What's up at GNT? Taste and quality.
Oden's Snus and the rest of the GNT Brands
The majority of GN Tobacco' products are value snuses. Value snus is less expensive than the premium brands and designed for cost-conscious snusers.
This is generally achieved by lowering the amount of snus per can to lower the weight-based taxation costs at both the manufacturer and consumer levels, using less-expensive tobacco and other ingredients, or a combination of both.
There is nothing inherently wrong with value brand snus. Taste is in the mouth of the snuser and their snus budget is based on their wallet. Finding snus you like at a price you can afford is a good thing.
There are a couple of value snuses I mix it up with; Kaliber Extra Tobakssmak by Swedish Match for example. I usually throw a can or two in each order for variety. I primarily use premium snuses; at least until now.
Snapshot Snus Reviews
GNT released a lot of new snuses for different markets in 2016. I'm only going to focus on these six to keep it simple and short.
I didn't have any great expectations when I opened my first can of Odens Lemon White Portion snus. Most lemon flavored value snuses I have tried over my 9 years of snusing have been one dimensional, candy-like, and/or overly artificially sweetened.
Not so at all with Odens Lemon White. The tobacco flavor which is rich with a touch of pepper is prevalent when you first put in the portion with the lemon in the background.
As time progresses, the lemon moves more to the fore and it's a wonderful real lemon taste! Not overly sweet, the lemon flavor is citrus-sour, as Matt Campbell of SnusTV.com called it in his must-watch video review of Oden's Lemon White Portion.
Many premium fruit and berry flavored snuses I liked have fallen away over the years or changed so much they have become occasional snuses for me.
Oden's Lemon White Portion is the first value snus to move into my regular rotation and the first I will be buying by the roll. Who would have thought?
Lenny's Stark White Portion Snus will also be moving into my regular rotation. When I first read the product description, the word "oregano" jumped out at me. Oregano? Is that a code word for vegetative flavors? They have been common in value snus over the years and not are not a positive.
Instead, "oregano" meant oregano in this beautifully done and unique snus. Lenny's Stark White begins with traditional flavor with nice peppery notes and great tobacco taste and a subdued bergamot....then comes the oregano. It stands out on it's own but doesn't overpower the other flavors.
To my surprise, the oregano was a perfect complement to the flavor profile. It stays throughout the entire live of the portion. As a stark or strong snus, the 1.5% nicotine level would normally indicate and Extra Strong nicotine strength, but I think the decision to call this Lenny's a Stark portion is more in keeping with the nicotine hit.
Änglaholm White Portion Snus, named after the Swedish town of Anglaholm for unknown reasons, is a real snus treat.
The style reminds me of the now-departed Roda Lacket White Portion but with Cornel berries as the fruit flavoring. Cornel berries have a sweet/sour cherry-like taste. It is nicely balanced and not overpowering cherry at all. The flavor is there but is tempered and melded with the tobacco and a dried fruit flavor which caresses the pallet without being overwhelming.
On paper, this is a strong portion snus at 1.2% nicotine but it hits me like a 0.8mg nicotine snus in practice.
Änglaholm White Portion Snus has now entered my fruit and berry flavored snus rotation.
Odens No.3 White Portion Snus is a lighter traditional Swedish snus. The citrus notes are strongest in the beginning but the longer the No3 white portion is in your mouth, takes a step back allowing the tobacco and pepper notes to fully develop.
There is no burn with this 0.9% nicotine regular strength snus so it's good when your gums need a break. I use it as an occasional change-up snus but for snus users on a budget, Odens No.3 White Portion Snus is a great value.
When I first opened a can of Odens Mint White Portion Snus, I was greeted by the aroma of menthol. I don't like menthol. When I smoked, I hated menthol cigarettes.
When I reluctantly popped in a portion, I realized I wasn't really tasting menthol but a very pleasant yet different mint snus. GNT uses mint crystals and a touch of Xylitol for sweetness in Odens Mint White. If you are a mint snus fan, it's worth trying a can. For the price, you can't go wrong.
Siberia Brown Power Portion Snus is a tip of the hat to the original GNT mission before they were called GNT: offer the highest nicotine snus on the market. Siberia Brown Can is the new record holder at 4.3% nicotine!
I have a can in my chiller marked "Break Seal in case of Nicotine Emergency".
Great Tasting, Low Price Swedish Snus; so what's the catch?
Nothing in life is free. How can GNT make such great tasting budget snuses at such low prices? As mentioned earlier, one method of lowering a snuses price is to include less of it in the can.
Ten years ago, every can of portion snus by every manufacturer contained 24 one gram portions for a total snus weight of 24 grams. Money-hungry governments preying on the nicotine addicted have added tax after tax to smokeless tobacco worldwide, especially weight-based taxes.
Except for special editions, 24 one gram portion cans are non-existent. Even one gram portions are almost impossible to find, save Jakobsson's Snus, but there are only 20 portions now.
GNT chose to lower the weight by both reducing the amount of snus and the number of portions. These means the portions appear nice and full, but there are fewer portions in the can. Depending on the snus in question, 13 to 17 portions per can. You can find the number of portions for each snus in their product descriptions.
You are getting less portions per can by a few than with some other snuses, but with price per can so low, you can practically buy two cans for the price of one can of super premium snus.
What impressed me enough to write about these snuses is that the significant step up in quality not only is evident in these value brands, but also extends to GN Tobacco's premium brands like Islay Whisky Snus and Byron's.
GNT has come a long way. With more new releases like the long-anticipated La Morenita Zapaca Rum Premium Snus coming this quarter, my taste-buds are quivering...and yours should be too!
Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org