snubie Brandy Alexander - Review. 5 December 2017.

The day is upon us and my first snus release is here: Snubie Brandy Alexander! I must admit, this is the greatest honor of my snus career to date.  Before we get into the review, let's talk about the history of this snus and what led to the creation of Snubie Brandy Alexander.

Brandy Alexander History:
In 2008, V2 released the 2008 Offroad Limited Edition Series, which is actually the first time a Brandy Alexander portion snus existed. I started using snus in 2009, so I missed out on that, but I did discover the beauty of the Brandy Alexander flavor in the 2009 Nordströmmen Loose Limited Edition Series. Ever since then, I was in love with the Brandy Alexander flavor. In 2012, I was able to convince V2 to bring back the Nordströmmen Brandy Alexander Los by helping get their Facebook page to 500 likes. This was a limited edition release, and the next time we would see Brandy Alexander would be 2013's Thunder Ultra Strong: Brandy Alexander. It was discontinued shortly after that.  However, I never gave up hope that one day I would see a Brandy Alexander snus.  In 2017, two things happened. First, Swedish Match released General One and Göteborg's Rapé One. When I reviewed that I made a comment that it would be neat to see a "Created Together With Snubie" Snus, but knew Swedish Match wouldn't go for it. Then, Outlaw Dipper on YouTube had his own dip product made.  After that happened, it made me think, "If the most well known dip reviewer can get his own product, why can't the most well known snus reviewer?".  I reached out to V2 Tobacco, and the rest is history.

The Creation Process:
When it came to this product, V2 Tobacco gave me complete creative control over every aspect of it. As someone who has reviewed hundreds of snus products, I knew exactly what I wanted to see go into it. I wanted the flavor to be kept close to the original 2009 and 2012 version. I wanted it to be a portion snus, but one thing that was very important to me was the moisture amount. I wanted it to be between 40%-45% moisture so the flavor would still be bold and present, but also long lasting. I wanted the nicotine strength to be 8mg/g (regular strength) so that the focus would be on the flavor, not the nicotine. This is why it's an Offroad product. Most Offroad snus comes in an 18 gram can with 20 portions, but I wanted to push it to 22 portions and a 19.8 gram can (0.9 gram portions). The reason I didn't do 24 is because I didn't want the portions to get too smashed together. As far as the can design goes, I sent V2 Tobacco some ideas for what I wanted but the main thing was that I wanted a white can. They sent me back several ideas and after some collaborative work, I decided this design was the best.

The Review:
When it comes to the flavor of this snus, it is meant to taste like a Brandy Alexander drink. In case you aren't aware, a Brandy Alexander is made of a good cognac, Crème de Cocoa, and cream.  If you've never had it, it is a beautiful taste. If you're curious about how to make one, I find this recipe to be a good guide.

When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is a very smooth smell of cognac, and a light hint of chocolate in the background.  The portions turned out perfect; they are moist for quick flavor release, but aren't as moist as most original portions so they yield a long lasting flavor experience.  They're also very soft and comfortable in the lip!  The star of this snus is the flavor.  It is everything I hoped it would be.  The taste is a mellow, rich chocolatey flavor with a light creaminess in the background.  I find the taste of cognac in the background and slightly behind the chocolate flavor.  It is absolutely beautiful.  The nicotine strength feels to be about the regular strength level, which is what I was aiming for with this snus.  The flavor also lasts a good amount of time; I can usually keep most original portions in for 45 minutes on average, but I found with this one I could keep it in for almost an hour!  This snus turned out absolutely perfect.  I couldn't be more grateful for V2 Tobacco partnering with me on this one.  When I was thinking of who would make a Snubie snus, V2 was the first company that came to mind.  They also did this after they were purchased by Swedish Match, which shows they still have that small/craft company feel, even though they're owned by a large tobacco company.

Where can I buy it?
As of right now, Brandy Alexander is on sale exclusively at SnusCENTRAL.com.  They have a 2 week exclusive pre-sale before it goes on sale to the general public. Monday December 18th or Tuesday December 19th it will be on sale to the rest of the world. If you're in Sweden, SnusBolaget.se will stock it. For the EU, SnusLine.com will stock it. Other webstores that have said they want to carry it include Northerner.com, Snus24.com, SnusDirect.com, BuySnus.com, and SnusHof.com.

26 November 2017

General Kardus 2018 (Gastronomy Series) - Preview. 26 November 2017.

Our friend @odlasnus on Instagram has stumbled across a flier for the new General Kardus 2018.  Note, the black can in the photo isn't the product itself, it was one of his cans.  It looks like General Kardus 2018 is set to launch in Spring of 2018.  For the past several years, Swedish Match has been releasing their Kardus product under the General name. First came General Kardus 2015. Then came General Kardus Fäviken 2016, a collaboration with Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson from the Fäviken Magasinet Restaurant and Hotel located which is located in Northern Sweden. Then came General Kardus 2017, a collaboration with Hernö Gin.  This year's release looks to be another collaboration, so let's dig into this teaser image and see what we can digest.  No pun intended.

This year's release looks to be another collaboration.  There's a signature there, but I'm not sure who's name that is.  What's interesting is that it says this year's release is part of the Gastronomy Series. The definition of gastronomy says gastronomy is "the art or science of good eating".  Now, I'm not saying you'll be able to eat General Kardus 2018.  I mean, you could, but I don't suggest it.  My thought is that this may be another collaboration with a restauranteur, like General Kardus Fäviken 2016, which I mentioned above was a collaboration with Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson from the Fäviken Magasinet Restaurant and Hotel.  So, that is one possibility.

On the right side of the teaser image is this, what looks like the potential container.  I'm not sure if that's the container itself, or perhaps a green bow around it.  It looks as though it's a cylinder, much like Kardus 2015 or Kardus 2016.

I don't really know much beyond that.  Most of this is just my speculation.  I'm digging around for details so hopefully I'll know more soon.  But I can say this - we are getting a General Kardus in 2018, and I'm rather excited to see how it turns out.  I'll update this article as I receive more information, so stay tuned!