Nicoticket is a wildly popular eliquid maker just down the road from Castle Vapenstein.
In reviewing their signature custard vape, Custard's Last Stand, I was unimpressed and a little put off by the weird artificial sweetener note that permeated that vape. The thing that makes this especially curious is that this isn't some custard flavoring that you and I can go buy and make our own juice with. Nicoticket makes their own vanilla extract, and whatever else they make CLS out of, it doesn't taste like any custard made by the prominent flavoring makers.
Everyone offers a custard. I vape custard all day every day. I've vaped a lot of custards. So it's kind of odd when a high profile vendor gets a high profile vape so wrong. CLS has its fans, though I wonder how many custards they've had to compare it to.
Ok, we've established I don't like CLS. That factors into this review, because I already have a negative predisposition toward this custard base. I am one vaper, and my tastes are not necessarily representative of the community. There are my opinions. Do what I do with any reviewer, decide whether or not you agree with me, and then read between the lines of my reviews to find some value in my impressions of these vapes.
Absolut Creme Brulee is Nicoticket's custard base with caramel and tobacco absolute. Tobacco absolute is very tricky. Use it very, very sparingly (like the old made in India formulation of Vapor Station tobaccos) and it adds realism and depth to a tobacco vape. Use it with an injudicious hand and your juice tastes like licking an ashtray. Let's take this juice into The Lab and see whether Nicoticket will change my mind or have me muttering fallar tras fallar tras fallar.
Looking for the perfect custard led me to DIY when I wasn't finding what I was looking for in a commercial vape. There is a Grant's Vanilla Custard clone recipe on the web that by all accounts is right on the money. So that's where I started.
The recipe uses Capella's Vanilla Custard, and you have a choice between original or v2. The original is probably packed with extra tasty diacetyl, and the v2 reformulation is diacetyl free.
My personal stance on diketones in eliquid is not to worry. The worst case scenario of course is terminal, irreversible popcorn lung. Commercial cigarettes are far higher in diketone concentration than any eliquid, and to date I believe that the only confirmed diacetyl related cases of popcorn lung were contracted by workers in a microwave popcorn factory and one weirdo who was so addicted to microwave popcorn that he used to inhale the aroma right out of the bag regularly. Their exposure to diacetyl was much, much higher than would ever be possible from smoking tobacco or vaping eliquid.
It's good to know the risks, it's good to know what's in your juice, but in my opinion there really isn't anything to worry about vaping this stuff. We'll know for sure when a few years have gone by with people sub ohming these flavorings at a higher rate of ml/day, but as things stand right now I don't find any cause for concern. I totally endorse your right to vape or avoid flavorings with diketones, but at the present time I find no reason to advocate against their use. Know what you're vaping and make your own informed decision.
Today I am going to review the Grant's Vanilla Custard Clone recipe using Capella's Vanilla Custard v1, which is the "unsafe" version of the flavoring. Let's take this 3 month old juice into The Lab and see what comes to light. First, the recipe:
For over four years I only vaped tobacco and pseudo-tobacco vapes. I think part of that was that in the beginning I needed something familiar. I always loved tobacco in all its forms, and I think back then most of the juices with really good throat hit were tobacco vapes. Also, you have to remember that old 510 and 306 attys coils were very prone to gunk up quickly. At $5 a pop you wanted your attys to last, so Halo and Vapor Station with their high PG ratios and clean burning became the default vapes here at Castle Vapenstein and stayed that way. My own line of eliquid was the worst coil gunking juice ever made, if you appreciate irony.
For the three years that I was absent as a public vaping figure I vaped Halo Captain Jack and Torque 56 pretty much exclusively. Mrs. Dr. has vaped Vapor Station Tampa and nothing but since the beginning. She still does, although now a version that I cloned and make here in The Lab. When we put down our 306s and started checking out the changes in vaping that had occured during my three year absence, Mrs. Dr. stuck with mouth to lung at low wattage. I put 2 ohm builds in her Lemo Drop and she vapes around 10w. Even so, she is down to 6mg versus the 16mg she used to vape.
When I started sub ohming a drastic change in juice was necessary. 80% PG and 18mg was not going to work. I went to maxVG and down to 6mg, but even with 6mg I was getting nic sick. I'm a chain vaper and kind of absently hit my device all day. I went to 3mg, and I could still feel the nic, which bothered me a little because I'm a cigar smoker and am pretty much immune to nicotine. I've now acclimated to 3mg and can vape it without getting sick, but I usually make my juice between 2-3mg and usually closer to 2mg.
I am slowly finishing up my tour of custard vapes. Along the way I decided to DIY my perfect custard, as I just wasn't finding it among the commercial custard vapes, and I came up with two recipes that I think are far better than anything I've reviewed here on these pages. I will eventually get around to ordering a bottle of Daft Spunk, as many seem to hold it in very high regard, but my days of buying premade custards are pretty much done.
In retrospect I could have been more enthusiastic about three of the custards that I've reviewed. I have to revise my original opinion of ITCVapes Custard #3 and say that if I wasn't making my own I'd be buying from them regularly. The problem at the time of review was that I was primarily using Kanger Subtank Minis, and the thick ITCVapes VG just did not wick in those and made for a frustrating vape. The problem went away when I got my Lemo 2, and when I got my Cthulhu a couple weeks after the Lemo 2, vaping the ITCVapes custard was like vaping a whole different juice. Given that its price was the lowest of the bunch, it seemed like an even better vape factoring in the low price. ITCVapes Custard #3 is a pretty rich, flavorful custard vape for a premade juice regardless of cost, and it has my recommendation.
The same goes for Steam Juice Thick Vanilla Custard. This juice is just a shade light on flavoring, but that aside, I wouldn't be unhappy if my homemade custard came out like this one. In fact none of their juices have been big misses for me, and I recommend this vendor for cheap, high quality juice and great service.
Lastly, Charlie Noble Charlie's Custard costs a little more, but still qualifies as a good value. This one tastes like it has added graham cracker, and it's a nice smooth note on top of a decently rich custard.
So there you have it, those are my three recommendations after my Best, Big, Cheap Custard tour. I thought that maybe I shouldn't include this in a review for another juice, and then I thought screw it, my reviews aren't advertisements for juice makers and I can put whatever I want wherever I want. So apologies to Casey Jones and now on to their review.
When I went AWOL around the first of 2012 Nicoticket either didn't exist or was unknown to me. Upon my return to public vaping, they were everywhere. A very popular and often referred to vendor. You can't swing a dead cat on ECF without running into a Nicoticket banner. Small world, they're just up the road a bit from Castle Vapenstein.
So as I ran through the custards it was only a matter of time before I got some of their Custard's Last Stand in The Lab. Nicoticket describes this as a straight vanilla custard using their in-house vanilla extract. It's only available in 50/50, so this is the thinnest juice I've vaped in months. I get the whole 50/50 thing, lowest common denominator and all, usable by the biggest cross section of vapers etc etc, but in my opinion 50/50 is way too thin for how most core users vape. However, I also realize that most vapers are not core users, and so a 50/50 blend is going to work for the largest percentage of vapers. I normally make my own juice at anywhere between 73-80% VG.
I loaded up a tank of this in my Cthulhu this morning after a rewick, and it immediately began to seep out of my airholes, something no juice has done before and I am blaming the thin nature of 50/50 for that. So I vaped that tank dry and threw a dripper on so my fingers wouldn't be so sticky I couldn't write a review.
Let's head to The Lab and put Custard's Last Stand under the microscope.
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