NOTE: This product was a limited edition release and is no longer for sale.
One of my two most anticipated days of the year has finally arrived. The first was the release of General Long Portion, and the second is today - with the release of Kardus Superior Blend : 2010! As most of you know - Kardus is a very limited release produced towards the end of the year by Swedish Match. The world is traversed to find a special tobacco to make Kardus from, and if that particular year they can't find anything that meets their quality standards, they don't produce Kardus. To date that hasn't happened yet, thankfully. Conny Andersson from Swedish Match is the mastermind behind flavoring this special snus and really has a taste for quality. I had the opportunity to meet with him in Sweden earlier this year and was really impressed with his knowledge of tobacco and flavor. As I've said before, I'm a big fan of Kardus, if you remember from my review last year. I think it's great that a special snus is released just for snus lovers. I compare it to when Pepsi releases Pepsi Throwback - the REAL Sugar version of Pepsi. In limited quantities, I consider it a rather nice treat!
I won't go to into detail about this year's Kardus, this is a review of the flavor and the snus itself, but if you want to read the backstory, check out the preview I posted a few weeks ago. I've dubbed it "Pirate Kardus". In the lid, a shard of porcelain is included from the exclusive cargo of the last voyage of the East Indiaman Götheborg’s last voyage in 1745, which was salvaged from the wreck in 1905. It's wrapped in a very pirate ship-esque twine and comes in a very cool looking box - much like last year's edition. A full color book is also included which covers the full story of this year's Kardus.
As mentioned before, Kardus is a long-cut, hand-cut snus. The preview article covers the exact method used to make this year's Kardus. As I said last year - it's a labor of love to make a snus this special. This year's Kardus has a lighter nicotine kick to it, due to the particular tobacco used. I find that refreshing, because last year's really had a kick to it and this year's is more mellow, allowing you to enjoy the flavor of this great snus more. Now, let's talk Kardus Snus. When I opened up the lid to this year's Kardus I found a very interesting smell. It was very reminiscent of a rich pipe tobacco - but with a spicy and exotic twist to it. The flavor of this year's Kardus is very rich and quite robust. The tobacco has a little sour taste to it with fruity hints. The tobacco itself is very rich and has a very present flavor and seems to have these hints of chocolate to it, kind of like some people detect with Ettan. The flavor isn't so much salty as most other snuses - the use of Arrack seems to balance out the flavor and doesn't add a strong alcohol flavor like last year's Kardus, but a very mellow sweet undertone that matches very well with the sour taste that you detect at first. If I had to sum up this year's Kardus, I would say it's exotic but balanced. The flavor takes a unique twist on traditional tobacco flavor and balances out so many elements and flavors into a very enjoyable experience. This year's Kardus is great - and I look forward to seeing what comes in 2011!