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USSR snuff

volungevolunge Member
edited March 11 in Types of Snuff
I got a pack of this
old Russian snuff from Snuffhouse member @lieho, who found some brand-new looking
packs amongst his grandfather's belongings.

I knew snuff was
produced in USSR and had seen several images of this and some other brands
previously. It aroused my curiosity, especially after doing some investigation
on the subject and finding out Soviet snuff was made of Nicotiana rustica
species. So I was more than excited when lieho created that thread:
http://snuffhouse.com/discussion/11778/old-vintage-snuff and agreed to do a
trade.


Indeed, the package
of the snuff I received from lieho looks fairly good, bearing in mind it was
made back in 1975. Ought to be quite moist while fresh, containing 25% moisture
in total weight of 50 g as indicated on the label, the snuff is inevitably
bone-dry now, weighing 41 g (foil-coated paper wrapper and label included).


On the bright side,
I detected no mold or other signs of decay inside which could have stopped me
from trying a pinch, so I dived into it.


The snuff is pale
brown, medium-fine, though rather inconsistent grind. Some tiny crystals of
salt, potash and sodium carbonate are visible among the particles of tobacco. There's
still a faint, but distinctive smell of rustica left, that hayish scent of air
cured makhorka. Unfortunately, not a slightest hint of ammonia, though
initially it was present here.


Despite the dryness,
this snuff is very easy to take. It gives a mild burn. The scent of hay becomes
more pronounced in the nose, there's some rather pleasant sweetness to it. The
back drip is potashy-bitter, but not harsh. And yes, some nicotine (of original
1.4/1.8%) is still there. Nothing to write home about, but enough to keep me
going. I have tried it as a morning snuff few times, it did the job.


I could use it as
all day snuff, too, but I am not sure about content of TSNAs, which generally
tend to increase during prolonged storage, so I wont include it in my daily menu,
but I was very eager to try this vintage snuff.

Overall, it's quite nice plain snuff. I just wish I could try it fresh.

  
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Comments

  • jpsksjpsks Member
    nice 
  • All that snuff for 5 kopeks.
  • Yes, you could get 1 kilo of this snuff for 1 rouble. A pack of filtered cigarettes costed 40 copecks.
  • This is very interesting. I'd be interested to try this soviet snuff.


  • marcomarco Member
    would also love to try it, looks intersting...enjoy!
  • marcomarco Member
    And speaking of that part of the world is there a currently produced snuff[s] from Russia?
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited March 12 PM
    @dawood84, @marco, try contacting lieho.

    As far as I know, no snuff currently produced in Russia. Imported snuff is available, though, at least some Poschl and Samuel Gawith snuffs. For instance:
    http://cigar66.ru/index.php?cPath=40_19
    http://premiumtabak.com/tabachnaya-produkciya-optom/tabachnaya-produkciya/snuff-snus/
  • FilekFilek Member
    That's kind of sad that they don't have any snuff manufacturers nowadays, considering the fact they had a really strong market before the communist era. 
  • There *is* a domestic snuff market, I saw a bunch on my business trips to St. Petersburg as well as Moscow, but it's a very niche thing. I guess you could classify it as "artisinal". Generations of passed down snuff recipes still being handmade. There isn't as much of a problem with demand as there is a problem with exporting, certifying and marketing the stuff.
  • lieholieho Member
    Hello everyone,

    Unfortunately I have nothing left, but I'm sure I saw this snuff on ebay. I also don't know anything about factory-produced snuff in Russia.
  • boggles my mind why there is no snuff popular in russia while its more popular in czech and poland
    i dont know of any polnish or czech snuff either though
    also china
    india seems to be big on snuff and has its own producers
  • FilekFilek Member
    edited March 21 PM
    That's quite simple to answer and the answer is "tobacco monopoly". At least in case why there isn't any local produced snuff in those regions. 
    Long story short. After Poland and Czechoslovakia gained independance in 1918 and for Russia after revolution of 1917, all of those countries needed money to flow into the state treasury, so hence the Polski Monopol Tytoniowy, Ceskoslovenska Tabakova Rezie and something written in cyrillic script were created. I'm sure that Poland at that time had at least 100 tobacco factories that made snuff and I suppose that for Russia it could be a similiar number - and it all go to waste. Not counting Czechoslovakia here since they like were a part of Austria, so like they were used to tobacco monopolies and had one or two factories. But they had the second highest snuff sales after Austria and before Galicia if that counts.
    Anyway if you multiply the number of factories with the numbers they made (at least 5 for each), so can see that 500 snuff were gone from the market and only 2 to 5 were left - those made be the monopoly. And we are still in the XX century so there isn't much demand for snuff any more. So after the liquidation of the monopoly and privatization of the tobacco market in the early '90 there wasn't anyone who could be a heir to ressurect the snuff industry itself. 

    It the case of why it's so popular I can only answer for Poland. It has something to do with the snuff prohibition (1996-2000) and something that Polish media called " the snuff renaissance" which came after the prohibition. It's like with the saying: the forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest, so I think some people just wanted to try why this so called snuff was banned. But it's not like no one knows what snuff is. The Polish epos "Pan Tadeusz" has a lot of verses on snuff and snuffboxes and it's still a popular custom on Kashubia to make handmade snuff and snuff boxes from horns. And also I wouldn't say is actually easy to get snuff localy. If you'll go to a proper tobacconist - sure I'll find it - but haven't seen any kiosk that sells it. And it's easier to find a kiosk than a proper tobacconist. 

    Don't know much on Czech's customs on snuff, but it was still in good use in Cieszyn Silesia between XIX and XX century. And the only famous snuff taker a can remember now was Chopin's piano teacher V.Zivny.
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited March 21 PM
    I saw snuff in many press kiosks (newsagents) in Warszawa on both sides of Wisla. Every (or every second) underground kiosk near Warszava Centralna carries Poschl (I noticed even some small tins of WoS), and there are loads of them. My travelling friends used to buy it at gas stations all throughout Poland. I bought Poschls at Chopin airport shop some years ago.

    OK, it's a capital. But you can find snuff at smaller towns, too. For instance, no problem at all getting it in Suwalki (population 69 K). I would say, it's easier to find snuff (and more sorts) there, than in some UK towns, say, Darlington (population 92 K). Back in 2006 there was only one tobacconist who carried snuff - Hedges, J&H Wilson Med.99 and WoS SP100. All the newsagents directed me to that single High street vendor.
  • FilekFilek Member
    Right, I remember now. There used to be one or two newsagents franchises that had snuff in stock. But I haven't seen snuff there lately, at least in my hometown and the city a live in. They probably just stuck with the snuff renaissance phenomenon and sold it while it was fancy. 
  • Interesting I would not mind trying it. As long as it doesn't contain Novichok lol
  • bobbob Member
    Only if you buy it from a spy or are a spy yourself. Then that's the one time I'd say don't take a pinch.
  • mrmanosmrmanos Member
    I have a package of the snuff in the photos. My opinion is that it kind of sucks. Maybe fresh it was good. But I didn't like it one bit.
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