NOTE: These products have been reformulated and are part of a new chew bag line released by AG Snus. You can access my new review of those products here.
As many of you may know, thanks to the EU snus ban, people in the EU do not have easy access to Swedish Snus. Products like cigarettes remain legal, but safer alternatives like snus remain illegal. Over the past few years we've seen something interesting happen, a loophole. New products like Thunder Chew, Thunder Chew Bags and Al Capone Chewing Tobacco have appeared and though these products are made the exact same way as Swedish Snus, they are branded as "chewing tobacco" so that they're legal to be sold in the EU. Yes, that is ridiculous as it sounds, but that's the EU for you. Today, we're talking about 4 new products from AG Snus called Ink Chewing Tobacco. The products are released through a subsidiary of AG Snus called Lakrisan Tobacco Company.
The company describes the method of use as, "Chew lightly on the bag with tobacco and the taste of tobacco and effect of nicotine will come to an effect. Leave the chewing back in one of the sides of your mouth an chew again if you want more flavour and strength." Though I will say I never do it that way, I usually just put it in my upper lip just like traditional Swedish Snus and leave it there and it works just fine. I think they add that disclaimer to make it appear more like "chewing tobacco" and less like snus.
When you open a can of Ink Ice, the aroma that comes through is a mild mint/peppermint smell with a little bit of eucalyptus/menthol. The pouches are a little bigger than the average size Swedish Snus portion. When you put the pouch in your lip a cooling sensation comes on which makes me think there may be menthol or eucalyptus in the recipe. The taste is a very mild mint/peppermint flavor. As I mentioned with the cooling sensation, I do get a hint of either eucalyptus or menthol. I'm not sure if that's in the recipe or not, but I do detect that presence. The flavor lasts quite a while. For a mint snus, it isn't bad. I've definitely had better but if you're looking or a mint snus in the "chewing tobacco" format, this would be one you could try.
When I open a can of Ink Original, a very mild tobacco aroma comes through with a little hint of pepper/spice. The pouches are bigger than the average snus pouch. The taste takes a little while to develop, but once it comes on it's a pretty present taste. The flavor is a mild and robust flavor of tobacco with a little bit of pepper spice in the background. It's a pretty tasty product if you're into tobacco-centric flavors.
This one is basically the same as the original flavor above but with more nicotine. When you open a can a mild aroma of tobacco comes through accompanied by a little pepper spice. The pouches are the same size - a little bigger than the average snus pouch. Being a white portion, the flavor takes a little bit longer to develop, but once it develops it's a mild but robust flavor of tobacco. There's also a little pepper in the background which mixes well with the tobacco. The nicotine strength is moderate, not too strong, but still stronger than the original strength snus above. If I had to guess I'd say probably around 15mg/g-17mg/g.
With licorice being a popular flavor in Sweden, it makes sense that most Swedish Snus lines have a licorice flavored product. When you open a can of Ink Licorice a mild and slightly sweet aroma o black licorice comes through. The portions are the same size as the last three, a little bit bigger than the average snus pouch in size. The taste is a pretty mild black licorice taste with a little salt and a little pepper spice in the background. As far as licorice flavored products go, this one is decent, it's not bad but it's not amazing by any means. The nicotine of these one doesn't feel as strong to me as the other X-Strong snus. It feels like it has a little more kick than regular snus, but not quite as much as I'd expect from an X-Strong snus.
If you're in Switzerland and can't get ahold of snus, head over to SnusKingdom.ch to pick up these products. They're pretty decent in flavor, nicotine and quality. AG Snus makes a quality product and these definitely continue in that tradition.