We write about a lot of different snus-related topics on SnusCENTRAL.org. For those looking to focus in snus reviews, you'll find them all listed below. Written by various authors and friends of SnusCENTRAL, their insights on snus; new and old, are here for your pleasure, information and even historical curiosity.
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As 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.
About five weeks ago, Reynolds American officially revealed the existence and national launch of two new Camel SNUS products: Camel Robust and Winterchill. Further, they redesigned the cans for the now four Camel SNUS products and tweaked their marketing back to the themes they stressed in 2007. Camel SNUS was not only a compliment to cigarettes as in the "When you can't smoke, SNUS" campaigns of late but also acknowledged that snus was invented in Sweden hundreds of years ago. Borrowing a little from old Marlboro Snus advertising, Camel SNUS was now also "Swedish Snus....perfected."
Fortunately for all of us, Reynolds was much more restrained in promoting that impossible statement then they were when I was forced to detail outrageous claims and parsed words on the former versions of the Camel SNUS websites. This is 2010 however, where the PACT Act and the Tobacco Control Act have hurt the price and availability of Internet snus and Swedish entrepreneurs; not manufacturers, are left to bring the truth about real snus to an American culture whose oral tobacco roots stop at dip and chewing tobacco.
With their eyes on the American market, we have seen a host of new flavors and styles from the Swedish/Scandinavian snus manufacturers over the past two years.Unfortunately, what has been lost to some extent is uniqueness. There are now mint snuses of every conceivable variety from almost every snus maker. Of late, Wintergreen has been all the manufacturing rage. New traditionally flavored snuses from unlikely names like Olde Viking and Elixyr are pushing into that very crowded category for what reason I am not sure. They are certainly not going to sell in Sweden and there are so many excellent options on the market already for the rest of the world, why bother?With skruf's latest Xtra Stark snus, the upper limits of the free nicotine content envelope are being pressed and can't realistically go much higher. I like high nicotine snus and have my favorites among the mints and fruit flavored snuses as well. Wintergreen snus by anyone I have yet to been able to keep in my mouth for over a minute but that's just my taste. Maybe Real Snus users in America have been spoiled with the variety. Maybe my taste-buds have just become jaded. Maybe Swedish/Scandinavian snus manufacturers are just running out of new AND interesting flavor ideas.........and then Swedish Match goes ahead and releases Catch GLOW Elder Lime Mini Portion Snus. Something different yet wonderful.
Back in September of 2009 when I wrote First Review: 0102 Lab Series Snus, I predicted every snus manufacturer in Scandinavia would be lining up to buy and copy this revolutionary new longer and thinner version of Portion snus. I was partially correct in that they all bought some....and pretty much stopped at that point.
Unlike other snus manufacturers, the Vogel brothers of V2 Tobacco actually decided to do something. Last month, their intent to produce their own version of the long, thin portion pouch came to the attention of the SnusCIA. At great personal risk, one of our Agents "borrowed" two of the prototype cans and delivered them to me last week at the SnusCENTRAL Bunker.
The new V2 pouches are now officially named Long +. I couldn't have thought of a better name to describe them myself. This below picture shows a Thunder Original portion at left, a Thunder Mini Portion at the right, and in the center is the new Long + Portion.
The long awaited and begged for General Mint White Portion Snus from Swedish Match will be released during Week 7 of 2010. From a snus review standpoint, this is an incredibly easy review to write. There is much more to the General Mint story than just its release. General Mint gives an clear insight into the thought process and consumer philosophy of Swedish Match AB concerning the United States market. The difference in how SMAB and American Big Tobacco view their consumers is glaring....and embarrassing.
When you talk to a snuser about nicotine and tobacco free snus products, the usual response is "Why"? That is certainly a valid question since almost all the people I know use Swedish Snus for the tobacco taste and most importantly, nicotine. My opinion changed slightly about a year ago when I fell in love with Extra Strong / Ekstra Sterk / Extra Stark high nicotine snus. I loved them and still do. I would use them constantly, especially late at night. If nothing else, I don't do things in half-way measures.
Not long ago someone commented that I didn't like Swedish Match products. I was shocked. Firstly because I love a bunch of Swedish Match tobacco products: Snus and Nasal Snuff both. Secondly because I thought he knew me better than that. A quick count of my Stash o' Snus gives me 18 cans of SM snus and 11 cans of V2, with a 2 each of Gotlands and F&L. (I did not count Mrs Mick's collection of minis.) I also did not realize I was that low on snus...time to give SnusCentral some money.
Swedish Match makes 3 of my top 5 snus brands, Tre Ankare, Ettan and Nick & Johnny Black. They make really cool stuff like the Carbon Fiber snus can and available in the very near future the Bullet-Proof can. They also make the real subject of this article:
On December 21st, Swedish Match leaked the existence of 2009's ONYX Limited Edition: General Bullet Proof Edition. The name reflects the fact that the can itself is really bullet proof: able to stop a 9mm 9x19/39B or as some in America call them, Cop Killer bullets.
I'm not the first to write about the General Bullet Proof Edition and for a good reason: I wasn't convinced they actually existed. Among Swedish Match's many virtues, they have a devilish sense of humor. I just wasn't ready to jump in extolling the Bullet Proof Edition until I was certain it was real. In today's Swedish Snus Embassy Diplomatic Package, that confirmation arrived in the form of a real can of General Bullet Proof.
I have tried hard to limit my ADD in these articles, but I just can't hold back anymore. I have a bunch of thoughts going on all at once and none of them add up to a whole article alone, so enjoy the ride along with me.
First up Offroad Limited Edition 2009. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the early testers of these. We were sent 9 flavors. 4 of them made the final cut. Chocolate Raspberry was not part of the testing. I have been impatiently annoying Patrick from V2 for information about when these would be released for months. I think he finally got tired of me bugging him and released them, just to shut me up. After receiving a envelope direct from V2, containing one can each of the new flavors and a few other snus that Patrick tossed in and spending a couple weeks with them all, I can pass judgement on the final product.
Oh, Christmas time for Swedish Snus Lovers! This week, Swedish Match has released Nick & Johnny Black Portion (finally) and the snus event of the year, Kardus Superior Blend Vintage 2009!Poor Nick & Johnny Black will certainly lose the limelight to Kardus 2009 this week. Fortunately for you, the SnusCIA received a sample of Nick and Johnny Strong Black Portion a few months ago and the First Look at Nick and Johnny Black has been immortalized in print for your reading pleasure. Sorry to kick you off-stage now, Nick & Johnny: I really did enjoy the Black and Nick & Johnny fans will too. The news of this week, however is the release of Kardus Superior Blend; Vintage 2009.
In my first snus-world shattering pre-release article on Lab Series 0101, Swedish Match Attacks!, I talked about the 0102 concept, how Swedish Match came up with it, what their goals seem to be, released the first pictures, and of course provided the insight and analysis I'm world-famous for. Hmmm...still no Pulitzer Prize for some reason. I suspect a conspiracy or a greatly enhanced ego on my part.
In this second 0102 Lab Series Snus pre-release review, we're going to talk taste, mouth-feel, nicotine, pouches and cans. Although 0102 has not been released yet, as Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States, I received cans of 01 and 02 in my Diplomatic Pouch from Sweden last week. After exhaustive round the clock chain-snusing and comparisons, it's time for the snus to fly!
The 0102 cans look as good in person as the do in the pictures. Both have easy to open non-hinged used snus holders on the top. The side graphics on both are on the clear plastic label The top lid graphics are only on the used snus cover and appear adhesive-applied as will. In other words, same cans-different graphics. What is note worthy about the cans is the bottom sticker: it's in Swedish with the European date format. That would indicate to me this is not an over-the-counter-only US product, but will be available via Internet Snus Stores such as my favorite, SnusCentral.com (intentional plug).
A few months back, I commented how Philip Morris USA and Marlboro Snus had impressed me. The people at PMUSA must have read my remarks, recoiled in horror, and immediately changed gears. After all, if Larry Waters liked it, something must be wrong!
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