Thunder Chrom Edition Snus - A Revolutionary Concept even by V2 Tobacco Standards
The end of August into the 4th quarter of each year is when Scandinavian Snus manufacturers traditionally release a slew of new snus products. V2 had already announced the new Thunder Original Long Cut Extra Strong loose snus for a Week 36 release.
Like other limited edition V2 snus offerings in the past under the Thunder, Offroad, and Nordstrommen brands, Thunder Chrom consists of 5 flavors. Unlike most previous limited edition snus V2 has released in the past, Thunder Chrom Long + Limited Edition is not a single product consisting of 1 or 2 cans each of each flavor. Each Thunder Chrom flavor is an offering in it's own right.
- Two of the Thunder Chrom flavors are current Thunder flavors being released in V2's Long + Strong portion version for the first time: Thunder Coola and Thunder Blue
- The final Thunder Chrom offering is Thunder Original OT5 in Long+. In April 2010, V2 released the Original Test (OT) series along with a contest to pick the favorite flavor. The winning snus was intended to replace Thunder Original Extra Strong. Of the 5 choices, OT5 was the clear winner. The results of the survey/contest were unexpected. While OT5 was by far the most popular of the OT Series, only 51% of US and just under 50% of Scandinavian snus users wanted to see the current Thunder Original recipe replaced by OT5. Having two original flavored snuses in the Thunder ES line didn't make good sense so V2 left the recipe unchanged for Thunder Original ES and filed OT5 away for the future. That future has arrived with Thunder Chrom.
For those unfamiliar with the Thunder Long + product line, they are strong portion snuses with approximately 12mg/portion nicotine. The pouches are long and thin for a better mouth feel, better contact with the gums, and to be very discreet when used. There is for all practical purposes, no snus-lip bulge even for those with small lip lines.
Thunder Coffee Supreme Snus makes Thunder Chrom worth the wait
Most Americans like coffee. What has been frustrating since I started using real snus in 2007 is that no manufacturer ever made a coffee flavored snus of excellence. Catch and Mocca come the closest but they were mini-portions which never delivered the intensity of flavor coffee fans in the US were looking for. The Catch was only a 4 month offering by Swedish Match and F&L pulled the Mocca coffee flavored product off the shelves just as it was starting to attract attention.
V2 introduced Offroad Coffee/Vanilla Portion snus in October of 2007. It did not become successful. Coffee/Vanilla was re-introduced in early 2010 in a limited run but again failed to spark a following. Fortunately, Offroad Coffee/Vanilla had one huge fan: the snus user know as Premium Parrots at SnusOn. He alone purchased thousands of cans for his personal use which allowed the limited run to sell out.
The Vogels of V2 Tobacco hadn't forgotten about coffee snus. This time, the approach they took was completely different than any other they had used to develop a snus before.
Starting in November 2010, an American design team known only as "Heisenberg" created the first prototypes of Coffee Supreme. Based on feedback from a select group of snus users, the recipes were refined and new prototypes sent out to an expanded select group of taste testers. Not satisfied with the feedback, The mysterious Heisenberg team created more prototypes and distributed them for the snus guru's to evaluate.
This process was repeated. V2 contacted the Heisenberg team to remind them the final recipe was due in April. April came and went without a final version of Coffee Supreme emerging. After weeks of data analysis and angst, the Heisenberg team and V2 narrowed the choices down to two samples: #66 and #67. The results came back and the final Coffee Supreme recipe was decided.
Unfortunately, the production window for Thunder Chrom had now passed. Extra shifts were added and temporary factory space rented, but V2 was running at 100% capacity and their new state-of -the-art snus factory was still under construction. In late July, Thunder Chrom production was officially pushed back until January 7th 2012.
In an amazing piece of luck, Patrick discovered that an earlier cancelled project; Offroad Fish and Chips portion snus, was still on the production schedule. Thunder Chrom had a production window again with a release date of Week 35. It was the only window for this year so once this run of Thunder Chrom has sold out, Chrom probably won't be available again until early 2012.
I was fortunate enough to be one of the lucky snus gurus selected to participate in the Thunder Long + Coffee Supreme Strong Portion Snus trials. All of us were sworn to secrecy until the release date was officially announced (although the SnusCIA had to kill two of the testers for trying to sell the story to the tabloids).
No longer bound, I can tell you the process was well worth the time and effort. Thunder Coffee Supreme is the best coffee snus ever created on the planet by any snus manufacturer; at least to my coffee-loving taste buds. I'm sure some of the other snus gurus involved in the project will now be posting their thoughts in articles and on the major forums. As of Week 35, you'll be able make your own decision.
Prepare to enjoy this snus.
The Snus Guru
Reporting From SnusCENTRAL.org