In my most recent order from Mr Snuff I was pleased to receive 3 different medicated snuffs from McChrystal's. I've always been a big fan of Original & Genuine (and English medicated snuffs in general), so I was curious how the other 2, Highland Ice and Olde English, would stack up.
I ran a little snuff marathon the other day trying them side by side with a hot cup of Earl Grey. These were my impressions:
Original & Genuine - the classic. Nice O&G stands out in the medicated field because, to my nose, it seems like a medicated/SP hybrid (the only other one I can recall trying was Silver Dollar Original, which is good, but doesn't quite compare in the end). That said, the citrus note I get from it is more lemon than bergamot, a little fresher and less bitter. O&G also has a sweet, fresh-baked cookie note to it, but for some reason I only seem to get it upon opening the can, not once I have a snootful. As far as O&G's medicated qualities are concerned, I get a strong, but not overpowering menthol scent which opens the airways nicely and lasts and lasts. If there is also camphor and/or eucalyptus included it is subtle enough to be lost on me. The flour itself is a medium grind and moist enough to form small clumps in the can, I would rank the moisture as medium also. The scenting is used judiciously enough that some of the pure tobacco scent still shines through. This snuff has surely earned its reputation.
Highland Ice - as far as the flour is concerned, it seems to be identical to the base tobacco in O&G and I get the same sweet bakery scent upon opening the tin. This one is purely tobacco and "medication" once it hits the nose. Menthol and a very strong eucalyptus scent in this one. It hits harder and sharper than O&G initially as far as cooling power goes, but I think this property fades a bit quicker. A simple, effective, and tasty medicated snuff, with the eucalyptus blast giving it some character of its own.
Olde English - again, seems to be the same base tobacco as the others, making me wonder if all McChrystal's begin the same, prior to scenting (it's a fine base just the same). Due to the name, I didn't have particularly high hopes for this one. I expected some tobacco with a menthol bomb mixed in, a la Hedges or Dynamite, but I was in for a treat. Olde English has a scent that proved to be even more complex and nuanced than O&G to my nose. The menthol bomb is still there (not as over-the-top as Hedges) along with that nice eucalyptus. I suppose there could also be some camphor, but I'm not confident that my palate was advanced enough to discern it. Along with medicated scent, I pick up some actual fresh mint scent as well, definitely some peppermint with a possible hint of spearmint as well. And, as with O&G, the citrus note is back! However, this time around it strikes me as the distinct, dark, bitter bergamot balanced out with plenty of sweetness. Quite a lot going on in this one! As with Highland Ice the medicated hit is strong upfront and slowly fades, this one even gave my nostrils a stinging little burn on contact. A very enjoyable mix of scents, balanced and complex.
So, there you have it. All quality snuffs, as I'd expected from McChrystal's, and with their own distinct characteristics. Next time I order snuff, I'll be sure to include some Sturco, Jip, and Glacier, for comprehensiveness' sake, but it may be some time as I'm pretty well stocked up at the moment (unless some one wants to mail me some :)) ). Also, a digression, but I wish the other snuff manufacturers would offer 3.5 gram tins. I snuff for a hobby as opposed to a habit and those are the only ones I ever finish. Hate to throw out good snuff past it's time!