General Snus Celebrates it's 150th Anniversary with Mackmyra Whisky
2016 is the 150th anniversary of General Snus, the largest selling brand of Swedish Snus in the world. Manufacturer Swedish Match has a number of special editions and products which will be introduced in this General Snus milestone anniversary year.
Swedish Match and Swedish Whisky maker Mackmyra Whisky combined their expertise in tobacco blending and whisky making over a roughly 18 month development period. On the General Snus side, Master Tobacco Blenders Lars Jonsson and Mattias Schyber joined with Mackmyra Master Whisky Blender Angela D'Orazio to create the unique and quite tasty snus.
General Mackmyra is a tobacco-centric snus flavored to contain a subtle tone of fruit with notes of cedar and Mackmyra Svensk Ek Whisky. Svensk Ek, or 'Swedish Oak', is matured in barrels made from oak trees planted on the island of Visingsö centuries ago, oak originally intended for shipbuilding.
Interesting trivia point: both Swedish Match and Mackmyra have a band in common: Motörhead
In 2012, Swedish Match released Motörhead by Grov Snus. It was a limited edition version of Grov portion snus with Motörhead can graphics.
To celebrate "40 years of eardrum crushing", Mackmyra in collaboration with Brands for Fans released Motörhead Whisky which is still available today. Motörhead Whisky is completely different than the Mackmyra Svensk Ek Whisky used in General Mackmyra, aged in different casks and has bourbon is a major flavoring note.
I've spent the last week comparing General Mackmyra with premium whisky snuses already available; Islay Whisky Portion Snus and Crafted Snus Whisky Portion Snus.
With both the Islay and the Crafted Snus, I've had the advantage of being able to purchase the whiskys used in both snuses and compare the taste to how it appeared the snus. In the case of Islay Whisky Snus, Ardbeg Whisky (which is my now favorite whisky) while with Crafted Snus the highland whiskey Glenfarclas was used.
I'm a little handicapped in that Mackmyra Svensk Ek Whisky doesn't seem to be available in US fine spirits shops. Shipped, the price would be around $110 for a bottle over the internet; not a price many American snusers would be able or willing to pay for a comparison of their own.
I've probably had Mackmyra Svensk Ek during my trips to Sweden as Snus Legend Moe Unz runs my bar tab up considerably during every trip. I can say the next time I visit Sweden, I will specifically be bringing a bottle or two back.
In the meantime, this tasting note by the folks at Master of Malt should give us all an idea of the flavor of Mackmyra Svensk Ek Whisky:
Nose: Sweet and spicy, toasted oak, lemon cake and apple pie.
Palate: Darker, earthier spices, cashew nut, toffee. Raspberry and black pepper. Milk chocolate.
Finish: Vanilla with hints of mint and chili.
Both versions of General Mackmyra are regular strength snuses. General Mackmyra portion snus contains 24 one gram portions per can with a nicotine content of 0.85%
General Mackmyra loose snus comes with 42 grams of snus per can with a nicotine content of 0.75%. From the technical information I have, I can't explain the difference in nicotine levels but since most people make prillas larger than one gram, I think it's not relevant.
For those of you who know Swedish Match whisky snus only through Probe Whiskey Portion and Loose snus, leave your preconceptions at the door. General Mackmyra is a truly outstanding top shelf whisky snus.
The portion pouches are stuffed full with one gram of snus each but they were flattened out in the can. You'll need to give the portions a quick fluff before popping one in.
The aroma upon opening the can is a dark tobacco with a whisky overlay and a faint sweetness. The flavor release is almost immediate and combines tobacco, smoke, and the whisky with just the right amount of saltiness and oak.
Compared against the Mackmyra Svensk Ek Whisky tasting notes above, I'm not picking up any mint in the finish which is fortunate. The palate flavors are not as pronounced as how I imagine they would be in the whisky itself, but do combine into an earthy mix which is quite complex and satisfying.
General Mackmyra Whisky Snus will most certainly be in my regular rotation of top-shelf whisky snuses and is destined to be one of the most popular new products Swedish Match has released in some time; especially under the General Snus brand.
Conversely, Probe Whiskey snus has a less certain future in my opinion. If you're a whisky aficionado, General Mackmyra is a huge step-up snus. Swedish Match hasn't indicated its intentions, but as a Swedish Snus Lord, I would not be surprised if Probe didn't survive this year. If you're a Probe fan, you may want to consider stocking up.
I usually recommend trying a can or two of a new snus before going all-in. In the case of General Mackmyra, go ahead and buy a roll. It will not go to waste, I assure you!
General Mackmyra Whisky Snus will be released in Week 15 internationally. Depending on your calendar that is either the first or second week of April 2016. Hang in there and rest assured that Moe and the SnusCentral.com Snus Shop will be offering this treat as soon as the truck hits the loading dock.
Until then, enjoy the REAL Swedish snus you've got!
Best Regards/Bästa hälsningar/Med venlig hilsen,
Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org