This review is of Batch 1, which is no longer produced. Batch 2 is now in production. Check out our reviews of Batch 2 (White Portion) and Batch 2 (Single Cut/Los).
Ever since I previewed this snus a few weeks ago, I've been very excited to try it. Mellgren's IPA Snus is a small batch snus blended by Conny Andersson, formerly of GN Tobacco. Conny is the mastermind behind Swedish Match's Kardus blends up until 2012, and the creator of Islay Whiskey Snus. Conny has moved on from GNT to new endeavors at AG Snus, makers of Blue Ocean and Kapten. I first met Conny in 2010 when I went to Sweden and visited Swedish Match and I think my friend Julls of the GoSmokeless.org YouTube Channel always described him best by saying, "Conny has a PhD in taste." Looking at the Mellgren's IPA Snus can, it's a very basic and minimalistic design. It's a simple black can with the information printed on the top and a warning label on the bottom. With a snus like this, the tobacco speaks for itself and the can design is irrelevant, in my opinion.
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, which is a San Diego based beer. This beer is actually rated best IPA in the world by Beeradvocate! It also won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup 2010 in the IPA category. The beer is said to have “bright flavors and aromas of apricot, peach, mango and lemon. The lighter body also gives you the crispness of the hops that are used in this craft beer.” A Sculpin is a fish that has poisonous spikes on their fins and they can give a pretty hefty sting. It’s interesting, however, that Sculpin is actually considered to be some of the tastiest fish around.
When I reviewed this snus, I wanted to make sure to get ahold of some of the Sculpin IPA beer to pair it with. I've been getting more into IPAs lately and I really enjoyed this one. It has a very crisp and bold taste of hops, a mild and tart taste of lemon, and a very mellow tropical flavor in the background, probably from the mango. It pairs very well with this snus. If you can get ahold of the Mellgren's IPA snus, buy yourself a bottle of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA to pair it with.
The grind is single cut and if you're familiar with dip, it resembles long cut tobacco. You can take a pinch and throw it in your lip, but I prefer to use an Icetool. It bakes really well with a tool and the prilla stays together quite well in the lip. This snus is very moist which helps bring out the flavors of the tobacco. When it comes to taste, the flavor is very complex. The tobacco taste isn't a bold taste, but it's a more mild and earthy taste. There is so much going on with the flavor but it works very well together. There's slight elements of leather, a mild hint of chocolate, a little nutty flavor and very gentle dried fruit hints. All these flavors work very well together and accentuate and pair well with the taste of the earthy tobacco.
This snus is available at the Mellgren's Fine Tobacco store in Sweden, or you can buy it online from their webstore. At this time it isn't available to the US, but I'm sure if demand grows we may see this snus experience wider distribution.