23 December 2016

Thunder X (White Dry) - Review (Discontinued). 23 December 2016.

NOTE:  This product has been discontinued and is no longer for sale.

When I started using snus back in 2009 - there weren't a lot of strong snus products. There was General Extra Strong (14mg/g nicotine), Nick and Johnny Strong (14mg/g), Thunder Frosted (16mg/g) - but that was about it.  Somewhere towards the end of 2009 began companies focusing on making stronger and stronger snus.  But the competition has been fierce between two companies in particular:  V2 Tobacco of Denmark and GN Tobacco of Sweden.  For a long time, Thunder Extra Strong (16mg/g) was king of the mountain.  Then GN Tobacco released Oden's Extreme (22mg/g) in early 2011. V2 countered with Thunder Ultra Strong (22mg/g) in late 2011. GN Tobacco decided to go much higher and released Siberia (43mg/g) in 2015. V2 countered in 2016 and released Offroad Arctic (45mg/g) in November 2016 and now Thunder X (45mg/g) in December 2016.  The competition has been fierce!  As a snus reviewer who doesn't use a lot of strong snus, I'm hoping it doesn't go much farther than this.  This stuff is becoming much too strong for me, and it's hard to review!  Usually when I do a review I like to use an entire can of the stuff before I write my review, but with stuff this strong I'm lucky to get through a half a can.

Now, let's talk more about the nicotine.  I made this chart that compares the "on paper" aspects of the "world's strongest snus" products.  I wanted to compare them in two ways - total nicotine and nicotine per portion.  If you rank by total nicotine, on paper the new Thunder X products are the strongest in the world.  If you rank by nicotine per portion, Siberia Brown still has the crown and Thunder X falls in behind it.  As I've mentioned before, "on paper" nicotine levels aren't the only things to consider.  You have to look at types of tobacco used, free nicotine levels (the amount of nicotine actually usable) and pH, which affects the nicotine absorption, as well.  So one snus may be stronger than another on paper, but the weaker snus may "feel" stronger due to various factors.  That's where things get interesting.  With this one, it's ranked #5 on the nicotine per portion strength level, at 29.25mg per portion.  But, to me it feels much stronger.  Though it shares the same nicotine per portion with Offroad Arctic, I ranked it at #5 and Offroad Arctic at #6.  The reason for that is that I think different tobaccos are used which may make this one slightly stronger than what the numbers tell us.

When you open the can, the aroma that comes through is a mild, but slightly sharp smell of peppermint. I know that sounds like an oxymoron and it's hard to explain. The smell isn't too in your face, but it is a bit sharp in it's presence.  These are white dry portions and are lighter in weight, so the portions themselves feel flatter and not as heavy.  The thing that I like about white portions is that without the added moisture the flavor will last longer.  Also, if you're somewhere that snus is taxed by weight, you save money in weight-based taxation by removing the excess moisture!  Putting a portion in the lip I notice that it is pretty dry but not too uncomfortable.  I notice the cooling sensation first, and then the burn mixes in but doesn't last very long.  It settles into a mild cooling feeling that lasts for quite a while.  The nicotine on these is quite strong - I feel the nicotine between the 5 and 6 minute mark and can keep them in for up to 13 to 14 minutes.  Which is interesting, because Offroad Arctic Xplorer has the same nicotine per portion, but I can keep those in for 18 to 20 minutes.  I think this may be due to a different type of tobacco used in this particular snus that makes the free (usable) nicotine stronger.  The flavor builds rather slowly and doesn't get to be too strong.  It starts off as a very faint taste of peppermint and a touch of tobacco.  The longer you have it in the more the peppermint flavor develops and it comes across in a very mellow way.  The taste doesn't ever get to be too bold and is a much lighter taste than I noticed with the Thunder X Slim White Dry I reviewed, which is odd to me.

If you're looking for a snus that is super strong but has a lighter mint taste, this one may be right up your alley.  Of the three I would say this one is my least favorite, but it still isn't too bad.  Although, I don't do a lot of strong nicotine so this still isn't something I would order again.  But, if you like strong snus, I'd still suggest giving all three of the Thunder X products a try!

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