15 August 2019

Kurbits Snus: Soldat Vinter (Vit) - Review. 15 August 2019.

Kurbits Snus is a new snus manufacturer in Sweden that resulted in the meeting of an avid snus fan and an innovative entrepreneur. They recently broke onto the scene by debuting four products: Morgondagg (Vit), Fäbodsnus (Vit), Soldat (Vit), and Soldat: Vinter (Vit). Each has a unique flavor that is unlike anything else on the market. After getting to know them the past week, I've learned this about this new company: they want to do things differently. And that's something the snus market has sorely needed for many years now. Products that aren't the usual super strong/mint products we see so many of.  Currently, I've only seen their products for sale in Sweden, and only on SnusBolaget, but hopefully before too long people outside of Sweden will get to try them!

When it comes to Soldat Vinter, the flavor description I was given for this one says the flavor is "Cool and Fresh". Snusbolaget describes it by saying: "A cool feeling with clear and fresh tones."  Each can weighs 18g and has 20 portions, for 0.9g portions.  The nicotine content of this one is 16mg/g (1.6%), which breaks down to 14.4mg/portion.

Kurbits Snus gave me an extended description of this product I wanted to share, because it says a lot about how they approach snus, that it isn't just the flavor, it's the experience: "This snus is made to get the earthiness out of the snus. This has been replaced with a cold, fresh and unforgiving straightforwardness. The northern winter is rough and the winter soldier has to be prepared for everything. Calculating and precise to achieve perfection when it comes to finish the mission. Soldat Vinter gives a cold freshness without menthol. The sweet flavours is a mystery not known to anyone, except the creators."  Also, not to be confused with that Winter Soldier.

The description above that says it best is this: "The sweet flavours is a mystery not known to anyone, except the creators".  In 10 years of reviewing snus, this is one that gave me the most trouble in terms of figuring out the flavor.  The closest thing I can think of is Wild Berry Gummy Savers. The aroma is a cool, berry smell with a light sweetness. I almost pick up a little orange in there, as well. The portions are dryer than the average white, but still comfortable, and with a quick release of flavor. In the lip, I get a light cooling sensation/tingle, but was told there is no menthol in this one, so that caught me off guard. The flavor is refreshing, to say it best. It’s a dark/mixed berry flavor, but with a little hint of orange it seems. The tobacco taste is mild, and gentle. I also seem to notice a fig-like presence. There’s a light sweetness to it, but it’s not overdone. The nicotine level feels right at the strong level so it isn’t too strong, but also isn’t too weak. The flavor, on average, lasts up to about an hour.

This one was very interesting.  I had fun digging through the complex flavor and trying to figure out how to review it.  It's a very unique flavor, and one that definitely threw me for a loop.

12 August 2019

Kurbits Snus: Soldat (Vit) - Review. 12 August 2019.

Kurbits Snus is a new snus manufacturer in Sweden that resulted in the meeting of an avid snus fan and an innovative entrepreneur. They recently broke onto the scene by debuting four products: Morgondagg (Vit), Fäbodsnus (Vit), Soldat (Vit), and Soldat: Vinter (Vit). Each has a unique flavor that is unlike anything else on the market. After getting to know them the past week, I've learned this about this new company: they want to do things differently. And that's something the snus market has sorely needed for many years now. Products that aren't the usual super strong/mint products we see so many of.  Currently, I've only seen their products for sale in Sweden, and only on SnusBolaget, but hopefully before too long people outside of Sweden will get to try them!

When it comes to Soldat, the flavor description I was given for this one says the flavor is "For every day use". Snusbolaget describes it by saying: "A snus with a clear and fresh taste."  Each can weighs 18g and has 20 portions, for 0.9g portions.  The nicotine content of this one is 14mg/g (1.4%), which breaks down to 12.6mg/portion.

Kurbits Snus gave me an extended description of this product I wanted to share, because it says a lot about how they approach snus, that it isn't just the flavor, it's the experience: "Sweden has a long tradition of people working as uniformed personnel. Everyone who works like this knows the importance of a fresh snus when the action starts and the adrenaline rushes through the entire body. The equipment gets a last check, the plan is repeated in the head and at the last second a new snus is put in place to get everything in place. The snus will become a part of the user to make the experienced user complete. In Soldat it’s a flavour that last everyday. Something that can be a part of us everyday and creates the feeling of the complete user. Every demanding day demands snus that lasts."

The name Soldat (Soldier) fits, because this snus is a trooper. It's the traditional Swedish Snus taste, and something you can use all day long. The aroma has a peppery presence, and a light tobacco character, along with a hint of citrus. The portions are dryer than the average white portion, but not uncomfortable. I also notice a quick release of flavor. The taste is a mild, light tobacco character, along with a nice peppery presence. The citrus flavor is gentle, and not too in your face. It’s more dialed back than you would notice with General, for example. But it’s very much a snus you can use all day, as your daily-driver. It’s very well balanced. The nicotine feels to be a little stronger than regular strength - not too strong, but not too weak. The flavor lasts quite a while, I’ve had these in for 1-1.5 hours on average.

This was a pretty enjoyable snus.  This is something I could take with me and use all day long; it's a good daily driver type snus.  Also, a shout out to Daniel Carlsson (aka Pinhead), a friend from Instagram, who helped develop the flavor of this one.  It's a great taste!

10 August 2019

Kurbits Snus: Fäbodsnus - Review. 10 August 2019.

Kurbits Snus is a new snus manufacturer in Sweden that resulted in the meeting of an avid snus fan and an innovative entrepreneur. They recently broke onto the scene by debuting four products: Morgondagg (Vit), Fäbodsnus (Vit), Soldat (Vit), and Soldat: Vinter (Vit). Each has a unique flavor that is unlike anything else on the market. After getting to know them the past week, I've learned this about this new company: they want to do things differently. And that's something the snus market has sorely needed for many years now. Products that aren't the usual super strong/mint products we see so many of.  Currently, I've only seen their products for sale in Sweden, and only on SnusBolaget, but hopefully before too long people outside of Sweden will get to try them!

When it comes to Fäbodsnus, the flavor description I was given for this one says the flavor is "With a taste of the old times". Snusbolaget describes it by saying: "A taste of rustic tobacco that meets sun warmed flower meadows, with clear hints of sweetness and vanilla."  Each can weighs 18g and has 20 portions, for 0.9g portions.  The nicotine content of this one is 14mg/g (1.4%), which breaks down to 12.6mg/portion.

Kurbits Snus gave me an extended description of this product I wanted to share, because it says a lot about how they approach snus, that it isn't just the flavor, it's the experience: "In the old farmer society it was necessary to keep the farm animals away from the farm during the summer so the more easy farmed land could be kept for growing crops at the farm. This made the ”Fäbodvallar”, very common in northern and middle Sweden. Of course this was common in Dalarna, the inspiration for Kurbits Snus. To keep animals on fäbodvallar, there are traditions when it comes to flavours, aromas and food culture. To keep the fresh food usable all around the year, a lot of the products was made out on the fäbodvall with cheeses, butter and ”messmör” that was made on site. To work out on the fäbodvall was a job for women mainly and was a help for the farm to make it all around the year with cold weather and harsh winters. The culture from fäbodvallar has had a great impact in creating the Swedish cultural base."

I was really excited for this one, since I just bought a farm myself and have been enjoying farm life. This one is probably one of the most unique snus products I’ve had, in recent memory. The smell of tobacco is present; it is aromatic, it is musky, it is slightly sweet. I also notice a little presence of hay, and a light floral note. The portions are a little dryer than the average white portion, but they aren’t uncomfortable, and they do have a quick release of flavor. In the taste, I notice a mild, natural vanilla up front. Behind it is a musky, full bodied tobacco taste. It almost reminds me of good cigar tobacco. There’s also a light herbal presence in the background that I can’t put my finger on. The nicotine strength feels to be a hair above regular strength; not too strong, not too weak. I find the flavor, on average, lasts up to about an hour.

This one grew on my over time.  At first, I was kind of iffy on it.  But after using 2-3 portions, I really came to appreciate the complexity of the flavor.  It's a really well done snus, and something I could see as a good all day, summer snus.  If this is what Kurbits Snus is launching with, I can't wait to see what they release after years of being in business.

09 August 2019

Kurbits Snus: Morgondagg - Review. 14 August 2019.

Kurbits Snus is a new snus manufacturer in Sweden that resulted in the meeting of an avid snus fan and an innovative entrepreneur. They recently broke onto the scene by debuting four products: Morgondagg (Vit), Fäbodsnus (Vit), Soldat (Vit), and Soldat: Vinter (Vit). Each has a unique flavor that is unlike anything else on the market. After getting to know them the past week, I've learned this about this new company: they want to do things differently. And that's something the snus market has sorely needed for many years now. Products that aren't the usual super strong/mint products we see so many of.  Currently, I've only seen their products for sale in Sweden, and only on SnusBolaget, but hopefully before too long people outside of Sweden will get to try them!

When it comes to Morgondagg, the flavor description I was given for this one says "Summer, all around the year". Snusbolaget describes it by saying: "Flowers, sweetness, and licorice. The tobacco has been mixed and processed to feel light, appealing and fresh."  Each can weighs 18g and has 20 portions, for 0.9g portions.  The nicotine content of this one is 16mg/g (1.6%), which breaks down to 14.4mg/portion.

Kurbits Snus gave me an extended description of this product I wanted to share, because it says a lot about how they approach snus, that it isn't just the flavor, it's the experience:  "Seven different flowers under the pillow and the flag on the pole all night long. Midsummer eve. Summer months and the lightness that is significant for the Swedish summer. To have survived the rough fall and the cold winter and finally realise that the grass is turning green and life is returning to the overwhelming landscape. The freedom to be awake all night long and to share the summer with good friends. To walk on damp grass, barefoot with butterflies in your stomach. This feeling of pure happiness, the memories of expectations and youth that is connected with a day that can become anything. We can taste the cool of the night and the hopes of the day to come. The coolness of a morning that makes us come closer as friends and allows us to enjoy the summer together with the ones we love."

The aroma of this one is very pleasant - a mild presence of black licorice with a light floral presence, that is reminiscent of violet. The portions are a little dryer than most white portions I’ve had before, but I find them to be pretty comfortable in the lip and with a quick release of flavor. The taste of this one is utterly delicious, and one of the best licorice products I’ve had to date. The black licorice flavor is present, natural, and not overly sweet. In the background I find a nice floral sweetness which compliments the licorice taste and reminds me of, again, violet. The tobacco character in the background is mild, but still detectable. In terms of nicotine strength, it feels to be right at the strong level - not too weak, but not too much. The flavor, on average, lasts up to about an hour.  I've only ever had one product with a licorice/violet flavor before - Catch Collection Violet Licorice by Swedish Match, but this one was much better tasting.

Of the four Kurbits products I tried, this one was my favorite.  And, one of the best licorice products I've ever had.  I found myself very impressed with this new company, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next!

03 August 2019

Grinds: Wintergreen - Review. 3 August 2019.

Today we're going to be talking about Grinds Coffee Pouches. Now, I originally reviewed a few of these products back in 2012, but I never did video reviews of them. I figured since I was finally going to get around to doing video reviews of these products I'd do some updated text reviews, as well. Back when I first reviewed them, they didn't have a lot of flavors. Now, they have added many new flavors, such as vanilla, peppermint, caramel, Irish cream, wintergreen, black coffee, and even pumpkin spice!  Grinds is marketed as a smokeless tobacco alternative used to quit smokeless tobacco or cigarettes.  So, you may be wondering, why would I as a Swedish Snus advocate be writing about Grinds?  Well, I support any means that will help people quit smoking.  Some people want to quit tobacco in general and I know many people who have had luck quitting smoking with these, and if these can help save a life I'm all for them.  Each can of Grinds costs around 3.99, so it's comparable to other smokeless tobacco/dip/snus products. Interesting note, the guys from Grinds also appeared on Shark Tank. Check out the video, you can get to know them a little better that way.

The flavor description for this one says it has a "classic wintergreen flavor combined with coffee". Each can weighs 18 grams and has 18 pouches in it at 1 gram each, and each Grinds pouch has the caffeine equivalent of about 1/4 cup of coffee, or 20-25mg of caffeine.  .

Let's talk about what's inside a Grinds pouch.  If you look at the photo on your left you can see that it looks almost like fine cut dip.  If you click the photo you can get a more closeup look at what's inside the pouch.  Inside the pouch is flavored coffee.  Grinds also contains Guarana, B-Vitamins and Taurine.  Grinds is a spit-free, and the saliva is safe to swallow.  They say you can spit with it, but you won't absorb as much energy.  Grinds advises that the best way to absorb the energy from the pouch is to actually swallow the saliva.

The aroma of this one reminds me a lot of the wintergreen lifesavers. It's not like wintergreen dip. It's more of a sweet, light wintergreen. With this one, I don't smell a ton of coffee like I do with the others, either. The pouches are pretty moist, comfortable in the lip, and have a quick release of flavor. The taste is a lot like the aroma - a light, sweet flavor of wintergreen. I do notice a little coffee in the background, but it isn't as bold or in your face as I notice with some of the other Grinds products. The flavor lasts on average about 45 minutes. If I had to compare the energy kick from this one in snus terms, I'd say it feels "strong" but not "extra strong". It's just a nice, solid boost!

If you like wintergreen flavors and are looking for an alternative to dip, this is one you could check out.  If you're like me and use snus and don't plan on quitting, this stuff is still a nice change of pace, especially if you like the taste of coffee!  The wintergreen/coffee mix actually worked, surprisingly, and I found I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would!

Thunder X (Chew Bags) - Review. 3 August 2019.

I've reviewed the Thunder X Snus products before, but today we're doing something a little different. We're going to talk about Thunder X Chew Bags! I've had some requests for this product and my friend Jakob in Denmark hooked me up with a can of it, so I figured I'd do a review of it!  If you're not familiar with chew bags or Nordic Chew, I'll do a quick recap.  Basically, these are products that are made the same way as snus.  The only difference is the tobacco is cut instead of ground, and it has a thicker portion material so they can technically be chewed (though I never do, I just use them like snus).

The flavor description for this one says it has a "strong mint/menthol flavor that moves your mind and brings up cold images of mother nature far north". Each can weighs 13.2g and has 24 portions for 0.55g portions. The nicotine content is 45mg/g (4.5%), which breaks down to 24.75mg/portion.

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 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." You can see that they don't look too much different from regular snus by looking at the photo. The tobacco inside, however, is the main difference you can see in the picture, as the chew bag tobacco is cut and the snus tobacco is ground. And though it's said that you can chew these bags, again, I never do.

If you've had the Thunder X White Dry snus, this one is very similar to that one.  The aroma is a sharp peppermint smell with a mild tobacco character in the background.  The portions are thicker than the average white portion, and the tobacco is concentrated to one side so I do suggest fluffing these!  When I put a portion in the lip I notice a light burn, and then a mild cooling presence, as well.  The flavor is a mild, but sharp peppermint flavor.  There's also a light sweetness to it, and then a mild tobacco character in the background.  The nicotine kick is incredibly strong; I feel the nicotine hit quickly, and it is very, very strong.  I also find the flavor lasts a good amount of time, usually about 1.5 hours on average.

If you're somewhere you can chew bags but not snus, and want something in a mint flavor with a really high nicotine content, check this one out.  It's much too strong for me, but you may love it.

Epok Tropic Breeze Chew Bags - Review. 3 August 2019.

Epok Snus may be gone, but Epok lives on as a chew bag product in Denmark. I've reviewed a few other Epok Chew Bag products such as Berry FrostIce Cool, and Mint.  A special shout out to my friend Jakob in Denmark who keeps an eye out for new products like this for me to review.  If you aren't familiar with "chew bags" or "Nordic Chew", these are products that are made the same as snus, but have two differences to make them legal in the EU: the tobacco is cut instead of ground, and the portion material is slightly thicker so they can be chewed (though I never chew them, I just use them like snus).  This product is also a white tobacco product, it's a cleansing process that makes brown tobacco into white tobacco.

When it comes to this product, the flavor description says it has a "fresh taste of mandarine, passion fruit, and mango". 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.

Looking at this comparison between Epok Snus and Epok Chew Bags, they don't look that much different. The Epok Chew Bags are a little more white, and the portion material is a little thicker/more dry, but that's really the only differences I notice. The white tobacco itself inside the pouch looks about the same. But I did want to show this comparison for those who used Epok Snus before and are curious about this product.
If you've had the Epok Tropic Breeze Snus (Norway), or Lyft Tropic Breeze Nicotine Pouches, this product smells and tastes identical to those. The aroma is a fruity, tropical, but cool smell. Tropic Breeze definitely is a fitting name. The portions are slim, soft, and pretty comfortable in the lip. As I’ve mentioned before, though these are called chew bags, I don’t chew them. The flavor is fruity, but also tangy and tropical. It’s almost like a mix of mango and guava in terms of what it tastes like. It’s also a great product to pair with a good beer! The nicotine strength feels to be about the regular strength level, and I find the flavor lasts about 45-55 minutes on average.

If you're in Denmark and want to try something different, this is certainly a unique product.  I really enjoyed the flavor and will definitely be finishing this can!