You Never Forget Your First

Tasting Notes: General Mint vs. Camel Frost

My local ice cream hangout offers a dizzying array of flavors. But, frankly, all that creativity is lost on me. I typically turn to my favs, like mint chocolate chip. If there’s Edy’s in heaven, I hope they never run out.

As fall sets in, I’ll soon be dropping the cone…and turning to my General Mint snus. General Mint delivers a powerfully decadent sensation, much like my Edy’s. General found a way to inject the perfect mix of frosty mint – a cross between spearmint and wintergreen – with rich bergamot. This combination delivers a strong hit of icy mint with rich chocolate-like undertones. It’s truly the Godiva of the mint snus world. 

General Mint was my first Swedish snus ever. And, as they say, you never forget your first. I learned of General Mint online, where reviewers raved over its long-lasting, strong mint flavor. 

How did it stack up against my prior tasting of Camel Frost? There’s simply no comparison.

Camel Frost is a syrupy sweet concoction of seemingly tobacco-less umph. The Camel Frost flavor is quite unique…a flavor certainly not in the Wrigley’s family. Though it does have a tantalizing lip tingle going for it. But after about 10 minutes, all that’s left is a sugary aftertaste. The richness of true snus is MIA. And the tobacco rush? Camel gets zero humps for nicotine. The primary sensation is the initial tingle. After that, you’re stuck toting a sugar cube under your lip.

But I digress. General Mint delivers true Swedish enjoyment. It’s the perfect entry snus for beginners, especially the mini portion. The half-gram mini portion fits discretely, and you’ll never look like a puckering dromedary, as you do with Camel Snus. Even the standard 1 gram portion is quite thin.

I’ve yet to fathom why Camel uses such a long, plump portion. It’s longer and thicker than Swedish packets. The paper bag that Camel uses is also abrasive, particularly against the tiny lip muscle between my two front teeth. I read that Camel uses more abrasive bags to increase nicotine absorption – if there is any nicotine. But I certainly can’t substantiate this rumor.

General Mint comes as a dry portion, meaning the bag is not hydrated as a last step in the production.

Beyond its satisfying flavor, General Mint has staying power. These packs consistently delivers for up to 45 minutes, and the flavor tapers off only slightly for the next hour or so…if you’re  a long snuser.

So the next time you reach for that double scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, opt for a General Mint instead. Trust me, it’ll help you chill out just as well and shave unneeded calories. And, best of all, no cone is required.

Snus vs. Rabbit Pellets

I love the flavor of tobacco, but not the smell or after taste of cigarettes though. Cigars? They seem to do the trick, but who has time to light up for 30+ minutes?

I smoked cigars more when I was younger, when smoking was allowed at work. Yes, even cigars. My boss was a big Don Diego fan and invited me to join him often. Then, snap, office smoking was banned.

Well, my boss then introduced me to something new: pelletized tobacco. So I stuffed one of these rabbit pellets under my upper lip. Boy did it feel cool, discretely enjoying the taste of tobacco. They were rich, smooth and seemed to deliver a decent hit of nicotine. I recall they came in a variety of flavors, but had no idea what they were called or made of.

Soon after, I changed companies (moved to the ‘burbs) and forgot all about these pellets…until decades later, when I heard about Swedish snus.  

I figured snus just might be the perfect answer to my long-lost friend. But it was unavailable in the U.S. at the time.

A few years later, I was traveling through Europe and some Danish colleagues asked if I snus. My chance had arrived! I never forget that first snus experience. My mouth exploded with flavor. And you could drink at the same time!

A few years later, I stumbled on Camel snus, which just began selling in my area.

This was an exciting moment. Snus truly was worth the wait. I’m now happy to be sampling a variety of snus — mostly Swedish — in my quest for sheer and “healthier” tobacco enjoyment.

Long live snus.

"If President Obama used snus, the Gulf crisis would be much easier to swallow. Cigarette smoking clouds your thoughts."

— Eric - The Snuster

Snuster Now Live!

Welcome to Snuster, an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of snus.

I’ll be covering anything and everything related to snus, from the recent PACT Act limiting its availability to its production, adoption, new product introductions and pundit resistance. Yes, I’ll also inject my own personal experience and opinions. Isn’t that what blogging is all about?

Snus has been around since the 1800s, invented in Sweden, but has never before experienced such a growth surge in the U.S. until the likes of Camel and Marlboro brands entered - and helped create - the market here.

If you, too, enjoy the snus experience, whether for smoking cessation or just sheer enjoyment, I welcome you to join me on my journey across the snus world.

-Eric

(a Swedish American)