Released not that long ago by Swedish Match, I’ve been anticipating the arrival of the General Variation line for a few weeks now. After receiving a few cans of both members of the Variation line a few days ago, I decided to start things off by posting my review on Smoky Oak Portion. Each can of Smoky Oak comes with 24 one-gram portions of regular strength snus. The Variation line is aimed at the premium snus market and is meant to rank alongside General Onyx in terms of quality.
After opening my can of Smoky Oak, I soon noticed a complex aroma which took a bit longer to take in than the rest of the General lineup. The main aroma I detected was that of roasted tobacco, and having smoked tobacco pipes in the past, it reminded me slightly of non-aromatic pipe tobacco. I also picked up hints of bergamot, and when I really paid attention it reminded me quite a bit of the bergamot aroma in General Original. After placing a portion in my mouth, I soon noticed a roasted and salted tobacco taste, with a tad of bergamot in the background. I also picked up slight woody undertones of smoked oak. I found the flavor to be very balanced, and as time passed the bergamot subsided, and after around the thirty minute mark the tobacco began to become increasingly salty with a hint of smokiness.
The portions were of average quality, and I’m surprised that Swedish Match didn’t try using their soft Natufibe portions for the Variation lineup. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the full one-gram size of the Smoky Oak portions. A number of companies have decreased the amount of tobacco per portion in the past few years (and increased nicotine strength to compensate), and I feel this process makes their snuses taste less full bodied. I was able to keep Smoky Oak portions in for around forty minutes before I would remove them due to drip. The nicotine content was average, and after a few minutes I began to notice a pleasant buzz which lasted quite some time without being too strong for my tastes.
Overall, I really enjoyed Smoky Oak, as I found that it had a very complex and interesting taste for a General snus. The roasted tobacco taste, paired with oak undertones goes very well with coffee, and the one-gram portion format produces a rich taste. I recommend giving Smoky Oak a try if you’re a General fan who is looking to try a version of General with a smokey twist!