NOTE: This product was a limited edition release and is no longer for sale.
I always get excited about the end of the year. Why? Kardus. If you're new to my blog, you can check out my reviews of 2009 Kardus here and here, and 2010 Kardus here. Kardus is a cool snus - for many reasons. Because it's limited edition - there aren't many of these available, so once it's gone - it's gone! The Kardus Premium Blend was once a regularly released snus by Swedish Match until they started making it a once a year thing. It comes in a cut not common to any other loose snus from Swedish Match - a long cut. Every year, the tobacco geniuses at Swedish Match led by the man himself - Conny Andersson, searches the world to find the perfect tobacco for that years release, then blend it with a local region taste, usually alcohol. When I previewed this year's Kardus - Carnival Edition, the preview mentioned “The fragrance is a complex blend of newly ground coffee and a delicate nuttiness, soothed by a sweetness that is reminiscent of figs. The flavor is a combination of spicy oak tones, herbs and new-mown hay,” .
This year's Kardus has a Brazilian "Carnival" theme, which is immediately noticable in the can - having the colors of Brazil - with the yellow box and the green book with the festive wrapping around it. Pretty cool stuff. Each year's package has been cooler and cooler - especially last year's which had a piece of china recovered from a shipwreck in the lid. Epic.
Kardus 2011, how does it taste? First things first - let's talk the cut. The grind of this is a long cut, so it isn't the easiest to put in a tool, and you can't handbake it - so this snus begs to be pinched. I've done both - lower and upper lip, this year I did it in the lower lip. As snus is pasteurized, spitting isn't required and swallowing the juice is okay, so you can lower lip it, but it's not required. Either way works just fine. The aroma of this snus is very exotic, with a little sweet hint to it. It's not as bold as other snuses, and though this snus contains the flavor of a "fruity cachaça", it isn't as pleasant as others flavored with an alcohol - such as 2009's Kardus where the rum was extremely present. The taste of this snus is very exotic. It has a little spice to it, but not as spicy as last year's Kardus. There is a pleasant salt balance and a mellow sweetness to it as well, along with an earthy/natural quality that is akin to wood or oak. It's a pretty good blend and the taste of this year's Kardus is quite tasty. Though I still say 2009 was the best Kardus I've ever had, I rank this one as a very close second. This snus isn't trying too hard to be good, which makes it good. The flavors are all there and blend in such a way that it's an enjoyable experience with a great taste, but nothing that is going to be so bold or in your face that you can't enjoy it for the limited edition special snus that it is.
Kardus 2011: Carnival Blend is currently available from BuySnus, but is very limited so get it while you can. Once it's gone, it's gone!