Mick Hellwig - Snus, Snuff, and Stuff

Mick Hellwig

 

Mick Hellwig to Brussels:  Leave Swedish Snus Alone! The European Union Sucks.  No, not the people who live there.  Some of my favorite people and products come from the EU.

I’m complaining about the controlling group that has decided to enforce a stupid law that bans sales of Swedish snus to EU member states; Sweden excepted.  Protecting the tax base on cigarettes is more important than protecting the health of an estimated 100 million EU smokers to the elite in Brussels. Many of these EU cigarette smokers would now be EU ex-smokers had the Tobacco Products Directive been written differently in 1992.

Several EU states are losing billions in tax revenues already due to cigarette smuggling. Goodness only knows what is contained in these Chinese, Russian, who knows where, manufactured cigarettes. At the very least we know what is in Swedish snus. We know the ingredients, we know the additives, we know the quality of the tobacco, i.e. not floor sweepings pressed together to make a sheet and then shredded into ribbons resembling tobacco. (On a side note, my long suffering wife cannot stand the smell of low end machine made cigars for exactly this reason. The glue used to hold together the binding makes her throat tighten and gives her difficulty breathing. A quality hand rolled cigar does not give her the same symptoms, even though she sometimes complains that it smells awful.)

The Famous Mick HellwigFirst off I have to apologize for the long absence from this column. Being an internationally famous author and magazine publishing magnet has been consuming more of my time than I originally intended. The fan mail responses, fancy dinners with important people in the world of smokeless tobacco, hobnobbing with the beautiful people and trying to keep the mail room clerks out of the Executive Washroom is beginning to feel like a part time job. I may have to hire an assistant to keep my Icetools and pipes loaded, just to save time.

As one of the seemingly few fans of Tre Ankare snus when I read the early reports of Click snus as having a similar herbal flavor I was immediately intrigued.  Unfortunately in my circle of acquaintances, none of them with access to Click used Tre Ankare, or had used it recently enough to offer a comparison.   Fortunately, Snus Lord Larry Waters kindly supplied me with two cans of each to do my own research.

This is not Swedish Snus.....

Mick Hellwig; tobacco daredevil and authorSince the PACT Act forced NicotineRush to stop delivering nicotine, my new non-snus supplier is MrSnuff.(Late Breaking News. NicotineRush is back in business, shipping is UPS, but Tom is still back!)  MrSnuff’s warehouse is based somewhere inDon't let the Malka El Kantara can scare you. It's pronounced El Kantara; not Al Qaeda. the United Kingdom and shipping times are quite reasonable. Not the 2-3 days I was used to in the past, but one must adapt.

Recently MrSnuff received a shipment of Makla. Makla is a traditional North African tobacco similar to snus or dip. Meaning it is a ground tobacco with lots of moisture, meant to be used orally. I know it’s a bit odd for a nasal snuff store to sell oral tobacco, but Dave, the owner of MrSnuff, tries to keep us interested and procure oddities that we might never find otherwise. The information on Makla is sparse. Most of the search results I found went back to two web stores that sell it. Basically it is popular in North Africa, Algiers, and Moracco. Currently only one company in Belgium makes it for sale on the Internet. I don’t know if there are local North African companies producing it or not.

I purchased 3 of the 5 available varieties of Makla; El Kantara 25gram, Ifrikia 20 gram and Rouge 20gram. Prices were $4-5. The smaller tins were actually metal, the larger 25 gram tin was plastic. Really cool looking tins, and honestly I purchased them more to have the tins in my collection than any true desire to test the tobacco.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 16:28

Kardus 2010; a different perspective.

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Add an eye patch, and Mick would have made a great pirate!This is not an easy article to write. So much has been written already about Kardus 2010, how am I to fill a few column inches without repeating what other writers and reviewers have said? I suppose I could cheat and just copy and paste some flowery sounding stuff from the official Swedish Match press release, or steal a few of Larry’s excellent paragraphs, cleverly reworded so it doesn’t look like a direct theft. None of that would be fair to you who come here to read my unique take on things.

Let us get the basics out of the way first. Kardus Superior Blend 2010 is a fantastic example of the snus makers art. The added flavors compliment the tobacco in a balanced manner. Neither overpower the other, so you can taste both. The hand cut tobacco is a visual wonder.  Anyone can cut tobacco, but to get a consistent cut takes skill; just as most of us can’t cut vegetables as cleanly , quickly and precisely as the chefs on TV.

Kardus 2010 may very well be the best snus I have ever used. Not my favorite, since it’s a limited edition and the cost takes it out of the all day use category. Not many of us use the best of anything daily. If I had a Lamborghini I sure wouldn’t drive it to work every day, but I would drive it and enjoy the drive on nice weekends.

Saturday, 30 October 2010 11:10

General Snus Blooms in the USA

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Mick Hellwig; famous author.As I walked in to my usual gas station the other morning, I saw a sign on the door that made me stop and say “WHAT!!!???”; then “WHEN???!!!!” After recovering my normally cool and calm demeanor, which in this case included using a hand to actually get my mouth to close and wipe the drool from my chin, I went boldly forward and started asking questions.

What was this mysterious sign? It was a General Snus Sold Here banner!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 13:33

Snus Warriors

Written by

Mick_Hellwig317x434First off I’d like to apologize to my faithful readers for such a long absence from these pages. Launching The Snuff Taker's Ephemeris magazine and working full time has kept my life a bit overwhelming.  I’m slowing down now so I can get back to my writings here.

I titled this “Snus Warriors” as snus is merely the Swedish word for snuff, and the word snuff covers most forms of non-smoked tobacco. I don’t much like the term smokeless, being a compound word formed of “smoke’” and “less”. That is not the point of non smoked tobacco. We don’t use it to smoke less, we use it to smoke none. Sure some of us still smoke a pipe or cigar occasionally, when 90% of our intake doesn’t involve lighting tobacco I say that other 10% doesn’t count.

Thursday, 26 August 2010 01:00

In Snus and in Life, Little Things Matter

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Little things matter:  this is one of life’s simple truths. Two and a half years ago no one could have convinced me that first little dinky, dry Camel SNUS portion would change my life. A couple cans of Camel SNUS led to a few cans of Triumph snus, which wasn’t bad in the beginning, to a few days of internet searching and reading, from there to 2 orders of snus from a place called Sweden. Much to the dismay of my long-suffering wife, the rest is history. This is History that someday will lead to my being immortalized in the annals of snusdom as one of the pioneers of snus in America.

Monday, 16 August 2010 22:53

Close, but no Snus - Camel SNUS Robust Review

Written by

Author Mick HellwigAs my Grandpa used to say “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”. (Who plays horseshoes anymore?)

Being in a big city that RJR seems to like to abuse with new products, Camel SNUS Robust and Winterchill hit the shelves here last week. I despise wintergreen with a passion that makes my dislike of licorice look weak, so I avoided the Winterchill, and after tasting the Robust I definitely won’t be trying Winterchill.

The new cans are pretty nifty looking (who says “nifty” anymore?) not counting the horrid new government required health warnings that take up the bottom third of the front and back of the can. The SNUS pouches are actually quite large. I compared them to a portion of Lab Series 01 and the Camel is about 10% larger, just a tad longer and wider. I would estimate there is a bit over 1 gram of tobacco per pouch. They are very dry, not dusty, but much drier than even a white portion.

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