Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Dreaded Snuff-Binge

I'm fairly sure every snuff-taker has done this at least once.  I'm talking about the snuff-binge.  Sometimes it happens when you find one particular snuff you really really like.  Sometimes a snuff-binge is sparked by receiving a new selection of snuffs in the mail.  Sometimes it happens after a busy week, when you finally have a whole evening just to relax.  Whatever the cause, the occasional snuff-binge is sort of amusing.

We like to think of ourselves as discerning and sophisticated snuff-takers, enjoying the scents, flavors, and traditions of our age-old activity in a calm and reflective capacity.  And most of the time we are.  But, the snuff-binge is a little bit of our base nature peeking through the cracks of our civilized veneer.  Just as some animals will eat lethal amounts of food before they realize what's happening, there is some needy animal part of our brain that takes over sometimes, and a full-on snuff-binge results.

I will admit to a snuff-binge last night.  I received an amazing order of snuff.  I told myself, "Hey, Mark...try these slowly.  Control yourself.   Just enjoy each new snuff at your regular snuff-taking pace, and spend the next couple of days trying each of these new snuffs."  I was resolved to exercise a Gentleman's level of control.  But, the kid in a candy store part of my brain took over, and four hours later I had taken copious amounts of every kind of snuff I had received.  My nose was thrumming and felt heavy and a little numb.  My eyes were dry in their sockets and red like a stop sign.  Used kleenex littered my desk top.  I was surrounded by a jumble of snuff tins piled here and there.  I was happy as pie, but a little disappointed in myself!

I would love to say that I will never have one of these snuff-binges again.  And you probably tell yourself, "Never again.  I'm a sophisticated snuff-taker, and completely in control."  But, odds are...some delicious selection of snuff is going to show up in your mail one day, and you'll once again fall prey to that grabby greedy part of your brain that can't have enough.  When that happens, don't be too disappointed in yourself.  It was only a matter of time..

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Friday, December 11, 2015

Sarsaparilla from Old Mill Artisan Snuff

I started into the new Sarsaparilla snuff from Old Mill Artisan Snuff today.  And I thought I would post some of my impressions of it.  Like all Old Mill Snuffs, when you open the tin you are immediately struck by how densely packaged the snuff is in the tin.  It is packed to the brim with the finely ground tobacco, and its best to use a spoon (or other small object) to fluff it a bit in the center and portion out the snuff you are going to take.

The Sarsaparilla snuff is a medium brown color and has moderate moisture.  It sticks together a little bit, and is moist enough to clump if pressed together.  I usually spoon it onto the back of my hand, and then spread it out a little bit.  You have to snuff it delicately, so you don't pull it too far into your nose.  The moisture makes it much easier to take than an American Scotch, but the medium-fine grind requires you to go a little easy with it.

Here is the description of the snuff from the Old Mill website:
Sarsaparilla:  Stoved red Virginia, toasted St. James Perique and a small amount of dark air cured Burley are dressed with a cocktail of Jamaican sarsaparilla root, dandelion root, wild cherry bark, ginger root, juniper berries, cinnamon sticks, black malt syrup and vanilla beans then conditioned in toasted Colorado Blue Spruce crates.  When fully matured the leaf is air dried and milled to a medium fine grind with moderate moisture for a snuff reminiscent of root beer, without the sweetness.
So, how's the scent/flavor?  The short answer is DELICIOUS.  The methods that Chef Daniel of Old Mill uses to make his snuff ensure that the scent is rich without any hint whatsoever of anything artificial.  There is this spicy "root beer" flavor to the snuff, but its more than that.  There is both a richness and a creaminess that is something beyond just a "root beer" flavor.  I love blended root beer floats at Sonic, and this snuff reminds me of that combination of creaminess and spiciness you get with those.  Chef Daniel says "without the sweetness" in his description above, but there is a subtle sweetness there, mostly likely from the way the tobaccos were prepared.

In my nose, the snuff lingers quite well.  It diminishes over time, and the spicy "root beer" flavor changes over time, revealing layers of complexity.  It is one of those snuffs where you can sit and enjoy the changes in the scent over time.  I snuffed up enough of the Sarsaparilla in a short amount of time, that I generated a throat drip.  Much like Old Mill's Pure Virginia Toast, the throat drip has both a pleasant flavor and subtle burn.  With moderate use, this would be unlikely to develop any drip at all.

Chef Daniel only sells to individual snuff-takers directly.  So, if you are interested in getting some of the Sarsaparilla, simply go to the Old Mill Website and use the contact form to start communicating with him.  He'll get you the price list and set things up with you.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Scent-Track to Our Lives

Daffy Duck Uses Snuff.  Snuff Said.
I had a weird thought the other day. You know how people take their MP3 player everywhere? Its like adding a sound-track to your life.  Or sometimes people joke about a signature theme song playing everytime they walk into a room, like what happens with heroes (and some villians) in movies and television.  Music sets a tone.  It adds flavor to life.  It is mood altering, and adds extra layers of meaning.

Snuff-takers have a SCENT-track to their lives. The world just smells better all the time when you are a snuff-taker. You can choose what the world smells like.  Snuff-takers often take different snuffs in different situations.  Snuff allows you to augment and take advantage of one of your five senses, and feed it with sensory input.  Snuff sets a tone.  It adds flavor to life.  It is mood altering, and adds extra layers of meaning.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website