Back to Discreet snus. Until now I had heard rumors of Discreet snus, but no concrete evidence, outside of Larry Waters and a couple of industry insiders mentioning it almost in passing....and of course the SnusCENTRAL.org Member Review/American Smokeless Tobacco section. This started me on a path of discovery, or deep Internet research, and I found the South Boston, Va.-based American Smokeless Tobacco LLC website.
The website is pretty basic and needs some TLC from a good designer, but is functional and allowed me to contact the company. A couple of emails to Tom (Owner, seemingly chief cook and bottle washer) and samples were on the way to my door. Tom mailed them on Wednesday and I got them on Friday. That is quick service. I received 4 varieties of Discreet Snus: Peach, Strawberry, Emerald Ice and Cool Mint. I really wanted the Full Flavor, but hey; they were free!
I know, I know, “get on with the dang review already!” (copyright 2008-09, That Snus Guy, but I did add 'dang'.)
The packages are small 3x4 inch foil re-sealable bags, Zipbag™ if you want to be technical. This product does not require refrigeration to remain fresh; there is no Best By date. There are 10 portions per bag; they are mini portions of approximately .5 grams of snus. Yes, I used the word ‘snus’.
The website says this is pasteurized tobacco, made in the Swedish fashion. Tom reasserted this point, more than once. He also stated that all ingredients and flavors were food grade, again just like Swedish snus. The portions look like a cross between Mocca mini and Oomph. Not as dry and powdery as Oomph, and not as wet as the Mocca. Nice looking portion material. Smells like the flavor saysit should.
First up was the Cool Mint. It was on top of the stack and I wasn’t being picky. I am NOT a mint snus guy. I prefer my snus to be manly, tobacco dominant, and salty. Cool mint is none of those things. It is peppermint. It is sweet, not a sugar sweet, but a nice mellow mint sweet, with just a touch of salt in the background.
The nicotine content is not listed, nor has Tom told me what they think it is, but it is more than the standard 4mg mini amount, and less than an 8mg regular portion. I would guess 6-7mg. (Right before publication I received an E-mail from Tom, stating that each pouch weighs 0.4 grams and contain approximately 7.4 mg of nicotine per pouch . Hint for Tom; can anyone say 14.8 mg full size portion? I thought you could.)
The flavor lasts well for close to an hour. By then I was craving another portion, which is normal for me. The only snus I leave in for more than an hour under normal circumstances are the Extra Strong types.
Next up Peach: My lovely wife tried this one first. She is not a snuser. She is almost not a smoker. 2-4 cigs a day, but she did fall in love with a couple of mini snus and uses them on occasions when she can’t smoke.
She took one whiff of Peach and had to try it. She said it killed her craving for a smoke, and the flavor was good for about 45 minutes before she started to notice bitterness. I don’t notice any bitterness in most snus so I’ll take her word for it.
Me? I didn’t enjoy the Peach as much. It was Peachy, it was sweet, and it had no salt taste at all. It really does taste like peaches from a can, in heavy syrup. Not my thing, I prefer my peaches fresh, cut into wedges with a bit of sugar on top.
Emerald Ice: I detest Wintergreen, so I was a tad apprehensive about this one. Opening the package quickly showed me I had nothing to fear. This one is spearmint. Nice full flavor spearmint. Not as nice as sitting in my Grandma’s herb garden and smelling freshly crushed spearmint leaves, but I doubt anyone could replicate that. Again, the flavor seems to last for 45 minutes or so. Still no tobacco taste or bitterness.
Strawberry; this one is nice. My wife likes it as she is allergic to strawberries, but can now get the flavor without the rashes. Tom stated that the flavor was artificial, so no strawberries were harmed in the making of this snus. Flavor longevity is on par with the rest of the line: 45 minutes or so. I requested a sample of Full Flavor but as of press time it hadn’t arrived yet and Larry was all pushy about some silly deadline.
Final thoughts? Discreet is not Swedish snus. It has similar production methods, and the benefits associated with that, lower TNSAs specifically. The portion material caused no irritation or pain during use. It is much softer than Camel SNUS, not as soft as Grov Black or General Onyx.
It is snus, or at least much closer than any American company has yet come to snus. If one likes mint snus or non salty snus this is an avenue worth exploring. Discreet is sweet, but not overpowering sweet like RJR’s Camel SNUS. It’s a bit sweeter than General Mini Mint, without the salt. I will be keeping some of these on hand, mainly for the wife and eldest daughter, and as a break for me now and then.
Tom, you did good! Now just come out with a nice salty tobacco flavor........
NOTE: Discreet snus is/should be available for $0.99 per package of ten. If you are paying much more than that…Don’t!
WHAT I THINK at SnusCENTRAL.org