What’s so “Special” About Kaliber Vit Special?

So Kaliber Vit Special has been popping up in online snus shops, and you may be wondering what makes this snus “special.”

Let me tell you…

It’s has less tobacco per pouch than regular Kaliber White. Instead of getting 0.8 grams per portion, you get 0.65. And you get some fillers. The third ingredient is “plant fibers.”

That’s about it.

Unless you are searching out smaller snus, this snus is not worth getting. The point of this snus is likely to have a lower priced snus in Swedish brick and mortar shops. The less tobacco, the less tax. Online, this benefit is meaningless, and you end up spending more for less.

As I’ve demonstrated before, Kaliber is a great value snus — in brick and mortar shops. Online, it’s a ripoff. Kaliber Vit Special, however, is not a great value snus. At a Swedish brick and mortar shop, you’d get 20% less snus for about 6% less cash.

That’s not a good deal. But at online shops, it’s a crazy ripoff.

At snuscentral, you’ll save 20 cents on a roll of Kaliber Vit  Special compared with General White ( a 0.5% savings!). For that savings you get 4 fewer portions and 40% less snus by weight. In fact on a price per gram basis, Kaliber Vit Special is 70% more expensive than General White. Not a good deal — at all.

At the Swedish sites, the deal is not as horrible, but it’s still bad. At sek 1.83 per gram at buysnus, you end up paying 32% more for it than you’d pay for General White.

I’ve updated my price table to include Kaliber Vit Special. (Click for larger image.)

I want to make it clear, I like Kaliber White. It’s a good snus for great price, but that’s only true in Swedish brick and mortar shops. Online it’s a not a good deal. Kaliber Vit Special, on the other hand, is a snus designed for people who can’t add.

Also, I should mention that I have no idea how snus wholesale pricing works. These could all sell for the same price to your favorite online retailer, or they could sell at different prices. I don’t know. The point is that there’s no reason to assume anyone is pricing this maliciously or greedily or whatever. A product designed for one tax system may not make sense in another tax system — and that’s probably what’s going on with Kaliber Vit and Vit Special.

Natufibe Expected in Lab Snus

I’m doing some research for a longer piece, but for now I want to bring one paragraph from Swedish Match’s 2013 Annual Report to your attention (emphasis mine).

We already have General and GR products with Natufibe — but no Lab products that I am yet aware of. So This suggests that The Lab snus is expected to either get new snus with Natufibe or to have some or all of the existing products migrate over. The slow release of products with Natufibe to date makes me suspect the former.

If you don’t recall, Natufibe is a portion material that was debuted last year in General Tailored. You can read more about it here.


U.S. General Snus Not Going Metal

If you read this post, you should know that it’s off. No metal cans for General Nordic Mint and Classic Blend. Apparently the cans were too crappy to put General Snus in.

Lucky Lab 13

I’ve never liked energy drinks. I’ve maybe had a dozen Red Bulls, a couple times with vodka and the rest as a hangover cure — I don’t think it works. I’ve also had a several Who’s Your Daddy energy drinks at the company’s investment banker’s offices, but I think the product is gone and everyone involved is now in prison.

Lab 13 smells like an energy drink. It’s hard to explain what an energy drink tastes like, but it’s a heinous mix of rotting citrus fruit, sugar and god knows what else. The Lab 13 is described as tasting like “sweet tropical fruits and red berries.”

It’s also a super-strong snus. Each portion weighs 0.9 g and it is 2% nicotine. That’s more than twice as strong as a regular-strength snus. I don’t really want to put it in my mouth. But I will…

Now that it’s in my lip, I can tell you that it tastes better than it smells. That’s not a much of an endorsement, but if you like super-strong snus and energy drinks — we probably can’t be friends — you should like this snus.

The thing I like most about this snus is that it is a novel flavor for a snus. And that kind of experimentation brings us interesting and fun products.

Stockholm’s Tobacco & Match Museum

Visiting this museum, called “Tobaks & Tändsticks Museum,” was something I’d wanted to do since I first heard about it 5 or so years ago. But on my previous trip to Stockholm, I completely forgot that it existed.

It’s a neat little place that’s worth a visit if you are in town. You can check out its website here.

Here are some interesting pics I took inside. Click the images below for larger versions:

On my way out, I checked out the gift shop and found a snus blend in OG packaging that I had never seen before. It’s called “Gubbhyllans snusblandning,” which google claims means “old man shelf snus mixture.” That’s seems like a rough translation to me.

My best guess is that the mild flavoring in this is some kind of booze, perhaps cognac. I could be totally wrong. I guess you’re just going to have to go get some yourself. But whatever it is, it’s good stuff.

General Variation Review — Smoky Oak & Rustic Blend

I got back from Stockholm the other night with about 90 packs of snus. I always worry that the German customs people are going to hassle me despite there being nothing illegal about my snus importing habits — even though I have never, in fact, seen them hassle anyone at all.

Among that stash, I have about a half roll each of Smoky Oak and Rustic Blend, the 2 new General Snus blends, which they call Variations.

In a way, they are kind of like nesting dolls.

They come in boxes…

Which can come in a box…

Which may be inside yet another box…

Though the Rustic Blend and Smoky Oak share the General name, are sold side by side, and may even come in the same container, the similarities end there.

First, Smoky Oak is an original (brown) portion, while Rustic Blend is a white portion. Smoky Oak portions contain a full gram of snus, while Rustic Blend is a sleeker 0.9 grams. And Smoky Oak is also slightly stronger at 0.85% nicotine to Rustic Blend’s 0.8%. This means that Smoky Oak is about 18% stronger.

The flavor profile is also quite different. From Rustic Blend, I get a smooth herby flavor. Smoky Oak is a much bolder snus that really lives up to the smoky in its name. It reminds me of peaty whiskey and campfire. My wife says it smells like ham — keep in mind, she’s been a vegetarian for the past two decades.

Here’s a look at the portions. You can probably guess which one I prefer. These snus should be out sometime in the next week or so. When you give them a try, let me know what you think.

Captain Yankee Snus

Captain Yankee Xtra Strong Americana by Nick And Johnny is certainly a contender for the worst named snus. And the description is rather terrifying:

 A full-bodied spicy tobacco taste with distinct notes of sweet cherries and almond, along with violet, wintergreen and raspberries.

I was fully expecting to hate this snus. I didn’t even want to try it.

But it’s actually not bad at all.

Let’s go through the flavors one by one:

Spicy tobacco — Hard to miss.
Cherry — Absolutely. This is cherry.
Almond — Maybe? I don’t know.
Raspberries — If you say so.
Wintergreen — Perhaps?
Violet — Purple? What does purple taste like?

This is a cherry snus. Everything else is in the background, if you can even pick them up at all. I don’t think I can. I get cherry. And this isn’t some kind of fucking Nyquil cherry flavor that will remind you of influenza. It’s a good cherry flavor somehow. Indeed it’s sweet, but it works well. And it’s an original (brown) portion.

One of the best things about some of the newer Nick/Johnny snus is that they are overstuffed. So this snus is 1.1 g per pouch. Add that up with its 1.4% nicotine level, and you get a snus that’s about double strength to your General White. If you can handle that kind of power in a snus, this one is worth a try.

More Lab Snus News: 01 is Dead

Sad news: Looks like The Lab 01 is going away forever. I don’t have any details, just this image nabbed off the swedishsnus.com site…

The Lab Fresh Lemon

After a long delay, I finally found someone to smuggle some snus to me. Not that I was out of snus. I just didn’t have the new flavors from the past few months. The snus I was most excited about was The Lab Fresh Lemon Slim White.

When I first heard of this snus, I immediately thought of Catch Glow, the Summer 2010 iteration of the Catch Collection. That snus was kind of a monstrosity of lemon and salt, and it was awesome.

This Lab Lemon is different.

The lemon flavor is not as strong, so it’s less offensive and less like Lysol. There’s also a tingly feeling that I suspect is some kind of menthol or eucalyptus action in there. It could just be the lemon, I suppose. But it is very mint like for not being minty. If that makes any sense at all…

The portions are quite nice. They are the slim-line white portions you’ll find in several Lab and other snus, including 05 and 12.

I like this snus a lot, mostly because it’s a unique flavor. I can’t think of another Lemon snus, and I will applaud nearly any new snus that’s not mint. It is definitely worth a try.

New Tops Everywhere

Good news.

Those new lids with the spacious disposal compartments are showing up on a lot of snus cans these days. The only exceptions seem to be Kaliber, Kronan, and some of The Lab.

Check it out:

To see more images, check out svensktsnus.se