22 April 2018

General Cut (White Ice) Chew Bags - Review. 22 April 2018.

January of last year I reviewed General (White Portion Ice) - Regular and Extra Strong. These were "chew bag" products produced by Swedish Match. For those just tuning in, chew bags are products made much the same way as snus, but branded as "chewing tobacco" or "chew bags" so they can be legally sold in the EU. I won't go too much into the differences between Swedish Snus and Nordic Chew in this video, but if you want to learn the differences, you can check them out in this video. So why, you may ask, am I revisiting these products? As some of you may recall, in September of 2017, Swedish Match purchased V2 Tobacco. V2 had a strong handle on production and distribution of these chew bag products, and now it appears as though Swedish Match is shifting production of their chew bag products to the V2 factory in Denmark. The bottom of the can now says "Produced in Denmark at Swedish Match NE AB", which I'm assuming is V2 Tobacco.  In light of that, I decided I would revisit these products to see what changes had occurred, and compare them to the last time I reviewed them.

General Cut: White Ice

First, the name has slightly changed.  These were formerly called "General Cut: White Portion Ice".  Now they are simply called "General Cut: White Ice". The product description for these says, "General Cut White Ice has a balanced tobacco taste with a distinct note of mint." This product comes in an 18 gram can with 20 portions, for 0.9 gram portions. The nicotine content is 14mg/g, or 1.4%. This would yield a nicotine per portion of 12.60mg/portion. The old version came in 1 gram portions, and had the same total nicotine, but more per portion due to one gram portions.

When you open the can, the aroma is a sharp smell of peppermint with a mild sweetness.   The portions are soft to the touch, and so is the tobacco inside the pouch.  When you insert a portion under the lip you'll encounter a mild cooling presence, which is common of most mint products.   The taste is a mild, gentle peppermint taste. There is a light sweetness, but it's not too over the top.  The longer you have it in, the more you'll notice a mild tobacco character in the background.  The nicotine feels to be a little stronger than regular strength, but not too strong.   As is common of most chew bag products, this has a long lasting flavor; I generally can enjoy these for a little over an hour.  Compared to the old versions, I notice the tobacco to be softer, and the flavor to be more present.

General Cut: White Ice (Titanium)

The name on this one has slightly changed as well.  The old name was "General Cut: White Portion Ice Extra Strong".  The new name is "General Cut: White Ice (Titanium)".  Titanium seems to be a common name amongst Swedish Match products, particularly in international markets such as Canada. The flavor description says, "General Cut Titanium White Ice has a balanced tobacco taste with a distinct note of mint. Titanium is an extra strong portion product with a more powerful nicotine delivery."  This product comes in a 21.6 gram can with 24 portions, for 0.9 gram portions.  The nicotine content is 20mg/g (2.0%), which breaks down to 18mg/portion.  The old version had the same total nicotine content, but 1 gram portions, so the nicotine per portion was slightly stronger, at 20mg/portion.

When you open the can, the aroma is much like the regular strength version: a sharp, focused smell of peppermint with a light touch of sweetness. The portions are also soft to the touch, as is the tobacco inside the pouch. You'll also encounter a cooling presence when you put a portion in your lip. The taste is pretty much identical to the regular strength version. There is a mild, lightly sweet taste of peppermint. Like with the regular strength version, you'll notice a mild tobacco character after having a pouch in for a while. As far as the nicotine strength goes, it feels to be just a touch shy of the extra strong level. It still packs a solid kick! The flavor also lasts a long amount of time; much like with the regular strength version, I can keep these in for over an hour. Comparing this to the old versions, the tobacco is softer, the portions are a little less white, and the taste seems to be more present. It also feels to be just a little less strong.

These are solid chew bag products for anyone who can't get ahold of snus, but can access chew bags. The main differences I notice are that the tobacco inside the pouch is softer, the portions are a little less white in appearance, the nicotine kick isn't as strong, but the flavor is more present.  In my opinion, all of these changes are improvements.  As far as the portion being less white, I didn't notice it to affect how long the flavor lasts. If you want to try these out, Northerner.com stocks them in their Nordic Chew section.

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