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While I was sitting in my study this past weekend watching SSNN (Snustopia Satellite News Network) to see how the economy was doing, (yes, my friends, Snustopia is in the same boat as the rest of the world when it comes to the economy) something hit me! I've been reviewing a lot of very popular snus this year that can be a bit pricy if that's all that you're ordering! Grant it; even a can of Nick & Johnny West is still cheaper than a pack of cigarettes in most places! So I decided that I would do my next review on an entire brand of lower priced snus and the brand we'll be reviewing today is Kronan.
I know what you're saying, "Hey Snus Guy! You've reviewed value snus before! Remember the Phantom Blue and Offroad reviews? Why pick Kronan?" You're right, we did do some reviews of lower priced snus but, I want all Snustopians to know that there are other low priced snus brands available out there besides Offroad and Phantom! Throughout the next few months, we'll review other low priced snus brands but, Kronan is the one that most snus shops include as a free or "Mystery" can with larger orders and is in most sample boxes. So, with that information in hand, let's begin our review of the Kronan family of snus!
First, I want to reiterate something before we begin. Like I said in the Offroad Cranberry review, low price does not mean low quality. All Swedish snus must pass a strict and controlled process that's overseen by the Swedish equivalent of the U.S. FDA. Since snus is an oral product, it must pass the same quality and safety standards that food in Sweden does! In essence, a can of Kronan or any other lower priced snus will have passed the same quality and safety standards as a can of General Onyx. I only say this because in the beginning, there was some concern about it. Now that we have that out of the way, On to the review!
Kronan is another snus manufactured by the folks at Swedish Match and comes in 3 different types; loose (lös), regular portions and white portions. Kronan is actually a pretty unique snus in a couple of different ways! First, most snus brands that come in different types tend to have different tastes between them. Offroad Cranberry comes to mind as an example. There is a distinct taste difference between the loose and the portions. Kronan's taste really doesn't vary throughout the different types. The only variant would be the intensity of the flavor. "Well, don't keep us waiting Snus Guy! What's Kronan taste like?" Swedish Match describes the taste as "A traditional tobacco taste with mild citrus and flowers". I, on the other hand, taste something completely different. While there is a distinct, full tobacco flavor along with a slight lemony taste, flowers I don't taste. This is not a bad thing though.
The flowery flavor I get from Kronan is of Dill! "Dill, Snus Guy? You mean like a Dill Pickle?" Well, yes and no. I mean fresh Dill. It's not strong though, just a hint. Here's the overall flavor I get, in laymen's terms. Imagine a slice of roasted lemon sprinkled with salt and dill then add the earthy flavor of quality tobacco and you have the taste of Kronan! Where's the Dill pickle reference come in, you ask? The scent from the can!
The scent I get from Kronan is not like the smell from a jar of dill pickles with the famous talking Stork on the label! More like the smell you get from a fresh kosher dill pickle from a true delicatessen. A distinct, earthy tobacco scent, with a bit of sourness and a hint of dill. Pretty unique I think! So, let's go to mouth feel, beginning with the portions. Since the portion material in both the regular and the white types are the same material as used in other Swedish Match portion snus I won't go into the makeup of it and just focus on the flavor release and mouth feel. Both portions have a really comfortable feel under the lip. I've had both portion types in, not at the same time, for over 2 hours with no irritation at all. The regular type will get your inner lip a bit wrinkly due to the added moisture but, no pain is associated with it. The white portion's flavor lasts a bit longer than the regular portion does though. I've had a white portion's flavor last for about 2 ½ hours while the regular will usually go flat at the 2 hour mark. The trade off though is that the regular portion will give you flavor in an instant where the white portion takes about 10 minutes to get going.
Kronan loose (lös) is a mid-coarse grain loose snus. Coarse refers to the cut of the tobacco. The really good part about Kronan loose is that it's really easy to hand bake! As you all know, I'm hand bake challenged and for me to say that a loose snus is easy to hand bake, it really is! Coarse cut tobacco is usually the easiest to do this with but, the amount of moisture plays a role in it as well.
I know mid-coarse really doesn't explain the cut so, let's use a comparison snus. Skruf Stark loose is a fine grain snus. Phantom Blue loose is a coarse grain. Kronan lös' grain falls in the middle. Coarse enough to hold a pris well but not as fine as to cause immediate mudslide!
Lip feel is really comfortable and the flavor lasts a good long time but the flavor is a bit more subdued than the portions! I've had a pris in for over 2 ½ hours with the flavor still going strong! Depending on which method you use to make the pris, mudslide times vary. With my 3 ml Icetool and medium compression, I've had a pris last over 2 ½ hours with very little mudslide. Hand baking a pris yielded only about 1 ½ hours before complete mudslide. Like I said, I really can't hand bake so, those Snustopians that have that skill down pat, will more than likely get a pris to last much longer!
Now, on to the drinks! I really had a hard time trying to pair drinks with Kronan. The flavor is really unique and I wanted something that wouldn't mask the flavor. Diet Coke did well but it just didn't have what I wanted. The acidity in the Diet Coke kind of killed the slight sourness but, did bring out the tobacco a bit more. Coffee was a disaster! Coffee and the dill flavor just didn't work. Iced Earl Grey did a bit better but the best thing I have had with it was lemonade!
No, I didn't slip on a spent pris of Kronan loose and bang my head! Lemonade brings out the citrus flavor and enhances the dill a bit more. The sweet and sour of the lemonade along with the slight sourness of the snus helped to bring the tobacco to the front as well! If you haven't thought to try lemonade with snus that has citrus and tobacco flavors, you really have to try it! Trust me, you won't be sorry!
My recommendations for the overall Kronan brand, Snustopians, are this; Kronan is a uniquely flavored, family of snus at a great price. Snustopians that are new to the world of Swedish snus and want to add a can of a lower priced snus to their order won't be disappointed with a can of Kronan white. If you're new at using loose and want to try your hand baking while still getting a great mild flavor, Kronan loose is a good choice. For new Snustopians, I recommend sticking with the white portions at first and move to the regular portions simply because the flavor is a bit more subdued in the white. Experienced Snustopians looking for something less pricy but still has a great flavor should give each type a try!
Well Snustopians, I hope you all have enjoyed our review of the Kronan family of snus. As always, I look forward to hearing your questions and comments and will try to answer them as soon as I can!
Until our next review,