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Sir Walter Scott back in stock

Wilson's Nicotine Scale

Is it just me or is the nicotine scale on Wilson's website a bit hit or miss?

I find some of their high nicotine rated snuffs very easy to take loads of (Brunswick Black rappee for example, or Super M)...the nicotine definitely registers, but it's not overpowering.

If I take a good sniff of Grand Cairo however, especially if I've had a wee tipple, it makes me need to sit down for a minute or two. Presumably I should get the same effect from Brunswick but it just doesn't hit me the same way, is it something to do with moisture or grind perhaps, although if the nicotine is there then you would expect it to catch up with you regardless no?

Would be curious to know other's thoughts! I've only been snuffing for a few months so I'm still really just wetting my beak!


  • Grand Cairo may be the strongest snuff I've had, but several others on this forum say it does nothing for them.  Does that point to differences between people, or difference between batches?
    I agree with you that the scale is... unreliable, but I'm not sure why.
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited April 2021 PM
    I would say, their scale is accurate enough, but it's slightly off when it comes to their coarse rappees and toasts.

    Grand Cairo and Gold Label are among strongest WoS snuffs, as are Santo Domingo, Singleton's Super Cool and Old Paris, but WoS nicotine ceiling isn't very high. On a 1-10 nic scale WoS fivers would hit 7.5-8.
  • @SHbickel - same here, I love Grand Cairo but a tin lasts me a good while, it hits me more than Toque quit (for example), I've had 3 tins of it now and it's been fairly consistent!

    @volunge I've not tried Gold Label yet, but Old Paris is one of my favourites and I love Santo Domingo too. They don't seem to give me that same "wobble" as Grand Cairo does though which - for me - is comparable to the last couple of puffs of a strong cigar...I need to take a minute!!

    Tobacco is such an interesting plant! Can't think of anything else that has such inconsistent effects between people (except maybe chillies?)
  • HuysmansHuysmans Member
    edited April 2021 PM
    I have similar experiences. Irish 22 is related as 5 but I don't find the nicotine particularly strong. Because of its fineness I expected more nicotine from the 22. Grand Cairo on the other hand I find stronger than Gold Label. Brunswick is too coarse for me to take a lot of so it doesn't register as highly.
  • @Huysmans How could I have forgotten about Irish 22?? It's a great snuff, as is Dr Rumney's Brown - both rated 5 in terms of nicotine, and I can shovel them into my nose by the fistful!
  • @RobEdgar I just had a few pinches from an oldish tin of Brunswick that I am getting to the bottom of which has got fairly dry. I got a much bigger nicotine hit from it than when it was moist. I'm liking it better. Not as clogging in the nose and far more potent.
  • @Huysmans Ah, very interesting! Could it just be that the drier it is, the bigger surface area, the more you get per sniff? I've got a Santo Domingo and a Brunswick which I've not opened yet, I might let them dry out a bit and see what happens!
  • @RobEdgar Personally I prefer drier finer Snuffs to coarser moist ones which might have something to do with it. I can certainly get a bigger pinch up the nostrils when it's dried out. Try it with a small portion first maybe.
  • GormurGormur Member
    I don't find WoS snuffs all too strong.  Dr. Rumney's Brown and their toast aren't impressive in nicotine but they have good nicotine and other nice qualities.  For me Samuel Gawith Irish D is much better and has better nicotine.  Grand Cairo is also pretty good but in terms of nicotine it isn't anything remarkable.  That's not why I like it though
  • i find the dark fermented snuffs have a very 'heavy' effect on, perhaps something in the process changes the proportions of the other alkaloids, or the toxic load is heavier on the liver.  These days I stick to WoS non-dark snuffs exclusively, especially Gold Label, they feel 'cleaner' somehow.
  • @expers I agree with your comments. I find a dark snuff has the same kind of effect on me as a full bodied red wine. The "light" Wilson's absorb much better. I can take Grand Cairo for example all day without feeling overloaded.
  • @Huysmans Yeah the red wine comparison is a good one.  I ended up just tossing some Best Dark and a few Bernards because I didn't like how they made me feel, more of a sedative effect and headache, whereas I've been using Grand Cairo exclusively the past 6 months and to continue with the analogy it feels more like taking a shot of vodka, more stimulating and clear-headed.
  • @expers I am wondering if there is something similar in dark snuff to the tannins found in red wine which are usually the cause of a hangover.

    Same with me about Grand Cairo, I am enjoying working my way through a drum of it at the moment and it's satisfying in every department.
  • volungevolunge Member
    edited June 2021 PM
    I am really not sure how modern rappees (which Best Dark is) are made, but some snuffs (including some rappees) of bygone days were dyed using the combination of natural dyes (like logwood) / tannins and mordants, which contained sulphur compounds. However, this method was probably applied only when snuff was made from inferior tobaccos.

    I think that "snuff hangover" might be caused by the hazardous constituents of dark fired tobacco (mainly PAHs) and (perhaps) to some extent by the byproducts of fermentation (which might increase TSNAs content). Just a thought.

    I'm not a fan of Bernard and WoS dark snuffs. Much prefer SG offerings to them, for I find them much easier to take and more satisfying in nicotine department. Black Magic (Silky Dark/old Viking Dark) is my snuff of choice, when it comes to the dark side.

  • Yeah I haven't found that information either, only something related to shisha which may or may not be relevant. If relevant then it could be the fact it's unwashed resulting in higher nicotine content but also pesticide residue and other contaminants.


    Why shisha is washed?

    Washing shisha is all about treating finely graded tobacco leaf to get rid of the excess nicotine and harsh tobacco taste.

    Doing so removes the coughing feeling due to the tobacco juices making contact with hot coals.

    You can repeat the washing process based on whatever amount of nicotine you require. When you are satisfied with the washing of your tobacco, just go and drain it out any method that you like.

    Mostly, the washing process involves as simple as boiling or soaking in cold water. When the process is over, the soaked graded leaf is collected together and rinsed firmly to separate moisture.

    While doing so, you can apparently see dirty brownish water that came out of the leaf.  That’s, in fact, the excess of nicotine, tar, and another unpleasant crud that you usually smoke out at the cigarette tobacco.

    This makes the shisha much healthier, cleaner, and pleasurable smoking shisha tobacco. Now this washed leaf will easily let your flavors seep in and deliver great taste.

    If you haven’t harvested the tobacco leaves by yourself, it’s recommended to give it a quick wash. This will remove harmful pesticide remains from the surface.

    Even if you’re dealing with the organic one, leaves are still contaminated with bird and insect feces and other dirt.

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