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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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…
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.
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
Early in 2014, the two newest General Snus for the U.S. market — General Classic Blend and General Nordic Mint — will be shedding their plastic containers for cool metal versions:
On the left of the cans, you can see what looks like hinges. On the right might be some kind of clasp.
But there’s something even cooler inside…
There will also be a foil freshness seal in the pack, a la the Canadian General Snus at the bottom of this post.
One remaining question is if we’ll find a disposal lid on the bottom. I hope it will.
Before I shopped for serious quantities of snus in Sweden, I didn’t understand why anyone would buy a snus like Kaliber.
Kaliber White Portion is a perfectly fine snus, but if you buy it online, you get less snus for the money than with all the main Swedish Match white-portion snus, such as General, Göteborg’s Rapé, and Ettan.
On a per-gram basis, you’ll pay about 9% or 10% more for Kaliber at most online snus shops than you’d pay for General. And at one shop, you’ll actually pay 35% more for Kaliber.
This is not the case on the ground in Sweden, where Kaliber sells at 35% discount to General on a per-gram basis. In fact, you can buy 2 rolls of Kaliber for slightly less than 1 roll of General. At today’s exchange rate, we’re talking about paying $26 for a roll of Kaliber versus paying $54 for General.
I am not sure why that price difference is not seen online.
On a per-gram basis, General Tailored sells for a premium to General White across the board. At most online snus shops, the premium is 14% to 18%, with one outlier at 35%. In brick and mortar snus shops in Sweden, that number falls to just 8%. On a per-portion basis, Tailored is more expensive online than General White, but it is actually cheaper in a brick and mortar snus shop.
So when a snus user walks into a snus shop, he sees a price for a roll of General Tailored that is 20% lower than the price of General White. This makes it look like a bargain, when the reality is more of a mixed bag — you pay a little less per portion but a little more per gram.
I can’t say with any degree of accuracy whether General Tailored is a high-margin product. But it doesn’t look like a lower-margin product. At its current price point, Tailored may appeal to some Kaliber purchasers willing to spend a little extra, some General purchasers looking to buy General at a lower price, and even some off-brand purchasers that would prefer General at that price but not at the price General White sells for.
And the product appears to be successful, at least enough to warrant another Tailored-like product. This time, it’s for Göteborg’s Rapé, called Slim.
As with General Tailored, this product has the new portion material, 20 portions per pack, and 0.8 gram portions. It also is said to have the same flavor of Göteborg’s Rapé White portion.
Here’s my price chart.
Thanks to Dokter Waldijk for the heads up about Göteborg’s Rapé Slim.