25 April 2018

G.4 Cryo (Slim All White) - Preview. 25 April 2018.

Today, Swedish Match has announced another release in the "all white" category: G4 Cryo Slim All White.  Hey, guess what?   It's another mint flavor! The product description for this one says, “G.4 CRYO has a pronounced peppermint character with cooling sensation that spreads throughout the mouth and provides an extra, almost burning, bite to the high nicotine strength. In the background there is green mint, hints of vanilla, and some sweetness.”   This one comes in a 19.2 gram can with 24 portions for 0.8 gram portions.  The nicotine content is 22mg/g (2.2%), which breaks down to 17.6mg/portion.   It's on sale now at the Swedish Match webstore, so if you're interested in trying it out, check it out there.  I know SnusCENTRAL has started carrying the G4 line, so I presume they'll pick this up eventually, as well.

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.

20 April 2018

Skoal "Snus" (Original/Originale) - Review. 20 April 2018.

If you've read my website/blog long, you know I'm not fan of American "snus". I actually did a video on the differences between American "snus" and real Swedish Snus if you're new to snus and want to learn more. This particular Skoal "snus" product is sold in Canada. What's interesting about this one is that due to legal restrictions, snus sold in the great white north is prohibited from having any added flavor. And yes, while this is a Canadian product, it's made in the US. In the past, I reviewed the other two Skoal "snus" products sold in the US - Skoal Mint and Smooth Mint, and I wasn't a fan of those. So going into this, I was more than a little nervous. A special thanks to Jean-Sébastien, a fan of Snubie.com, who sent this to us for review.

When I first got this product, I noticed that the pouches were abnormally huge like other Skoal products in the past.  So, I had to do a cut test to see what was inside.  Comparing Skoal "snus" (on the left) to real Swedish Snus (on the right), you'll notice the Skoal "snus" looks like dry cigarette tobacco, nothing like real snus!  The snus on the right, real Swedish Snus, is moist, ground, and soft.  Now, what's interesting about all of this is that both portions have the exact same weight!  The Swedish Snus portion on the right is a 1 gram portion.  The Skoal "snus" portion on the left is also one gram.  I think because the tobacco is so dry, they're able to fit more of it into a pouch, thus making the pouch bigger.  Though I don't know why they would want to do that.

As far as product details, I really don't have any.  I know it's a Canadian product, so it's obviously no added flavor. It’s a 15 gram can with 15 portions, for 1 gram portions. The nicotine content says 20.2mg on the can. I don’t know if that’s per can or per portion. If it’s per can, that is 1.34mg/portion. If it’s per portion, that’s 20.2mg/portion.

When I first opened the can, the aroma that came through was a present sweetness and a mild tobacco smell. The tobacco smell reminded me a lot of smelling a cigarette. The portions are huge, but the portion material is soft. Granted, sometimes I like a “maxi” sized portion, but I couldn’t use these all the time. The taste is very sweet. Under the sweetness I can taste tobacco, but it’s very bland and reminds me, again, of cigarette tobacco. It reminds me of Camel Mellow “SNUS”, but much more sweet. The flavor doesn’t last too long, it usually dies at about the 30 minute mark. As far as the nicotine goes, I really don’t feel too much. It feels to be less strong than regular strength, comparing it to real snus. But there isn’t much nicotine there to speak of.

As far as this product goes, I'm not a fan. I tried to approach it as objectively as possible, but American "snus" is so much lower in quality than real snus it makes it hard to be objective.  But I am glad I got to try it!

Skruf Super White - Preview. 20 April 2018.

The "all white" category has been growing a lot since it burst onto the market. Also, there is a growing consumer interest in products that contain nicotine, but do not contain tobacco. This is evident in the popularity of products such as Zyn NT, by Swedish Match.  I quit smoking in 2009 by switching to Swedish Snus, and I've never looked back.  However, there are many who wish to quit not only smoking, but also tobacco all together.  This is where these products can come into play.

Skruf is launching a new product line, Skruf Super White.  This line contains two products - Skruf Super White #2 and Skruf Super White #3.  These products do not contain tobacco.  They contain plant fibers, and nicotine.  I was told that these products have launched in all the stores in Norway today.  As of the date of this writing, this is all the information I have.  I haven't seen them online yet, either.  As more information becomes available, I will update this article.  If I can get ahold of some of these products, I'll make sure and do a review as well!

You can find photos of the new products, below:

17 April 2018

Two New Swedish Match Previews. 17 April 2018.

Via the Allt I Tobak Instagram Page - Swedish Match is releasing a couple of new products this summer.  I'm both excited and sad.  Excited, because I can't wait to try these.  Sad, because lately it has seemed like Swedish Match hasn't been allowing these products to be sold by e-stores that ship to the US.  Usually with a lot of work I can get ahold of these products for review, but I really wish they were more readily available for US consumers.  I'm hoping that Swedish Match has a change of heart before these are released!

Göteborg's Rapé (Limited Edition 2018)

Also, a new limited edition Göteborg's Rapé product! @Alltitobak on Instagram says they "Have heard from my companions that there will be hints of blueberries." This one is very interesting, as blueberry is not a common flavor in the snus world. Currently, the only ones produced are Epok Blueberry (Slim) from BAT/Winnington, and WOW! Blue Forest White Mini from GNT/SPT.  I'm very excited to see how this one turns out if it does, indeed, have a blueberry flavor!

General Gastronomy Series (Summer 2018) Portion

Next up from Swedish Match - General (Gastronomy Series) Summer 2018! If you recall, last year Swedish Match released General Kardus 2017: Hernö Gin in May 2017, a limited edition release. Shortly thereafter, they released General (Blended by Hernö Gin) in November 2017. I was told this was the "leftovers" of General Kardus 2017, but I don't have confirmation of that. This year, in March of 2018, Swedish Match released General Kardus 2018 (Gastronomy Series). It looks like they are following the pattern established last year and releasing a canned/portion version of the General Kardus 2018 released last month.  I don't have any more information about this, but I do look forward to trying it!

16 April 2018

Small Batch #3 - Preview. 16 April 2018.

Swedish Match has been releasing several products this year under their new "Small Batch" label. Small Batch #1 had a taste of champagne. Small Batch #2, my favorite of the series so far, had a taste of blood orange. And now, Small Batch #3 is released, with a taste of apple and spearmint! Swedish Match says, "In this snus we have experimented with several mints to get a rounded character and then add fruity elements of green apple. The green elements of the mint act as an aroma and tasteful brew to the apple character, which in turn contributes to a sour and fruity tone. The mint also gives a cool sensation in the mouth.  Small Batch # 3 is developed by our experienced product developer in Gothenburg."  As I noted when I reviewed the last two, they're 24 gram cans with 24 portions for full 1 gram portions.  The nicotine content hasn't been listed, but it has felt to be at the regular strength level. I'm excited to try this one! Some of you may remember I recently reviewed G4 Apple Mint, another Swedish Match product, and I really enjoyed it. I'm imagining this one will have a similar taste.

14 April 2018

Skruf Skraw (Xtra Strong) Fresh & Original - Chew Bags. Review. 14 April 2018.

I'm a little late with this review; these products actually launched in September of last year, but I haven't been able to find them. Northerner.com just started selling them, so I had a friend grab me some for review. This is an exciting release, because it is another company getting into the chew bag category! With it not seeming likely that the EU Snus Ban will be overturned, these chew bags are a great alternative for those in the EU who can't get snus. I'm not going to go too much into detail with this discussion, but if you want to learn the difference between Swedish Snus and Nordic Chew/Chewing Tobacco/Chew Bags, you can check out this video I made.

With this release, virtually every company is making chew bag products now, except Nordic Snus AB. AG Snus makes Ink Chew Bags, Blue Ocean and Jagarpris Tobacco Cuts, Malmö Kardus, and U-Sample Chew Bags. Fiedler and Lundgren makes Granit Chew Bags and Lundgren's X-Strong. I've reviewed GN Tobacco's Alika Chew Bags, Alika Chewing Tobacco, and Islay Whisky Chewing Tobacco. Gotlandssnus makes Jakobsson's Chew Bags. Swedish Match offers General Cut Chew Bags and Göteborgs Rapé Chew Bags. V2 Tobacco has an impressive portfolio, offering Al Capone Chew Bags, Thunder Chew Bags, and Thunder Chew Los.

Skruf Skraw (Xtra Strong) Fresh White

The flavor description for this product says, "Skraw Fresh White Xtra Strong has a full bodied tobacco taste with a distinct note of mint.” This product comes in a 17.6 gram can with 22 portions for 0.8 gram portions. The nicotine content is listed as “4/5”. Other products at this level in the Skruf range are usually around 19mg/g (1.9%), so if that’s the case it would be 15.2mg/portion.

This product reminds me a lot of Skruf Slim Fresh Xtra Stark White, but a little more mild. When you open the can, the aroma is a mix of peppermint and menthol. When you put a portion in you’ll notice the familiar cooling presence that comes with a mint product. The portions are very comfortable in the lip, probably the most comfortable chew bags I’ve reviewed yet. The taste is a mild mix of menthol and peppermint with a touch of sweetness. It’s a mild taste, and not too over the top with the sweetness. The nicotine kick is solid, and feels just shy of the extra strong level. The flavor lasts a good amount of time; I’ve generally been able to keep these in for a little over an hour!

Skruf Skraw (Xtra Strong) Original White

The flavor description for this product says, “Skraw White Xtra Strong has a full bodied tobacco taste."  This product comes in a 17.6 gram can with 22 portions for 0.8 gram portions. The nicotine content is listed as “4/5”. Other products at this level in the Skruf range are usually around 19mg/g (1.9%), so if that’s the case it would be 15.2mg/portion.

This product reminds me of Knox Stark White, but a little stronger in nicotine and more mild in taste. When you open the can, the aroma that comes through is a slightly sweet smell of citrus with a mild hint of tobacco. The portions are also very soft in the lip and quite comfortable, more comfortable than most chew bags I’ve had in the past. The taste is a mellow taste of citrus. It’s less sour than most bergamot flavored products, and has a light touch of sweetness. There’s a gentle tobacco taste in the background, as well. I don’t encounter much pepper in the background, either. The nicotine feels just a little shy of the extra strong level. The flavor lasts a good amount of time; I generally can keep these in for a little over an hour!

If you can't get snus, but can get chew bags, these are definitely worth a try.  They're very tasty products, and amongst the best on the market in terms of quality.