The LAB 03 Slim White Portion Snus: a solution to...what?
There is another LAB brand snus which fits the description of "Strong Effect". That's The LAB 05, a strong white portion snus. It too is a tobacco-centric tasting snus. It comes in the same pouches as LAB 03 and feels/tastes like a strong nicotine snus because it is a strong nicotine snus.
I like LAB 05. It was most recently in my 3rd quarter 2014 personal snus rotation.
Now that I've used LAB 03, I wish I'd had the forethought to have the SnusCentral.com Snus Shop throw a can of LAB 05 in with my LAB 03 package. This way I could compare the two in real-time instead of from memory. That said, really comparing the taste would still be challenging.
This is because part of the Strong Effect formula is to add a tingle, as Swedish Match calls it, to the snus.
If you have experience with a spearmint or peppermint snus, you will understand what I mean by tingle.
The unsettling thing about LAB 03 is that it is a tobacco flavored snus...there is not a hint of mint anywhere. This is a purely tobacco-centric snus which happens to tingle like some mint snuses do. My taste-buds were thrown into a state of confusion.
If memory serves, the taste of LAB 03 is a little softer than LAB 05. I think 03 is also a little more bitter than I'm used to in a regular strength white portion.
That could be intentional on Swedish Match's part as many strong and extra strong snuses are a little sharper in flavor; sometimes bitter, because of the higher nicotine content.
According to Swedish Match's flavor descriptions for LAB 03 and LAB 05, there is a difference in the tobacco blends but to be honest, I'm having a hard time getting past the tingle to be able to really sort out LAB 03's flavor nuances. Let me know what you think.
The LAB 03 is certainly a concept snus, but so is The Lab brand
The entire The LAB brand is and has always been an experiment run by the mad snus scientists at Swedish Match. LAB introduced the long, slim pouch design many other snus manufacturers use in a non-patent infringing way today.
The LAB snuses achieve the best solution for slowing down how quickly a snus runs in your mouth without compromising flavor with their non-drip design.
Both of these were solutions to problems which snusers didn't know existed...until they were solved.
Today we have LAB 03, a tobacco flavored snus that tingles without a hint of mint. It's nothing I was ever looking for or missing.
Then again, well over half the snuses I prefer today are slim/long/thin portions. I also use more white portions today than I did a few years ago as the slower drip rate goes well with certain snuses I like.
If you are a fan of LAB 05, 06, or 07, you should certainly give LAB 03 a try for those times when you need to cut back on the nicotine a little.
If you enjoy both mint and tobacco flavored snuses, then I would strongly encourage getting your hands on some LAB 03. It may very well be a solution to a problem your taste-buds never knew existed.
As for everyone else, try a can just for the historical significance. Two years from now, all the snus manufacturers could be offering their version of tingling tobacco-centric snuses.
If so, you'll be able to compare them to the very first.... just as I mentally compare the mouth feel of all new long/slim/thin portion snuses today to the original LAB Series snuses of the past.
Lab 03 could also go the way of LAB 01 into snus heaven but sometimes being a part of the experiment is as much fun as the result.
As always, enjoy your REAL snus!
Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org