Building SnusCENTRAL.org and especially organizing and moving content from The Unloading Zone has proved to be much more time consuming, difficult, and expensive than I realized when it became apparent The Unloading Zone just wasn't robust enough for everything I wanted it to be for you. Of course, we kept coming up with new ideas along the way........ so SnusCENTRAL will always be growing; sometimes visibly, and often behind the scenes.
It's 1000 times better than what we had on The Unloading Zone, but the finished product is going to be unbelievable. I hope you're all enjoying it and remember the Suggestion Box drop-down choice under Contact Us if you have any ideas. This site is designed to be your Snus Home and we want to give you as much by way of features and functionality as we can....and that you want. If we go too far, let us know too!
I also thank Swedish Snus Manufacturers for picking this time to release a bunch of new Strong and Extra Strong nicotine snus products! They and caffeine played a large roll in getting SnusCENTRAL as far along as it is.
Much to my delight, Swedish Match hit a home run with the General Ekstra Sterk! It tasted like you would expect General to taste; slightly less salty than the regular or especially the regular white portion as well. I really, really enjoyed it. The taste is best described as tasting NOTHING like its predecessor, the very disappointing General Sterk.
This is classic General with subtle hints of lemon and pepper and NO blueberry. The General Ekstra Sterk gets back to the roots of the classic General flavor: The tobacco flavor is once again dominant; not as rich as the Onyx...more in line with Nick & Johnny but less saltythan regular General. The nicotine kick starts relatively quickly and lasts the whole time you use it: 45 minutes to an hour in my experience.
I do hope Swedish Match plans to release a white (or black) portion version. With 15 mg. of nicotine AND the extended taste time of a white (or black) portion, it would be my dream snus.
This became apparent when I tried the Grovsnus Svart: not in taste; the Grov Svart tastes nothing like the General Ekstra Sterk but in longevity of taste. Maybe it's just me but the black portion pouch SM used with the Svart did not have the same "velvety" feel asthe Onyx black portion pouch. Same color, differently made pouch? Or I've just been doing too much Stark lately?
As to taste, here I was a little confused. Swedish Match describes the Svart of tasting of "leather" and the Claq Qui shows licorice as a prime taste ingredient.
While pleasantly tobacco strong, I initially found the dominant taste of the Grovsnus Svart to be licorice (I admit I don't chew on leather much, so maybe I was missing something).....and while I did notice a licorice flavor in the Roda Lacket Claq Qui, it was subtler than the Svart. The Claq Qui was also a little saltier.
I'm not a big licorice fan so while I complement Swedish Match for, to my taste-buds, not clobbering me over the head with licorice like some other brands have, I will buy a can or two of the Claq Qui when the mood strikes me, butI kept coming back to theSvart.
Eventually,I decerned that in comparing it to the Claq Qui, what I had originally thought of the Svart's licorice taste was wrong. It was different than the Claq Qui's flavor. I chewed on an old shoe to confirm my suspicions and Swedish Match was right: the Grovsnus Svart really did have a taste closer to leather than licorice.
More importantly, the strong, well blended tobacco flavor kept me coming back; fortunately long enough to pick up the leathery taste over a licorice taste. It's beautifully crafted with the strong tobacco taste typical of Grovsnus. It will be joining my rotation.
The Claq Qui was OK, but didn't really knock me over the way the Ekstra Sterk did. The Claq Qui will also find a big following , I'm sure....especially among those who like the saltier taste of the General Regular or White Portion.....and licorice.
It has too much licorice to join my rotation. If you are a licorice fan, however, SM did a masterful job of balancing the licorice with a good, medium strength tobacco flavor. I can see the Claq Qui being very popular among those who aren't fans of a really strong tobacco taste, but want to taste the tobacco as well as the licorice.
The Bottom Line is my complements to Swedish Match. While all tasting different, this is the quality of taste one normally associates with the Swedish Match higher tier brands. There were no "General Sterks" in this release. (hate to keep using that as an example, but you REALLY disappointed me with that one.)
You did make up for it in spades with the General Ekstra Sterk! Produce it as a white/black portion too and you've got your winning team.
Speaking of White Portions, the one thing I noticed about the Skruf Stark that I hadn't before (I've never alternated between the Skruf and so many other brands at one time either) is that while I love the taste, it doesn't last nearly long enough. Like many Skruf Stark lovers, I can't wait for the February 2009 release of it in White Portion!
Starks and high nicotine aside, I tried a few other brands and came across one amazing shocker: I REALLY liked the Nordströmmen Christmas Snus Portion from V2! After a few minutes, a strong cinnamon taste kicks in and it's really quite pleasant. There was something else in the background; I guess it's the "mulled wine" flavor they talk about. Never having had mulled wine, or being quite sure what it actually is, I can't say. What I can say is I will buy it again...it's great for when you're in the mood for something sweet and NOT artificial tasting, and I like it as a bed-time snus as well.
It's not as sophisticated and subtly blended a taste as the Gotlandssnus Julesnus which is no surprise. The fact that I really liked the Nordströmmen Christmas Snus Portion: THAT was a surprise and a pleasantly unexpected one.
Maybe it was my unfortunate testing of Triumph Mint a while back, but the Catch was "too in my face". The Gotlandssnus Green which I ONLY tried on Silk's recommendation, was not overpowering, not like chewing leaves (which was the picture their product description had instantly brought to my mind and was the reason I never tried it until now), and it will become part of my rotation.
Upon reflection, the Catch Eucalyptus would be a good choice for someone whose palate had been ruined by "American-Style Snus", especially Camel Frost, Truimph Mint, or any of the other horribly sweet, mint-flavored ones like Klondike. The Catch Eucalyptus will show them how a "mint-type" Swedish Snus tastes (not in the same league as the Jakobsson's Ice Fruit, but once they were weaned off of the watered down, high sugar/low nicotine taste of American-Style "snus" with the superior, yet having a familiar echo, Catch Eucalyptus, the Ice Fruit would be one they could move up to).
Tomorrow's post; especially appropriate for Christmas, stems from an email I received months ago from a Member who asked why I never talked about loose snus. I confessed that I had never used it, had no desire to, and was afraid of laughing and shooting snus into someones face.
That was not an acceptable answer for him. In order to be a TRUE snuser, you have to have tried loose! We went back and forth; me constantly promising to "one day" take the plunge. My next to last email from him lambasted me for not doing so yet. I lamely replied I would buy an IceTool with my next order and try some.
"NO!" he responded. To be a REAL snuser, you have to get your fingers dirty and form the pinch BY HAND. Nothing else is acceptable.
I kind of put it in the back of my mind and moved on, figuring I could come up with another excuse next email...like I broke my hand; and buy myself another 6 months. But the other day, I received a little Christmas gift from my friends at Gotlandssnus. Among it's contents: four cans of Julesnus: two portion AND TWO LOOSE!
I cracked open one of the portion cans and the Gotlandssnus Julesnus is wonderful. If you haven't tried it yet, it's only available in the month of December so act quick or wait a year. And yes, we do sell Gotlandssnus including the Julesnus at the SnusCentral Snus Store and if it's your first order at the store, you'll get the 10% discount as well! Remember when you get snus to use the Discount Code LV2F8F at check-out.
Someone commented in the SnusCENTRAL Forum that there is a big taste difference between the portion and loose Julesnus and loose snus devotees are always commenting about the taste difference between loose and portion. Now I'm going to find out for myself.
So Christmas Day, 2008, having absolutely no idea what I'm doing, I'm going to get my "finger dirty" and make my first pinch of loose snus. First, I have to go to the forum and see if anyone described how to hand bake a pris or check my voluminous snus information library. One way or another, it will make for interesting reading.
The Snus Guru at SnusCENTRAL
Dec 24, 2008