06 February 2016

General Mackmyra (Portion & Los) - Reviews. 6 February 2015.

Technically, General Mackmyra is not supposed to launch for several weeks, however it's been available in Sweden on whisky cruises and to certain stores. Thankfully, the readers of Snubie.com are always very resourceful and I ended up with some of the product to review. So, as always, a special thank you to our fans who help us with these hard to get products.

General Mackmyra has apparently been in the works since 2014, but the release was set to coincide with 2016, the 150th anniversary of General Snus. Master Blenders from Swedish Match Lars Jonsson and Mattias Schemer joined with the master blender from Mackmyra, Angela D’Orazio, to craft this snus. The flavor profile is said to be “a tobacco-centric snus flavored to contain a subtle tone of fruit with notes of cedar and Mackmyra Svensk Ek Whisky. Svensk Ek, or 'Swedish Oak', is matured in barrels made from oak trees planted on the island of Visingsö centuries ago, oak originally intended for shipbuilding.

The whisky category has been growing a lot over the years. In 1994, Swedish Match launched Probe Whisky, which was flavored with Kentucky Bourbon. In 2014, Conny Andersson, formerly of Swedish Match, launched Islay Whisky Snus at GN Tobacco, flavored with Islay whisky. A year later, Conny went on to AG Snus and launched another whisky snus - Crafted Snus Whisky, flavored with whisky from Glenfarclas.  As the category is growing, it only made sense that Swedish Match would launch more of a single malt whisky flavor.  Before we get into the review, I want to give a little background on the Mackmyra distillery.

In 1998, some friends realized there were no distilleries in Sweden. A year later, Mackmyra was founded and named for the village of Mackmyra where the first distillery was established. Mackmyra is a Swedish Single Malt Whisky made of Swedish ingredients. All the ingredients come from within a 75 mile radius of Mackmyra, except for the yeast, which comes from Rotebro, which is about 100 miles away. The whisky is made using naturally filtered water which they claim to be the world's purest water "filtered to perfection since the Ice Age". The whisky is stored in a Swedish Oak, which they say "grows in a harsher climate and gives the whisky a harsher flavor than American oak". The whisky is produced without additives and matured 50 meters below ground in an old mine. They say the whisky has a "fiery spice balanced by sweetness similar to caramelized sugar".

This product is launching in two formats, original portion and los.  I've always found original portion and los to be the best ways to get the full taste of the product, so it's a good thing that Mackmyra is starting with these two.  If the product sticks around, I imagine there may be a possibility of a white portion, as that format is quite popular.  The can design is really neat, and the design seems to look like tree rings.  The snus is a 24 gram can and is said to have 0.85% nicotine in 1 gram portions, so 8.5mg/g nicotine content.  I think the can design is pretty neat, it reminds me a lot of Nick and Johnny Small Batch Licorice Snus.  It has a very craft snus look to it.

The portions are original in format and have a great amount of moisture to them. When you open the can, the aroma that comes through is a predominant smell of whisky with hints of oak and smokiness. There is also a nice, dark tobacco smell present. The flavor starts off as whisky with a slight touch of sweetness, spice, smokiness, oak and robust tobacco. The longer you have the portion in, the more the whisky aroma mellows and balances with the other ingredients. The smoke flavor and tobacco flavors become more present and a nice taste of tar starts to come out. At times, it reminds me a little of General Variation: Smoky Oak but with no citrus and an added whisky taste.  The nicotine content is 8.5mg/g, and it feels a little stronger than a regular snus.  Not too strong, but a touch stronger than a regular 8mg/g snus.

I was very surprised, and excited, to see that Mackmyra was also launching in los! Swedish Match doesn't launch many new los products, the last one I can recall is Mustang Los. But with a product like this, I find the best way to truly enjoy and appreciate it's flavors is in the los format.  The can is similar to the portion can, and has the tree ring design around the sides of the can with a similar orange color and a gold lid, which is common of most Swedish Match los products.  This is also a 42gram can of snus.  The nicotine content isn't printed on the bottom, but I would assume 0.85% or 8.5mg/g, as well.

The grind of this one is kind of in the middle, it's not too coarse but it's also not too fine. I was able to handbake a prilla with minimal effort. If you're not a fan of handbaking, it also bakes well with a snus portioning tool.  The aroma of the los seems to be a little smokier than the portion format with more tobacco presence in the smell.  The presence of whisky seems to be more in the background, behind the tobacco and the smoke.  It is present, but I don't notice it as much as I do with the portion version for some reason.  The los has a decent moisture amount and stays well packed in the little with minimal mudslide.  The taste starts off heavy on the tobacco end with whisky in the background and hints of oak, smoke and spice.  It is also a touch saltier than the portion format.  The more the flavor matures, the more the tobacco and smoke come out and I start to notice the tar flavor that I picked up in the portion version.  The whisky flavors stays relatively mild and stays in the background with the tobacco taste in the front.  The nicotine content is 0.75% or 8.5mg/g.  It feels a touch stronger than regular strength snus but not too strong.

Both of these have a great taste, and I definitely suggest any lovers of whisky to give them a try!  I've heard it may be up to 10 weeks before they're released, so keep an eye on your favorite web stores!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Chad. Great review! This stuff looks awesome. I have to tell you that I broke down over December & put in a big order with Snus24.com based on many of your reviews. I had high hopes for several of the whiskey-flavored snuses but most didn't work out too well for me. Conny Anderson's Craft Snus regular just tastes weird to me and the portions do not sit well in my lip. Anno 1852 whiskey portions left much to be desired. The Probe portions were a success and have become my new go-to snus and are largely responsible for getting me away from Copenhagen LC. I find the Probe portions feature a very similar flavor to that of the Copenhagen about ten minutes into a dip. There were many other flavors in my order but on the balance I find the General brand to be superior to everything else out there in terms of flavor, quality, consistency and subtlety. Huge winners from this order: Grov portions, Prima Fint, Probe & Ettan portions. The classics. I don't know what my problem is but I do not get flavor out of loose snus and no matter how firmly I bake a prilla I cannot get them to stay together in my mouth. It is mudslide into mouthful of mud within two minutes of placement. I am likely going to pick up a pack of those portion pouches you've demoed in an earlier video and convert all the loose I bought into portions, especially the Prima Fint. If General would release that in a portion format it would be my go-to snus. Stuff is sublime. Thanks!