20 January 2014

General Variation: Rustic Blend & Smoky Oak Reviews (Discontinued). 20 January 2014.

These products have been discontinued and are no longer for sale.

I've been looking forward to this day since I first heard about these. If you missed my preview, here's a little summary about what "General Variation" is all about. "...a new snus series with focus on sophisticated taste characters that truly signify indulgence. Based on Johan A Boman’s original General recipe from 1866 the products bring new exciting taste characters to the world of snus, while still being true to our heritage and cultural foundation. A tasteful evolution of the original Swedish snus. General Variation – a series of tasteful varieties from the original Swedish snus." Basically a new take on a traditional snus for those who want to stay with a brand they know has quality, but want to mix up the rotation a little bit. With that being said, let's dive in.

Rustic Blend is described as "Full-bodied and spicy tobacco character with notes of dried herbs, citrus and pepper. Subtle hints of resin and rosemary. A sophisticated blend of full-bodied tobacco layered with peppery herbal notes and hints of citrus sets the mood for this spicy yet smooth character, making it a great choice for those who seek a rustic version of General’s classic white portion." When I open the can, the first smell that jumps out at me is rosemary. If you cook a lot, you know how distinct rosemary is, and it's very present. The "General Presence" is still there, I can pick out distinct notes of citrus and pepper. A very herbal presence, as well, all these wrapped together have a very unique aroma. Also, when I opened my first can of this stuff the first thing that came to my mind was that it smelled like one of those old Amish towns or old school villages where you go and see how things "used to be", that smell that is high in the air, that's what jumped out and grabbed me when I opened this can - a lot like the presence of wood and sawdust. How's it taste? Well, it has the base taste of General - a spicy and peppery flavor with hints of citrus. There's a very herbal flavor present as well, it kinda reminds me of a blend of Tre Ankare and General White portion.  The citrus flavor comes out first with the spicy peppery flavor that's common of General Snus, then the herbal flavor comes into play and melds together with the citrus into a nice little flavor mix.  The flavor is long lasting, complex, and very enjoyable.  The taste is very well rounded and all the flavor elements are paired quite well.  If you like snus with a lot going on, this is definitely one to check out.

Smoky Oak is the one I was the most excited to jump into. I love a snus with a good, deep tobacco flavor, and this description sounded like something that would be right up my alley. "Full-bodied and rich tobacco character with notes of tar, pipe tobacco, bonfire and oak. Subtle hints of bergamot and leather. Inspired by the meticulous craftsmanship and aging process of malt whiskies this original portion features a complex and intriguing taste reminiscing of tar and oak casks. A full-bodied and intense character for those that seek to indulge in a bold yet refined alternative."  That description alone got my mouth watering.  Yes, I'm a bit of a snus geek, if you hadn't noticed by the past almost 5 years of writing about snus. When you open a can, the aroma hits you in the face and is very present and straightforward. It's very smoky, the first thing I thought of when I opened a can was that it smelled like a campfire.  It filled the room, it's VERY bold.  The only other snus I've had with a strong aroma like this one was Thunder Ultra: Brandy Alexander.

The flavor of this snus is very interesting. There is a very bold presence of smoke, with a peppery flavor and a very slight taste of citrus and leather.  The tobacco flavor has a very tar like presence, like a good pipe tobacco. Someone asked me today which pipe tobacco this made me think of, and the one that closely came to mind was G.L. Pease - Caravan. It reminded me a lot of that one, but various others come to mind as well. Frog Morton on the Town had a nice leathery finish and it comes to mind as well as Olaf’s Favourite English which has a really smoky and leathery flavor.  The peat flavor is very present as well, and reminiscent of whisky.  If I had to pin this flavor, it would be a blend of Nick and Johnny OP mixed with General White but with the citrus kicked down a notch and a strong presence smoke added.  This snus has a very bold and complex flavor with a lot going on!  This one is definitely a good one.

Now that we've talked about these snuses, who would I suggest them for?  Well, anyone who loves snus and, like me, wants to try anything new.  General Rustic Blend seems like one that people who love traditional snus would enjoy.  General Smoky Oak seems like one I would suggest to people who enjoy good whiskey or scotch, pipe tobacco, or people who dip or are looking to go from dip to snus (for more info on making the switch check out our Switching From Dip To Snus page at Snubie.com.  They are both good, and this range definitely diversifies the General family to be able to appeal to more people - old school snusers, the new generation, and people looking to make that switch from dip to snus.  It allows people to enjoy the General quality, but to go to different flavors when they want to mix up their rotation, or to come into the General family with one of these instead of jumping to the classic General Snus.

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