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Official "Grades" of snuff?

I haven't been able to track done much if any literary sources on Nasal Snuff so I will search for information here :D

Is anyone aware of industry "grades" of snuff? I visited a tobacco club about 5 years ago and there was a navy man who said when he was in the service (in the 50's) he visited a tobacconist In Europe who sold him "top shelf" snuff, they kept the most expensive snuffs on top (and climbed a step stool to access).

My question is, besides buying the brand name, what makes an industry accepted "high quality"?

In cigars I understand leaf quality, aging, mechanically or manually harvested all play into the "quality".

What say ye?

Cheers,
Michibacy

Comments

  • As far as I've been able to ascertain after doing much research myself, there are no industry standards in snuff making at all, at least compared to wines, cigars, etc.

    What makes a "top shelf" snuff is not quality per se, but the scarcity of component tobacco, expense or scarcity of aromatic additives, and how small and infrequent the batches of snuff are manufactured.

    A snuff that has been discontinued can move from the bottom to the top shelf based on dwindling supplies. Another is provenance. In the 19th C. certain royals in England used to hoard snuff, more than they can use in a lifetime. When they died, some manufacturers bought the hoards back and sold them at a higher price, often with a "Queens..." "Princes..." prefix added to the blend.

    Artisan snuffs may fetch a higher price because they are small batch products hand blended, sauced, milled, packed and shipped by only one or two people. Abraxas, Sir Walter Scott and Old Mill are some favorites on this forum in that category. These also should be regarded as top shelf due to the uniqueness and quality, combined with relative scarcity.
  • Interesting, and it does make sense. Thanks!
  • howdydavehowdydave Member
    edited March 2015 PM
    From what I've seen, there is only one contributing factor -- user loyalty.
  • Old Mill Artisan Snuff fits this category. I think Chef Daniels creations deserve high grades.
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • in a turkish source the high quality snuff is made from hasankeyf tobacco which is fermented in 60-80 kg drums for 3 months then sieved and they are taken to small drums (15kg) for another fermentation period. During the process snuff is being under control for bed odors. After fermentation it is sieved again and scenting process begins. Generally rose, cinamon etc are used. Also it is mentioned that course snuff gets scents much better.
  • When I started taking snuff some UK businesses – such as G. Smith and Fribourg & Treyer – had varied prices, reflecting both the expense of selected tobacco and that of additives. Café Royale and Santo Domingo were notoriously expensive, making it into the Guinness Book of Records. Anything flavoured with Attar of Roses was also pricey. These were top shelf snuffs though they were never kept on a top shelf. At the other end of the spectrum black rappee and S.P were the cheapest with everything else somewhere between the two extremes.

    In 1977 Wilsons of Sharrow produced a Celebratory (Queen’s Silver Jubilee) range of snuffs called Grand Sharrow, which included Brunswick, Burgundy and Grand Cairo, and which were nearly double the price of the usual range. Over the last 30 years or so, however, snuffs produced by a single company have tended to uniformity in price. If price determines a top shelf snuff then the current commercial manufacturers, to the best of my knowledge, no longer make exclusive snuffs. ‘We’re all proletariat now comrade’ said one snuff to another.
  • mrmanosmrmanos Member
    Fascinating thread. 
  • Ive always considered the smaller lines like Abraxas or Sir Walter Scott to be more akin to a top shelf snuff, personally
  • The finest mill I call "Cabinet". I collected the oily dust from the lid of my coffee grinder. Top shelf stuff. Grading by grind is a common theme with snuff.
  • Snuff scented with

    Ambergris

     }whale vomit{ should bring a hefty price. You won't catch me buying any 
    My knowledge is worthless if not shared and applied . "Joseph McKenna"  
  • JHighJHigh Member
    @basement_shaman wish I could rid my body of cholesterol as easy as the sperm whale
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