03 August 2020

Epok Storm (Ultra) - Review. 3 August 2020.

Today, we're talking about a new Epok Snus product out of Switzerland: Epok Storm (Ultra)! I recently reviewed Epok Hurricane, a product with a 6/6 nicotine level, making it the strongest Epok product on the market. This is the next strongest one, with a 5/6 nicotine level.  I haven't found many product details on it, but SnusHof lists the flavor as "mint".  Each can weighs 18g and has 19 portions, for 0.94g portions.  As far as the nicotine strength goes, SnusHof lists it as 15mg/g.  However, the X-Strong Epok product is 16mg/g, and the Epok Hurricane (6/6) product is 20mg/g, so I'm going to guess this is closer to 18mg/g (1.8%).  That would be 16.92mg/portion, if that is actually the strength.

Now, there's a lot of terms out there for the "all white" category, such as "nicotine pouches", and "white tobacco". This can get confusing! Lyft, for example, is a nicotine pouch product, meaning it doesn't contain tobacco. Epok actually contains white tobacco. This is how they describe the production process for Epok: "Before the treatment, the carefully selected brown tobacco is prepared. In the next step tobacco is treated through a washing process in order to obtain white tobacco. This process lasts until the brown tobacco is completely cleaned into white tobacco. When the tobacco has its all white color, it’s refined with different and fresh flavors." So, while they may look similar, they are quite different.

When you open the can, the aroma is a sharp, clear smell of mint. It seems to be a peppermint/menthol mix. When you put a portion in the lip there's a mild burn, and then a cooling presence after the burn fades away. The portions are nice and plump and not the usual slim size of the Epok series. The flavor is a fresh, present mint taste. It's not overly sweet, and seems to be mix of peppermint and menthol.  It's a pretty long lasting flavor, usually around 45 minutes on average.  The nicotine kick comes on quite kick, and feels firmly at the extra strong level.  If you're a mint lover and you enjoy white tobacco products like Epok, check this one out if you're looking for a snus that will give you an incredible kick!

16 July 2020

Crafted Snus Whisky (White & Original) - Review. 16 July 2020.

I just did a new review of Crafted Snus Whisky. I first reviewed it back in 2015, but did a new review of the original portion version in January, and the white portion version in May.  Right after I did new reviews of them, I learned that AG Snus was switching from the metal cans to plastic ones.  In most cases, I would consider that a downgrade.  However, the new cans look great.  And, one of the main reasons they switched was to make them easier to open, which I definitely agree with.

Crafted Snus Whisky is a craft snus created by Conny Andersson, produced by AG Snus in Denmark. This snus is made of six different tobaccos containing 100% Lamina, meaning no filler - only full tobacco leaves! This tobacco contains Mata Norte (from Brazil), Latakia and Green River (Amish tobacco from Green River/Pennsylvania, USA). There are also tobaccos from Kurnool (India), Guatemala and Spain. The tobaccos are aged for more than two weeks in whisky barrels from Glenfarclas Distillery, which is the single malt/Scottish Highlands whisky used to blend this snus.

Crafted Snus Whisky Original Portion

Flavor:  "Premium quality tobaccos, including Mata Norte and Latakia, are matured in used whisky barrels and flavored with a Highland region single malt whiskey, Conny teases out tones of chocolate and walnut creating a one of a kind craft portion snus."
Can Contents:  20 grams, 20 portions, 1g each
Nicotine:  11mg/g (1.1%) / 11mg/portion

When you open a can, the aroma of whisky is immediately apparent. There's a hint of oak, and some smokiness. You'll notice from the photo how incredibly moist these portions are; when you put one under your lip there is an immediate flavor release. They're also plump, soft, and quite comfortable. The whisky flavor is the most present taste in the flavor profile, accompanied by an earthy tobacco character, some smokiness, a hint of oak, and a light chocolatey character. The nicotine on this one feels to be between regular strength and strong - not too strong, not too weak. And I find the flavor generally lasts about 40-50 minutes on average.

Crafted Snus Whisky White Portion

Flavor:  "Premium quality tobaccos, including Mata Norte and Latakia, are matured in used whisky barrels and flavored with a Highland region single malt whiskey, Conny teases out tones of chocolate and walnut creating a one of a kind craft portion snus."
Can Contents:  18g, 20 portions, 0.9g each
Nicotine:  11mg/g (1.1%) / 9.9mg/portion

When you open the can, the whisky aroma is quite present for a white portion. It's not a weak aroma. There's a light wood presence, and a light touch of smoke. The portions are nice and plump, and feel quite big for only 0.9g portions. It's one thing I love about AG Snus. The flavor is more mild than the original portion version, but it's still pretty present. The whisky flavor is right up front, with a gentle earthy tobacco character in the background. There's a little oak in the background, a light smokiness, and a hint of chocolate. It's very well rounded, and has quite a present taste for a white portion. The nicotine on this one feels a little less than the strong level, and the flavor lasts about an hour on average!

When it comes to Crafted Snus Whisky, this is a snus for whisky lovers.  It has the present whisky taste, but some great compliments to the flavor as well and a solid tobacco base.  The new cans also make it much better, in my opinion!

15 July 2020

Lyft Neon Static (X-Strong) Nicotine Pouches - Review. 15 July 2020.

My buddy Jakob in Denmark sent me something new to try out that's for sale there - Lyft Neon Static X-Strong (Nicotine Pouches).  This one seems to be a stronger version of the Lyft Urban Vibe (Strong) that I reviewed before, but this one comes in the standard Lyft can without the Flexlid. For Urban Vibe, the flavor description says, "A combination of sweet fruits, a smooth taste of red berries and cranberries". Each can weighs 16.8g and has 24 portions, for 0.7g portions. The X-Strong Lyft products are 16mg/g (1.6%), which breaks down to 11.2mg/portion.

If you're not familiar with nicotine pouches, I'll explain. These are products that contain nicotine, but no tobacco. In the case of Lyft, these have eucalyptus and pine fiber in them instead of tobacco. These are a good alternative for people who may want to quit smoking, or tobacco in general, but not nicotine. This picture shows a look at what is inside the pouch itself. Here you see the cans, portions, and even what is inside the pouch, and can see that it looks similar to regular snus, except the portions and the material inside the portions are all white. Everything else about the experience is similar to regular snus.

When you open the can, it has that tart energy drink smell to it. It's a tart, tangy presence of red berries. The portions are slim, soft, and comfortable under the lip. The flavor is much like the aroma and packs that energy drink flavor. It's tart, slightly tangy, and has a red berry presence to it.  This one also packs a solid nicotine kick; it feels firmly at the extra strong level.  The flavor, on average, lasts about 45 minutes.  If you liked the Lyft Urban Vibe, but want something stronger, you'll probably dig this one.  It's the same taste, but with a stronger kick to it!

13 July 2020

Velo Berry Frost (Nicotine Pouches) - Review. 13 July 2020.

For those seeing this and saying, "Wait, is this that horrible Velo product sold in the US?", no, it isn't. Velo is a brand name owned by BAT, which also owns RJ Reynolds, maker of the US Velo product. This is the same product as the Lyft nicotine pouches made by Fiedler and Lundgren (also owned by BAT), but branded as Velo. I saw these for sale in Germany on Snuffstore.de, but I've heard that eventually the entire Lyft line will be rebranded as Velo.  In this review, I'll be talking about two versions of Berry Frost, one with the "Easy" nicotine strength and one with the "Medium" nicotine strength.

The flavor description for these products says: "Fruity, wild berries with a fresh mint note".  Each can weighs 14g and has 20 portions, for 0.7g portions.  The Easy one has a 6mg/g (0.6%) nicotine strength, which is 4.2mg/portion.  The Medium one has an 8.5mg/g (0.85%) nicotine strength, or 5.95mg/portion.

If you're not familiar with nicotine pouches, I'll explain. These are products that contain nicotine, but no tobacco. In the case of Velo (and Lyft), these have eucalyptus and pine fiber in them instead of tobacco. These are a good alternative for people who may want to quit smoking, or tobacco in general, but not nicotine. This picture shows a look at what is inside the pouch itself. Here you see the cans, portions, and even what is inside the pouch, and can see that it looks similar to regular snus, except the portions and the material inside the portions are all white. Everything else about the experience is similar to regular snus.

I'll be reviewing both of these together, because they're basically the same other than the strength. When you open the can, a lightly minty smell comes through with a gentle pairing of blueberry and a tropical berry aroma. The portions are slim, soft, and comfortable under the lip! As far as the flavor goes, there's a present, fresh taste of blueberry. Right behind it, there's a tart hint of tropical fruit. The flavor generally lasts about 45 minutes for both of these. With the easy one, the nicotine strength feels to be a little less strong than regular strength. With the medium one, the nicotine strength feels right at the regular strength level.  I enjoyed this one, because the berry flavor is pretty unique.  If you're in Germany and looking to try out a new nicotine pouch product, check out Velo!

12 July 2020

Lyft Orange Blossom (Nicotine Pouches) - Review. 12 July 2020.

My buddy Jakob in Denmark sent me something new to try out that's for sale there - Lyft Orange Blossom (Nicotine Pouches). While I was trying this, I couldn't shake the feeling that this was extremely familiar. Then, it dawned on me. This is the exact same thing as the Lyft Summer Beat that I just reviewed, but this is in a regular Lyft can and with a different name.  So, I'm going to assume the product details are basically the same as well. The flavor description for that one (and I'm assuming this one) says, "A fresh taste of orange, citrus and floral tones. For this product, orange flower is used, which gives a slightly rounder taste with a lighter sweetness than from traditional orange". Each can weighs 16.8g and has 24 portions for 0.7g portions. The nicotine content is 8mg/g (0.8%), or 5.6mg/portion.

If you're not familiar with nicotine pouches, I'll explain. These are products that contain nicotine, but no tobacco. In the case of Lyft, these have eucalyptus and pine fiber in them instead of tobacco. These are a good alternative for people who may want to quit smoking, or tobacco in general, but not nicotine. This picture shows a look at what is inside the pouch itself. Here you see the cans, portions, and even what is inside the pouch, and can see that it looks similar to regular snus, except the portions and the material inside the portions are all white. Everything else about the experience is similar to regular snus.

When you open the can, the aroma is a pretty pleasant summery smell. It comes through as a mild, fresh, lightly sweet orange with a subtle floral hint to it. The portions are nice and soft, slim, and with a great fit in the lip. The flavor is quite pleasant and enjoyable. The orange is gentle, fresh, and natural. It’s lightly sweet, but not overdone. There is a subtle floral note in the background, which contributes a freshness to this product. The nicotine strength feels to be about the regular strength level, and the flavor lasts about 40-45 minutes on average!  I enjoyed Lyft Summer Beat, so naturally I enjoyed this one as well.  If you like citrusy flavored products, you'll enjoy this one!

11 July 2020

Lyft Lab (Nicotine Pouches) - Review. 11 July 2020.

The folks at Fiedler and Lundgren have taken a page out of Swedish Match's book and released their own Lab Series.  This release comes with 3 unique flavor in their nicotine pouch line that consumers in Sweden can try out, and then go provide their feedback on.  I'm not sure of their plans, but I would suspect that eventually the winner would end up being produced full time, but that's just my guess at this time.  You can get it one of two strengths, regular strength, or strong.  I opted for regular strength, as that's my preferred strength.  My friend Michael in Sweden was kind enough to grab one of these for me to review, as it doesn't seem anyone else has access to them outside of Sweden.

Lyft/Lab comes in a cool, unique box designed by Josefin Eklund, a Swedish artist.  It's a triangular shaped box, and it slides open to reveal the cans inside.  For collectors like myself, we dig this kind of stuff, so it's pretty nice that Fiedler and Lundgren decided to release this limited edition line in a special, one of a kind box.
Lyft/Lab 01_01 (Piña Colada)

The flavor description for this one says, "A sweet, tart pineapple with a creamy coconut and a nutty undertone. Try this smooth new tropical blend for a velvety taste experience."  Each can weighs 16.8g and has 24 portions for 0.7g portions.  Lyft/Lab comes in regular strength or strong, and I went with regular strength.  The bottom of the can says 6mg, which I imagine is per portion.

When you open the can, a sweet, present aroma of pineapple greets you along with a light hint of coconut.  The portions are slim, soft, and feel comfortable under the lip.  The taste is very much like the aroma.  A present taste of pineapple greets you up front, which comes through in a sweet way.  The coconut taste is subtle, and in the background.  The nicotine feels to be right at the regular strength level, and the flavor lasts about 45 minutes on average.

Lyft/Lab 01_02 (Amaretto)

The flavor description for this one says, "A delicately bitter almond with notes of cherry and tangy lemon – a beautifully balanced flavour sensation."  Each can weighs 16.8g and has 24 portions for 0.7g portions.  Lyft/Lab comes in regular strength or strong, and I went with regular strength.  The bottom of the can says 6mg, which I imagine is per portion.

When you open the can, a smooth, lightly sweet cherry aroma greets you.  The portions are soft, with a slim fit, and comfortable under the lip.  The flavor is a mild, gentle taste of cherry.  In the back there's a very faint hint of lemon.  The taste is pretty smooth, and not overly sweet.  The nicotine strength on this one feels to be about the regular level, and the flavor lasts about 45 minutes on average.

Lyft/Lab 01_03 (Gin and Tonic)

The flavor description for this one says, "Combines three distinctive flavours in a refreshingly spicy blend; cool cucumber, the prickle of crushed peppercorns and just a hint of juniper."  Each can weighs 16.8g and has 24 portions for 0.7g portions.  Lyft/Lab comes in regular strength or strong, and I went with regular strength.  The bottom of the can says 6mg, which I imagine is per portion.

This one has a pretty fresh aroma to it.  I notice pepper up front, accompanied by a subtle cucumber presence, and a faint juniper in the background.  The portions are slim, comfortable under the lip, and soft to the touch.  The flavor is pretty refreshing.  The cucumber is light in presence, and has subtle pepper notes behind it.  There's also a very faint hint of juniper in the background.  The nicotine feels to be about the regular strength level, and the flavor lasts about 45 minutes on average.

Final Thoughts

Okay, going into this one, I thought the cucumber one (number three) would be my favorite.  But surprisingly, the piña colada one was my favorite (number one).  But it was close! If I had to rank them, it would go 01 (Piña Colada), 02 (Gin and Tonic), then 03 (Amaretto).  They were all tasty, but I would definitely get more of 01 or 02 if they were released on a full time basis!

09 July 2020

Epok No9 Urban Blue X-Strong S5 - Review. 9 July 2020.

Today, I'm going to be talking about an Epok product sold in Norway - Epok No9 Urban Blue X-Strong S5!  A friend of mine recently grabbed me a bunch of Norway snus products from Snuslageret.no, so I have quite a few Epok reviews I'm working on!  This one is a white tobacco version of Lyft Urban Vibe, however that one was 14mg/g (strong), and this one is extra strong (16mg/g).  The flavor description for this one says, "A taste of red fruits and berries".  Each can weighs 16.8g and has 24 portions for 0.7g portions.  The nicotine content is 16mg/g (1.6%), or 11.2mg/portion.
In Norway, snus cans come in this color, also known as Pantone 448 C, or 'opaque couché'. According to a survey, it is "the world's ugliest color". Also, cans in Norway have no graphics on them, they only have the name of the product. I personally like the cans and the color. I find the design simple, and minimalist. So their effort to make snus less attractive did not work on me.

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 Fiedler and Lundgren 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, it smells a lot like an energy drink. It has that tart berry/tangy energy drink smell. The portions are slim, soft, and feel great under the lip. As far as the flavor goes, yep, just like the aroma, it tastes like an energy drink. It’s a tart/tangy berry taste with that strong energy drink flavor. The nicotine feels right at the strong level, and the flavor lasts about 45 minutes on average.  If you're in Norway and like energy drinks, here you go, this is your snus.  If you aren't in Norway but want to try out this flavor, check out Lyft Urban Vibe.  Same taste, but not quite as strong.