Quite a few brands from snus producer Gallaher have been discontinued. The production of the following brands has been stopped and is only available as long as stock lasts. Most major Snus e-tailers are already sold out. And if someone offers a "special" on one of these in 6 months, then buyer beware:
- LD Portion Juniper berry
- LD Portion Gold
- LD Gold Loose
- LD Black Mini
- Gustavus Classic Portion
- Level loose
- Level Mini
This is the last week for you Elixyr fans to get 30% off rolls of Elixyr at SnusCENTRAL.com The sale is valid until Sunday the 7th of September.
Elixyr is produced by Rebel tobacco and is available in three flavors. Original, Peppermint and the "unique" Power energy.
The Power Energy is a Strong Snus with more nicotine and also contains caffeine and taurin! I can tell you from experience that having a portion of Elixyr Power Energy with your morning cup of coffee is a VERY eye-opening experience. I've received emails from readers using it with energy drinks.....they were VERY awake too. Here's my original review of the Power Energy.
My favorite place to buy snus is also currently running a special on General Sterk: Buy a roll (10 cans) and get two extra cans free. I'm not shilling for anyone here: I'm using the General Sterk special to cleverly move into my review of General Sterk.
I was very excited when the product was first announced. I was envisioning a General White Portion with 11 mg. of nicotine. I'd been waiting for that! But while it has fans, I've received enough negative comments to buy a can, not a roll for this review. I'm sorry to say, I'm glad I did.
I am a big fan of General and many of the other brands Swedish Match produces. In fact, Swedish Match produces roughly 95% of all Swedish Snus and also produce Triumph Snus for Lorillard in the United States.
It pains me to write this, but to my taste, the Sterk is not a product typical of or worthy of the General name. Perhaps the fact it was designed for the Norwegian market explains some of it. Different markets: different taste preferences, it seems.
This is the product description from Swedish Match: A powerful and elegant snus with increased nicotine content. Slightly peppery with hints of citrus zest and balanced tobacco notes.
But to my taste, and I REALLY tried to like the Sterk, it is not powerful, it is mild. I detected none of the peppery aftertaste I love about the General Portion and White Portion. Citrus zest? There was a pleasant blueberry flavor when the portion first started running, but it faded very quickly.
In fact, the most disappointing thing about the General Sterk is that ALL the flavor faded very fast and it quickly became tasteless. It's a White Portion but it doesn't even last near as long as a Regular Portion. It lasts about as long as Camel SNUS. (that hurt to write). And that's the most common complaint I've received from readers or read elsewhere.
I simply can not recommend the General Sterk at all. It's just not worthy of the General name and the quality is just not up to what I've come to expect from Swedish Match across their brand lines.
But fortunately General has, and has had for some time, a White Portion Stark all along. It's called Onyx. That's right, I have confirmed with Swedish Match that General Onyx has 11 mg. of nicotine, not 8mg, which makes it a Stark. It is also not a Regular Portion, but a White Portion (in a black pouch). Feel free to confirm with Swedish Match yourself because not only were most snus users clueless, but most General retailers had no idea!
SnusCENTRAL.com of course has the correct description. Since SnusCENTRAL.org is all about the FACTS, we even notified our Snus Store's competitors. BuySnus.com at first refused to believe it. Then after providing the documentation, it did go to the Strong section, they called it a White for about a week, then went back to Portion. But at least it's in the Strong section now. Northerner.com does have it in the White section, says 11 mg. but doesn't say 11 mg. of what.
Quoting again from Swedish Match's website, the Onyx is labeled:
General Onyx White Portion 24gr
Declaration of Contents:
General Onyx White Portion 24gr snus: Water, Tobacco, Humectants (E 1520), Taste enhancer (table salt),Acidity regulator (E 500), Ammonium chloride, Licorice, Flavour substances incl. Smoke food flavour. Water: ca 50 %, Nicotine: ca 11 mg/pouch, Salt: ca 3,5 %.
Can't much clearer than that. And I did confirm with Swedish Match that this is accurate....so I bought a roll. And of course love it. It wasn't in my regular rotation before because I thought it was a Regular Portion and it seemed to take too long to start running. Now it's in my rotation.
I also bought a roll of Gotlandssnus Gul (Yellow) Portion snus after my satisfaction with another new favorite, Jakobsson's Ice Fruit. Gotlandssnus also makes the Jakobsson's products.
Gotlandssnus also uses the tobacco ALIDA mixed in the blend of the snus. Alida tobacco was prevalent in Gotland until it virtually disappeared decades ago. Now it's being re-cultivated and is one of the ingredients which gives Gotlandssnus products such a unique taste. And it's one that I really like.
The tobacco was full bodied, the taste had a hint of mild lemon/orange and something I couldn't describe. I asked my friend at Gotlandssnus who identified it as "Bergamot ” He added "I don't know the translation but it´s an small citrus fruit” and it´s maple, rose amongst the flavors in the Original ”Gul”.
THAT was the taste I couldn't identify. We don't have Bergamots in Texas.
It's the same issue I ran into reviewing the Göteborgs Rapé No2 a while back. Never having Lingonberries before, it was very difficult to describe the taste.
I like both the Göteborgs Rapé No2 and the Göteborgs Rapé, both made by Swedish Match (I feel really bad about the General Sterk review, but I call it as I see it, at least to MY tastes).
I strongly recommend you visit both the Gotlandssnus's and Jakobsson's section here at SnusCENTRAL.org for information about this fascinating snus manufacturer, Gotland, and about Alida tobacco. And I strongly recommend you try their snus. It's a real treat!
And to close this article, I leave you with another mystery I've been following since back in January when I read a little noticed press release from Taboca USA Inc.
Taboca USA Inc., a smokeless tobacco company whose quality products are based on the Swedish smokeless manufacturing process (snus), announced today that it has changed its corporate name to Nordic American Smokeless Inc.
Swedish Style snus made in America? I little more poking around and I discovered the brand name they would be marketing under was Klondike.
Then silence. Winter turned into Spring and into Summer. And then on July 24th, another press released was released; this one a bombshell. Here are the first few paragraphs:
Nordic American Smokeless announced immediate availability of its eagerly awaited Klondike Snus.
Klondike Snus has been developed for adult smokeless tobacco consumers who are unwilling to compromise taste or quality, yet would prefer a product that utilizes the Swedish snus manufacturing process.
"Our Klondike brand is built on the belief that traditional smokeless tobacco consumers should have access to the Swedish snus manufacturing process, which can provide low nitrosamine levels without compromising taste, quality, and overall tobacco satisfaction traditional adult smokeless consumers are accustomed to," said Nordic American's CEO Darren Quinn. "We believe the taste, quality and tobacco satisfaction is actually enhanced by our Swedish Snus Process ", Quinn added.
Klondike Snus is the first loose snus brand manufactured in the U.S., utilizing the Swedish Snus Process, which will make snus available in popular Fine Cut and Long Cut forms. Both Fine Cut and Long Cut are available in Wintergreen, Peppermint and Straight flavors. Pouches are also available in Wintergreen, Peppermint and Cherry flavors.........
Wow! Not only Swedish-Style Snus manufactured in the USA, but the first American loose snus product! The press release also mentioned their launch was nationwide and a huge marketing campaign had begun.
Hmmm. Not in Texas it hadn't. I went to their website: it was "under construction". To order, there was a phone and fax number. You could also use the same to join their sales force. Didn't seem like the sort of website a company launching a huge marketing campaign would have.
I did numerous searches with numerous internet search engines and the only thing I could find was their press releases or articles written simply repeating the press releases.
So I called them. A gentlemen answered the phone, I explained I wanted to write an article on Klondike and Nordic American Smokeless, and he seemed very excited. I few minutes later, I had a call scheduled for the following day with Bill Eder, the VP of Marketing for 9am CDT.
But when I called, he was suddenly unavailable. I had a conference call at 9:45am and forget about the whole thing until 1:30PM when I looked at my watch. Thinking he had tried to call back during the conference call and couldn't get through, I called back to reschedule as my afternoon was booked.
And, through the person answering the phone, he did agree to reschedule......in mid-October.
Mid-October? I went back to their website tonight and, although cleaner looking than it was, it still says under construction. There are four .pdf's of their press releases, and the same not-ready-for-prime-time contact information.
I sent Bill Eder another email tonight. We'll see what happens.
In the computer world, they have a term for a new software product that's supposed to be unbelievably wonderful....but never materializes. It's called Vapor-ware.
I hope that Klondike Swedish-Style Snus doesn't turn out to be Vapor-snus. I'll let you know more as and if the story unfolds.
The Snus Guru
August 31, 2008