Thursday, 22 September 2011 12:22

Lab Series 06 Extra Strong Portion Snus goes back to the Lab

Written by Larry Waters
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Swedish Match pulls Lab Series 06 snus out of production

On Friday, August 12th, my favorite snus store offered for sale two new long portion snuses from the Swedish Match Lab Series; 05 Strong White Portion and 06 Extra Strong Portion. By Monday, September 18th, the Lab Series 06 was sold out and Swedish Match was not shipping or accepting reorders.

It turned out that 06 Extra Strong Portion was going back to the Lab for a make-over. Availability of 06 version 2 was estimated at best, three to four weeks; at worst "in October".

I was puzzled and potentially embarrassed by this development. I first tried the Lab Series 06 in late August during my trip to Scandinavia. Admittedly, I was over the legal alcohol limit at the time but I thoroughly enjoyed 06. The portions were moister than is typical for the Lab Series but I assumed that was to enhance the free nicotine level. Swedish Match rated 06 at 20mg/portion total nicotine; their strongest snus to date.

Even sober, I found myself really liking 06 as I finished the can over the next three days. I had not tried the 05 strong white long portion version yet since our SnusCIA Agent in Copenhagen forgot to bring me a can during my visit. He has since been reassigned to our field office in Yemen, but that is another story for another time.

The moisture level in 06 seemed no higher than a typical Swedish Match wet portion and was not at all excessive. In fact, V2 Tobacco's new Thunder Chrom series of five long portion snuses were wetter than the 06 long portions and tasted great. I personally use about 65% Original to 35% White portions, both regular and long portions. Moister portions are certainly more desirable than bone dry portions like American Camel SNUS and Marlboro snus.

I could find no complaints on any snus forum or from any snus store criticizing the Lab Series 06 aside from the personal taste differences expected when snusers discuss why the like or don't like any snus. 

Swedish Match must have heard differently. Since the Lab Series was primarily designed for the over-the-counter market in Norway, I'm guessing the negative reaction to 06 probably came from Norwegian snus retailers and/or their customers.

Swedish Match Lab Series 06 Extra Strong Portion SnusAccording to SnusCIA wiretaps, Swedish Match told snus merchants that they were not satisfied with the quality or the moisture levels in the first run of 06. Indeed, they were so dissatisfied that Swedish Match was sending Lab Series 06 back to their Snus Lab for an overhaul. Thus beyond saying "October", there is no firm date when 06 Extra Strong long portion will be available for retail sale again.

Yesterday I received a diplomatic pouch containing both 05 and 06. After a night in my bunker's massive snus chiller, I began comparing both early this morning.

The appearance of the 05 and 06 portions were very different. I would have expected this when comparing a wet portion and a white portion of the same brand. The aroma was similar factoring out the difference the moisture would naturally make. There was a slight vegetative odor to the 06 I noticed on opening the can but it did not linger.

The 06 began running much quicker than the 05 but that too was to be expected since white portions take longer to moisten in your mouth and release the flavor. Both 05 and 06 were saltier than I originally remembered 06 being, but that may just be due to my using different snuses yesterday then I did before trying 06 back in August.

Swedish Match does not tend to over-react or with unwarranted haste when they release a new snus so I'm sure they had more than sufficient feedback to justify pulling 06 out of production for revamping.

For me personally, had I not been told something was amiss with 06, I would not have known. General Ekstra Sterk portion still remains my favorite extra strong portion snus but the current Lab Series 06 would have been a popular go-to snus as well. We'll have to see how Ekstra Sterk compares to Lab Series 06.5 next month.

In the meantime, my snus diplomatic pouch included the new long portion version of Skruf Xtra Stark; Skruf Slim Xtra Stark portion snus. It also contained two regular portion extra strong snuses I'm finally getting around to trying: Oden's Extreme and Oden's Extreme Cinnamon.

Those will have to wait until I finish off the cans of 05 and 06 I opened well as the Thunder Coffee Supreme Long + can I opened last night...and the can of AG Snus Jägarpris Portion I really had a craving for. I'm still working on snus self-control even after four+ years as a non-smoker.

I look forward to trying the new and improved Lab Series 06 Extra Strong long portion snus when it arrives. Meanwhile I still have four cans of the first release 06 in my chiller and trust me, they will not go to waste!

With my scientifically proven, nicotine-enhanced cognitive senses on overdrive, I remain,Official Seal of the Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States


Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
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