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Monday, June 30, 2008

NEW Swedish Snus from General: General Sterk (high-nicotine) White-Portion!

For those of you who prefer snus with a higher nicotine content (known as Strong, Stark, or Sterk snus), the two most popular brands available to date have been the Nick and Johnny Original Edge portion snus or the skruf stark. Both come in regular portions. The skruf stark is also available as a loose snus.

That may well change as Swedish Match’s General brand has just introduced the General Sterk White Portion snus. They say this General strong snus has a distinctive taste; a powerful tobacco flavor with hints of pepper and citrus zest.

Since this description would fit most General snus’s, I’m curious as to whether it tastes more like the General White Portion or the General Onyx. And unlike the new Nick and Johnny West  portion snus which is Strong but has a lower amount of snus (20 grams versus 24 grams), General Sterk contains 24 pouches each weighing one gram.

UPDATE:  General Sterk Portion was discontinued in 2010.  Normal nicotine level fans stuck with General White Portion Snus while high nicotine lovers had moved to General Extra Strong Portion Snus; a personal favorite of mine to this day.

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Mr. UnloadingZone said...

When I asked for reader comments from those who had tried General Stark, I was shocked at the replies I was receiving.

I still haven't tried it yet (next order in about two weeks)so I can't give you my opinion on the taste yet.

But one thing I can tell you, as you will read below; you may like it, you may not, but it doesn't have the traditional General-Brand taste characteristics:

Anonymous said...

Alright, I have tried the General Sterk. Sterk does not compare to any General product that I have tried before, and I have tried them all. The first two differences that I noticed right away were: 1) Sterk is much more sweet than salty. In all other General snus the salty taste is more overpowering than the sweetness, although there is a hint of lemon there.
2) The taste is not as powerful as other General snus, such as onyx. Onyx has a very strong and powerful taste and has a dominating salty flavour.
The layout is the same as Onyx, with the pouches in a fanned, or star formation, as it says on the can. It also says Norwegian Edition on the side of the can. I am not sure exactly what that means. Also, Sterk does not seem as strong (nicotine) as Onyx. This may be due to the fact that Sterk is white portion and Onyx is not, causing a slower flow of nicotine. I have also noticed that the flavour does not last as long as most white portion snus does. I would not say that I am disappointed, but it is definitely different from all other General products.

Anonymous said...

Compared with General white portion, Sterk is less powerful in taste and does not last as long. This may be due to the less powerful taste as compared with General white. I prefer the General white over the Sterk based on the flavour. Sterk is just not strong enough. I have not been able to detect any peppery aftertaste. The sweetness is more of a fruity sweet. Just like all white portion snus, Sterk takes a little bit longer to get going than regular portion. The taste in white portion is supposed to last longer, but Sterk seems to start with a big fruit-sweet flavour and then lose it very quickly. It doesn't take long and I can hardly taste it anymore. The fruit taste is not as artificial as the offroad cranberry that you have mentioned before, but it is not as real as Roda Lacket or Goteborgs Rape either. Overall, to me it was a let down due to the hype and advertising that they used to promote it. Like you say in your reviews, this is my own personal opinion and my taste may be different from yours and others. It warrants a try to see what you think. Also, I know that you prefer white portion over regular, while I prefer regular. I will be interested to hear what you think when you get your next order. Please let me know what you find out from your phone calls.

July 22, 2008 9:37 AM

Sagedil said...

Sagedil at snuson said this:

I have tried Sterk and would generally agree with much of what that reviewer said, other than I like it a lot, probably better than General. It has been so long since I tired Onyx, but yeah, definitely not as strong.

He is correct as to the slight sweetness. Very yummy to me, but then again, I have been having one Triumph a day which I like very much. But I don't find the sweetness of Sterk to be very strong, just a slight sweet to me, and one that I appreciate very much

Much of my snus is white now, so I am used to the slightly slower uptake. But the nicotine delivery is very good. I have not found it lasting any shorter than any other white I use.

I love most strong nicotine snus, and have some at least every day. I love N&J still, and Mocca+ is really yummy. But don't want to overdo the N&J, so like having alternatives. If I had to choose between General Sterk and N&J West as an alternative, I would choose the General Sterk. It will definitely be on part of my rotation now.

Xobeloot said...

Now a comment and my response that was turning this into a real mystery:

Xobeloot wrote:
I haven't tried the sterk, but I will correct one thing there. The Onyx is basically a white portion in a black pouch. Same packaging as Triumph which is a white portion in a white pouch, so I don't see where the white format would cause any difference between Onyx and Sterk.

RobMe said...

True, General Sterk 'flavor' doesn't last long, and it's not as rich tasting as Onyx by any means. I do like the taste of it but I wouldn't call it fruity, at least, not in the same sense that I'd call Triumph fruity & sweet - which it truly is, but in a balanced kind of way.

Sagedil said...

And from Sagedil again:

All this talk about Onyx, I just had to dig my tin out of the freezer. Damn that is some good stuff. Yeah, Sterk is MUCH milder. Not as mild as General Silver, but close (much better than General Silver IMHO)

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

This led me to investigate and look what I found:

I just checked the product description of Onyx at Swedish Match's US website. They are calling it Onyx White Portion and says that it has 11mg. of nicotine. So it's officially a White Portion Stark!

So that raises the question: if they already have Onyx as a white portion stark and no one on my blog, on anywhere else I look is going crazy raving over how much more wonderful the Sterk is, why all the hype from Swedish Match?

Sounds like a follow-up article is in order........

Anonymous said...

Mr. Unloadingzone,
I was just wondering if you have had a chance to try the General Sterk yet. I am very interested to hear what you have to say about it. Also, great info about snus and I have been working to spread the truth about snus for the past six months, when I discovered the real truth. Hope all is well and happy snusing!

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi Anonymous Aug 20!

Yes, I have received and am trying the General Sterk....actually I'm switching between Sterk and Onyx because they are both white portion high nicotine.

Fortunately, I was prepared for the Sterk's taste difference from the product description and my expectations. Otherwise, frankly, I would have been very negative on it.

It is definitely a different taste for General. It took a few portions but it has grown on me a bit. The tobacco taste is a little too mild for my liking but it's pretty interesting once you get into it.

THAT BEING SAID, I am VERY sorry to report that the early reports were true: it is the shortest lasting Swedish snus I have ever used.

The taste fades quickly and I find myself having to replace it within a half hour. I have actually never had a Swedish regular portion snus last such a short amount of time let alone a white portion.

I plan on a comparison review between the Sterk and the Onyx. I still haven't finalized my thoughts. And while people can like different tastes, the short amount of time the Sterk lasts is not subject personal preference.

Now that I have tried it and the holiday season is almost over in Sweden, I plan on discussing this issue with my friends there. "Why?" is the big question.

From a taste stand-point, if you've been waiting on me to try it, go ahead and get a can....not a roll...and see what you think. It's different, but not in a bad way and it could actually grow on me....if it lasted long enough to really appreciate the taste.

Next order, I'm going to order some Nick(&J) West and compare that to the skruf stark. I hear good things about the West, so I'm really looking forward to that one.


Mr. Unloadingzone

Anonymous said...

I am a swede, have been using snus for some years and I must say I was kinda happy with General Sterk once I tried it. It's true that the taste does not last so long, but I definately like it. I am kinda tired of the standard General taste so I really appreciate a switch. But I guess that people that are kinda new to snus may like more powerful taste.

What I like most is of course that there are more nicotine in it. I normally don't feel much when I use snus, but with Sterk I actually feel a rush for a while. I also used two at a times, but that was not neccessary with Sterk. So it's a good thing that this snus lasts longer when using (although you lost some taste pretty soon).

+ for the nice formation the portions came packed in, and I like the design too.

Btw, I like your blog, just never had time to write any comment before. I'll try to do so in the future. I dunno whether you have many swedish readers but I guess it could be useful with yet another one that knows all secrets behind snus ;)


Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Welcome, Anonymous Swede!

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I guess you read my later review of the Sterk and I was disappointed.

I like Stark/Sterk too and as I'm writing this, I actually have two portions of Gotlandssnus Gul in my mouth...I'm down to my last two cans of General Onyx which is also a Stark but according to my friends at Swedish Match AB. they don't think Swedes like Stark snus so they don't advertise it as such.
But Onyx does have 11 grams of nicotine.....

I'm putting in another order this week and I'm going to switch over to a roll of skruf stark (haven't used that in a while)

I also going to get a couple of the....I call them coffins because that Nick(&J) West based on recommendations. I'm not risking a roll after trying the Nick(&J) East. I'm still enjoying Jakobsson's Ice Fruit, so a roll of that...and I MAY try a roll of the Gotlandssnus Green..strictly based on the recommendation of of another reader who I seem to share similar tastes with. She said it's her new favorite.

I'm a little nervous, but then again, I never thought I'd like the Ice Fruit either!

Code-name uber-snus, the incredibly massive and more comprehensive by the day website I'm building to replace this poor little blog on just snus should be up shortly. You're going to love it!

I actually have a lot of readers in Sweden and have made some very good friendships with people inside and outside the industry there. If you read my latest post on Triumph Snus (you would hate it), the inside story on the scandal I was tipped off to by some never to be named friends at Swedish Match AB.

And once the uber-snus website is up, I am going to be reaching out to my Swedish readers and friends because for the life of me, I can not understand the EU not only continuing the ban on Swedish snus, but getting even tougher...while everyone puffs away on cigarettes without a problem.

So please share, either in comments or email me. Once uber-snus is live, you'll be able to write your own reviews and interact with other members as well. Based on the information and quality of some of the emails I've received, both from the US other EU countries, and especially Sweden and Gotland, I may even add guest commentators and have them write articles.

Then we can all understand snus better from different perspectives and be a true community.

It's 6:32AM my time and I'm still awake from yesterday...lots of snus and caffeine; working on getting the uber-snus site up and keeping up with my blog and emails. (I'm GMT-6 while you're GMT+1)

Don't go looking for uber-snus, by the way; that's the code name. I'll be publishing the real name and url as soon as we're ready to go live.

Thanks again for reading and commenting and please keep doing so, here and at the new site.


Mr Unz

Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"