Website/Facebook) for driving to Stockholm to pick this up for us. This is the first year Swedish Match didn't allow the product to be sold via e-stores that ship to the US, for some reason.
Now, let's talk Kardus! It's that time of year, and General Kardus 2017 is here! I'm a big fan of limited edition releases, and Kardus is no exception! Since starting snus in 2009 I've enjoyed Kardus 2009, Kardus 2010, Kardus 2011, Kardus 2012, General Kardus Selection 2015, and General Kardus Fäviken 2016. Swedish Match didn't release a Kardus in 2013 or 2014, but returned in 2015 and started releasing Kardus as General Kardus. Swedish Match had this to say about this year's release: "General Kardus is Swedish Match's most costly snus, manufactured with attention to detail, from tobacco variants selected with care and consideration. The snus is created in a single limited edition per year. When we designed this year's edition of General Kardus, we wanted to challenge the norms of loose snus. We decided to remain here at our nordic latitudes, but we left the Swedish snus traditions behind to instead create something new. General Kardus 2017 challenges the ideas of the taste, experience and feel of loose snus."
As you can see in the photo, there's a book that came with this one. I'll be quoting from it in this review, but if you want to read it I uploaded it for you to view. Each page has a photo of the page in the book, and under that you'll see the English translation. You can view it here. Thanks to our friend Emil Johansson for helping us with the translation.
Göteborg's Rapé has been a favorite snus of mine for many years, so I found myself quite excited going into this snus.
Kardus.com), and another warning "label".
This year's release is single cut, 100% lamina, as we have seen in the past. Swedish Match says, "Only the finest pieces of the tobacco have been used for General Kardus 2017. These parts of the plant matter are called the 'lamina' in the industry. The tobacco is cut in 0,72 mm slices, using the single-cut method, giving it a completely different flavor and feel than the usual ground tobacco used in loose snus." This year's flavor description says, "General Kardus 2017 has a much lighter, milder taste than its predecessors, and brings to mind hints of mild herbs and notes of citrus. General Kardus 2017's tobacco has a dark and rich character with notes of dried fruits, chocolate and juniper, with slight notes of juniper berries and citrus. The snus is made of single-cut tobacco, meant to be shaped into a "prilla" for a quick and powerful release of flavor."
The tobacco itself is quite soft and fluffy. The moisture amount if 51.5%, so it leads to a quick release of flavor! When you open the can, the aroma that comes through is a dark, rich tobacco smell accompanied by mild hints of dark chocolate. I notice the presence of gin, but it is rather mild and in the background. The taste of this snus is very focused around the tobacco. The tobacco taste is dark, strong, rich, earthy and well rounded. There is a very mild smokiness in the background. As far as the gin flavor goes, it is detectable, but it is rather mild and stays in the background behind the tobacco. There is also a light herbal flavor in the background, as well. Though it was noted in the flavor description, I didn't detect any berry or citrus flavor, however I may be able to notice it more after I let this snus age. The nicotine delivery is moderate. It is stronger than a regular strength snus, weighing in at 13mg/g, but it is not uncomfortable nor is it too strong that it detracts from the flavor and experience of the snus. The longer you have the snus in, the more the flavors mellow. The gin and herbal flavors mellow at about the 30 minute mark and the taste settles into a rich, robust tobacco flavor.
I found this year's Kardus to be quite enjoyable. Going into it, I thought it might be a cross between General Snus and Göteborgs Rapé, but it didn't taste like I expected. I can say, as a lover of tobacco centric flavors, this snus delivered a great taste. The tobacco taste reminds me a lot of last year's General Kardus Fäviken. The gin wasn't as bold as I expected, but it did compliment the tobacco flavor quite well. I'm going to age some of this snus and revisit it in a few months to see if the flavors develop any more with proper aging. This snus was produced in late January of 2017, so perhaps by this summer the flavors may come out a bit more!