14 November 2018

Rite Chew Bags - Preview. 14 November 2018.

A few days ago, I wrote an article about Mac Baren in Denmark beginning to produce their own chew bag and snus products. Today, I received more information about these exciting new products. They are launching three new products: Original, Mint, and Cool Mint. Each of these comes in two variants: large and slim. These products will be available as snus products for the Swedish and Norwegian market in the future, as well.  Let's get to know these three products!

Rite Cool Mint (Chew Bags)

The flavor description says, "Welcome to an explosion of COOL MINT. The freshness of our COOL MINT variant is based on the known MINT variant - with an added very cooling feeling. Get ready for a kick-start, cool snus with maximum strength." The large version comes with a 15g can with 20 portions for 0.75g portions. The nicotine content is 28mg/g (2.8%), or 21mg/portion. The slim version comes with a 13.2g can with 24 portions for 0.55g portions. The nicotine content is 28mg/g (2.8%), or 15.4mg/portion.

Rite Mint (Chew Bags)

The flavor description says, "Our MINT variant takes you into a perfect, fresh taste experience - created by a carefully measured mix between spearmint and mint. The MINT variant gives you a strong, exciting and effective experience. And just the characteristic freshness promotes your maximum strength." The large version comes with a 15g can with 20 portions for 0.75g portions. The nicotine content is 28mg/g (2.8%), or 21mg/portion. The slim version comes with a 13.2g can with 24 portions for 0.55g portions. The nicotine content is 28mg/g (2.8%), or 15.4mg/portion.

Rite Original (Chew Bags)

The description for Rite Original says, "Meet RITE ORIGINAL - a classic flavor variant. ORIGINAL is developed by the most talented experts and gives you taste tones like juniper berries, bergamot and citrus. Old school in the right way. You can look forward to a solid experience with full bang on the strength." The large version comes with a 15g can with 20 portions for 0.75g portions. The nicotine content is 28mg/g (2.8%), or 21mg/portion. The slim version comes with a 13.2g can with 24 portions for 0.55g portions. The nicotine content is 28mg/g (2.8%), or 15.4mg/portion.

12 November 2018

MacBaren to Begin Producing Snus and Chew Bags. 12 November 2018.

I first heard about Mac Baren a few years ago when reviewing some AG Snus chew bags. The bottom of the can informed me that Mac Baren was a distributor of these chew bag products. They are actually a pretty good sized company, and have been in business for over 125 years. They export to over 70 markets worldwide and their Svendborg factory produces pipe tobacco for some of the world's biggest pipe tobacco companies. News came today via Fyens.dk that they are looking to get into the snus and chew bag game by producing their own products.

In this photo you will see consultant Thomas Mellin who came from Sweden to help start production and train the staff, Rene Drud Madsen, who serves as marketing manager, and Walid El Saad, who is responsible for the Danish market. The article mentions that due to the growing market, Mac Baren in Svendborg has decided to throw themselves into the mix, by producing chew bags and snus.  This is pretty exciting news, and I'm very interested to see what types of products they bring to the market!

08 November 2018

LM365 Snus Reviews - 8 November 2018.

I've had some people ask me to review these LM365 products so I figured I'd write an article about them. These aren't for sale to the US, but I had a friend of mine grab me some from Snusbolaget.se, which has these and many more in the LM365 range. LM365 is a new manufacturer from Småland who makes their snus from scratch. They say they use the finest tobaccos from Italy, Croatia, and Spain. They also stress that they focus on making a high quality snus for a good price. They also have a website, but it doesn't seem to be operational right now. For this review, I'll be focusing on some of the "main flavors" in the snus world: citrus, licorice, juniper, and mint.  So, let's get into it!

LM365 Lakrits (Original Portion)

The flavor description for this one says, "LM365 Lakrits Portion has a sweet taste of liquorice and classic tobacco background".  This one comes in a 17 gram can with 21 portions for 0.81 gram portions.  The nicotine content is 10mg/g (1.0%), or 8.09mg/portion.

The aroma is a nice, present, mildly sweet black licorice smell with a touch of pepper. The portions are comfortable, and have a quick flavor release. The taste is a present, black licorice flavor with a mild sweetness and a light hint of tobacco. The flavor, on average, lasts about 45 minutes. The nicotine kick feels firmly at the strong level and packs a nice kick. If I had to compare it to anything, I'd say it reminds me most of Offroad Licorice, a favorite of mine.

LM365 Enbar (Original Portion)

The flavor description for this one says, "LM365 Enbär Portion is a snus with rich and pure tobacco flavor. It is also flavored with juniper berries."  This snus comes in a 17 gram can with 18 portions for 0.94 gram portions.  The nicotine content is 10mg/g (1.0%), or 9.44mg/portion.

When I open the can, the aroma is a present smell of juniper, a little pepper, a light herbal presence, and something that reminds me of pine. The portions are comfortable, and have a quick release of flavor. The taste is a present, natural taste of juniper, a light herbal presence, and a mild tobacco character. For some reason, I notice pine in the taste, as well. The nicotine has a solid kick and feels right at the strong level. The flavor, on average, lasts about 45 minutes. This product, if I had to compare to anything, reminds me of Kapten Enbar.

LM365 Gul (White Portion)

The flavor description for this one says, "LM365 Yellow White Portion is a snus with a clear taste of cypress, citrus, and light hints of salmiak."  This snus has a 17 gram can with 23 portions for 0.74 gram portions.  The nicotine content is 13mg/g (1.3%), or 9.61mg/portion.

When I open the can, the aroma I notice is a present citrus smell, a light floral sweetness, and a hint of pepper. The portions are soft and comfortable in the lip. The flavor is very citrus centric, but comes with a light touch of pepper, a mild tobacco taste, and a good amount of salt, perhaps due to the salmiak in the flavor. The nicotine feels at the strong level, and the flavor, on average, lasts about an hour. This one reminds me a little of Kapten White Portion, if I had to compare to another product.

LM365 Strong Ice (White Portion)

The flavor description for this product says, "LM365 Ice Portion is a snus with a taste of menthol and tobacco."  This product comes in a 17 gram can with 22 portions for 0.77 gram portions.  The nicotine content is 10mg/g (1.0%), or 7.72mg/portion.

Mint seems to be the most popular flavor in the snus world these days, so I already knew that there would be a mint offering in the LM365 range.  When I open the can, the aroma I notice is a sharp peppermint smell with a hint of menthol. The portions are white, plump, soft, and comfortable in the lip. Being a mint product, I do get a nice cooling presence in the lip, as well. The taste is a mild, lightly sweet peppermint with a hint of menthol. The flavor lasts about an hour on average, and has a strong nicotine kick. If I had to compare this to a product, I'd say it reminds me most of U-Sample Cold Arctic (Chew Bags).  It also reminds me a little of the General Cut White Ice product.

These were interesting products, and I'm glad I got to review them.  If you're interested in trying these out, check out Snusbolaget.se, as they seem to have the whole line!

02 November 2018

Grinds: Pumpkin Spice - Review. 2 November 2018.

Today we're going to be talking about Grinds Coffee Pouches.  Now only that, but we are going full on #BasicWhiteGirl with Grinds Pumpkin Spice - tis the season!  So, 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 more!  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 on average, 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.

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.  Each can has 18 pouches in it, and each Grinds pouch has the caffeine equivalent of about 1/4 cup of coffee, or 20-25mg of caffeine.  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.

Now, let's talk about the product itself.  First of all, I do want to be upfront - I'm not a coffee drinker. I like the smell of coffee and I like coffee flavored things, but I don't drink coffee. I just wanted to throw that out there! That being said, on to the review. When it comes to the flavor description for this product it says "Our newest flavor - tastes just like a pumpkin spice latte!"  When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is a rich smell of coffee, some creaminess, and a lightly sweet aroma of pumpkin spice.  The pouches are very moist. More moist than an original snus portion, and seemingly more moist than a dip pouch.  They're quite comfortable in the lip and quickly release flavor.  The taste is absolutely delicious.  There is a smooth, lightly sweet, creamy flavor mixed with a little pumpkin spice in the front, and in the back a rich, robust flavor of coffee.  It tastes, like the description says, just like a pumpkin spice latte.  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're looking for a product to quit smoking with and don't want to go to smokeless tobacco, I'd suggest giving this product a try.  To my Swedish Snus audience - I'd also suggest that you try these as well.  I don't have any interest in quitting snus, but these are a fun little alternative to throw in the mix every now and then!  And, if you want to get your #BasicWhiteGirl on, this is a great way to do it.  I'm not a regular user of Grinds, but I'll definitely be buying more of this!

Snubie Mr. Bacon Lös and Snubie Bacon & Cheese Lös - Reviews. 2 November 2018.

Today is the day! It is time to talk about my latest snus releases - Snubie Mr. Bacon Lös and Snubie Bacon and Cheese Lös. These are two products produced by Snus.biz in collaboration with Snubie.com.  Snus.biz is a manufacturer in Ukraine that makes Swedish Snus.  I had so much fun collaborating with them on Snubie Blood Orange and Goji Berry Los that I wanted to do another product.  When we started working on the bacon flavor, we thought it would be cool to do one with a bacon taste and one with a cheese/bacon taste.  This is a very unique snus, because no one has ever made a bacon flavored snus before.  But, I felt like it was time to continue innovating and challenging the norm.  The world doesn't need yet another Mint White Dry Super Ultra Mega Strong Slim product.  The snus world needs more loose, and certainly more unique flavors.

I did want to make a note of this, because I thought it was really unique and interesting. Snus.biz has changed their packaging, and now it comes in this nice butcher-style paper, wrapped in twine, and with a wax stamp with the Snus.biz logo.  It's very craft in nature, and I really dig the way they've changed to that now.  I know it's something small, and has nothing to do with the taste of the snus, but it's a nice added touch to a company that truly makes craft snus releases.

Snubie Mr. Bacon Lös

The flavor description of this product says, "A premium, small batch product that comes only in the loose format. Snubie Mr. Bacon Los has a mix of Virginia and Turkish Dubek, and is flavored with broth from the Tokyo-K Duroc marbled pork, also known as 'the Kobe beef of pork'." This snus comes in a 50 gram can, just like the old days!  The nicotine content is and is between 12-25mg/g, which yields a strong nicotine kick with a smooth delivery.  This snus comes in the combo grind, which is a mix of long cut and regular snus grinding, and allows for a unique release of flavor and nicotine.

When you open the can, the aroma that greets you is a smoky, dark, rich, tobacco smell. The smell of pork is also quite present. The tobacco itself is moist, soft, and feels great in the lip. It also is very easy to handbake.  The pork flavor is the most present component of the taste.  It's present, bold, and natural.  There's some smokiness in the taste, which I'm not sure if it comes from the pork or the tobacco, but it's quite powerful.  There's also a rich, dark, robust tobacco flavor.  The nicotine strength feels pretty strong, but it's not overwhelming or anything.  There's a solid kick, but it's not uncomfortable.  I find the tobacco stays together in the lip for quite a while, as does the flavor; I've been keeping my prillas in for about 45 minutes on average.

Snubie Bacon and Cheese Lös

The flavor description of this product says, "A premium, small batch product that comes only in the loose format. Snubie Bacon and Cheese Los has a mix of Virginia and Turkish Dubek, and is flavored with broth from the Tokyo-K Duroc marbled pork, also known as "the Kobe beef of pork". The flavor is complimented by the elegant Dorblu Cheese, a German cheese with a creamy, slightly buttery, spicy taste!" This snus comes in a 50 gram can, just like the old days!  The nicotine content is and is between 12-25mg/g, which yields a strong nicotine kick with a smooth delivery. This snus comes in the combo grind, which is a mix of long cut and regular snus grinding, and allows for a unique release of flavor and nicotine.

Upon opening the can, the aroma is similar to Mr. Bacon; there is a dark, rich, smoky tobacco smell with a present hint of pork. There's also a mild, creamy backbone to it which I suspect is from the cheese. The tobacco, again, is moist, soft, easy to bake, and comfortable in the lip. The taste is a robust, dark, rich, tobacco flavor with some smokiness. Again, I don't know if the smokiness is from the tobacco or the pork, but you can definitely taste it! The pork flavor is still the most present component of the flavor, and it comes through in a big way. I can also get a light, soft taste of cheese which compliments the smoky tobacco and pork flavor quite well. The nicotine strength is pretty strong, but it's not overwhelming by any means. There is a solid kick, but it's not uncomfortable. Much like the last one, I find the tobacco stays together in the lip for quite a while, and the flavor seems to last up to about 45 minutes on average!

These two products were definitely very unique tasting.  There truly is nothing else like them on the market.  If you want to try something very unique and very special, these are worth checking out!  Hit the link below to place your order!

Order Snubie Snus Products - Here

30 October 2018

Swedish Match MRTP - Here We Go Again! 30 October 2018.

Back in August of 2014, I wrote an article about Swedish Match applying for the modified risk tobacco product label. This would modify the warning labels on General Snus sold in the US to be, well, honest. More on that later. In December of 2016, Swedish Match was denied approval by the FDA for this Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) label. When this happened, Fredrik Peyron, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Group Communication, Swedish Match said, "We took a major step towards our visionA world without cigarettes” by having the first MRTP application ever accepted as complete by the FDA, and we believe it's a sign that we're moving in the right direction. We will adhere to the invitation by the agency to continue our constructive dialogue in order to understand the next steps necessary for issuance of a modified risk order." They didn't give up, and followed back up on the FDA's requests and the process has begun again!

If you're new to this topic, I'll explain what MRTP is and why Swedish Match wants it. There are 4 warning labels currently on Swedish Snus sold in the US, pictured to the left.  We'll look at these one by one, and talk about the changes Swedish Match proposes.  Swedish Match is seeking for two of these labels to be removed, and for one to be amended.  There is one label that they are going to keep on the can.  The Modified Risk Tobacco Product label is important, because it allows consumers to be informed about the truth, instead of the lies that are currently forced onto these cans.  This moves away from the "Quit or Die" mentality, and towards the tobacco harm reduction mentality.

1. This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss - Swedish Match would like the FDA to remove this label on General Snus products, as this has been debunked.

2. This product can cause mouth cancer - Swedish Match would like the FDA to remove this label on General Snus products, as it has also been debunked.

3. This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes - Swedish Match would like this label to be amended to say, “No tobacco product is safe, but this product presents substantially lower risks to health than cigarettes.”

4. Smokeless tobacco is addictive - Swedish Match is not seeking the removal of this label.

So, how can you help?  Submit a public comment, here.  The public comment period is now open.  Go there, and share your story.  I told them about how I wanted to quit smoking, and nothing else worked except for snus.  Be honest, and tell them what snus has meant to you and how it has changed your life.  You can have a big part in helping tobacco harm reduction grow in America, so please go and submit comments and share your story!

Submit a public comment, here.

For a sample comment, here's what I submitted:

28 October 2018

Small Batch No6: Svensk Skog (White Portion) - Review.

After the recent Small Batch release, I assumed that would be the last one. However, that wasn't the case, as Swedish Match has released Small Batch No6: Svensk Skog (Swedish Forest). I also heard from a friend that he was told by the Swedish Match store that the Small Batch series would continue, with a new release every few months. The previous 5 releases have been pretty good. 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. Small Batch 4, released in July, had a taste of raspberry and licorice.  And then Small Batch 5, released in September, had a flavor of coffee!   Of the 6 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."

I was a little nervous going into this one.  The flavor description made me a little curious, but also nervous.  Swedish Match describes it by saying, "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."  This product comes in a 24 gram can with 24 portions for 1 gram portions. The nicotine strength is not listed.

When I opened the can, the aroma that jumped out immediately was a smell of mushroom. It's almost like a buttery, shiitake mushroom smell, much like in Italian food and pasta. I notice an earthy quality to the aroma, and a hint of tobacco. There's also a presence of greenery in the background, much like you would smell walking through a heavily wooded area. The portions are soft, and comfortable in the lip. They come in the star formation, which means they're wedged, so I suggest fluffing them before you put them in your lip.  The taste is very much like the aroma, but more balanced.  The flavor seems to be a dark tobacco flavor with an earthy quality to it, hints of mushrooms, and then a taste that is kind of grassy.  It's a very odd flavor.  The nicotine strength feels to be around the regular strength level, and the flavor on average lasts about an hour.

So far, I've liked every flavor in the Small Batch series, but I can't get into this one.  It's a very odd flavor, and that's coming from the guy who made bacon snus.  But, they can't always be winners.  Now, if you like mushrooms, or want to try a unique flavor, give this one a go.  You may like it.  But for me, it's not one I'd want to use again.

Updated Small Batch rankings

1.  SB #2 Blood Orange - My favorite of the series.  This is easily one I would add to my full time rotation.  The flavor was absolutely fantastic.
2.  SB #4 Raspberry Licorice - It was hard to rank the top 2, but I gave Blood Orange the edge.  However, I would also order this one and keep it my rotation.
3.  SB #5 Kaffe - I'm not a coffee fan, but I could see myself ordering this one again.  I enjoyed it.
4.  SB #1 Champagne - This one was good, but not something I'd probably use a lot of.  But, I'd probably get a can here and there.
5.  SB #3 Apple Mint - I ranked this one low because there's already enough mint products on the market.  There is also an apple mint product on the market made by Swedish Match.
6.  SB #6 Svensk Skog - I ranked this one last because it's a very odd flavor and one I just can't get into.