I got in a new batch of Backwoods Brew juice exactly three weeks ago. I am an advocate of aging juice, but let me qualify that. 90% of juice needs no aging other than a few days for the ingredients to properly mingle after mixing. Some juices gradually improve a little with time, but a very few examples change dramatically. It is my experience that Backwoods tobacco juices change quite a lot, and the time it takes is approximately 2-3 weeks. So I opened this juice out of the mail, sampled it throughout the last week, and then I put it away until today. Don't trust a review of any Backwoods juice where the reviewer hasn't given the juice the time it needs.
The testing methodology here in The Lab is to let the juice have its best shot to impress. So I age the juices that need it. I also live with a juice for a week prior to entering The Lab. This allows me to give you the best possible evaluation I can. This lesson was learned mostly through Halo juices, which I initially hated and then both examples became It's Alive! Award winners. Embarrassing, and I am not one to repeat my mistakes.
So today's specimen is Hunter's Blend, a tobacco from Backwoods that utilizes a different extraction method than Don's regular tobacco base. He promises stronger, darker flavor and a bolder finish. Yes thank you, I will take half a dozen. You guys know how I feel about Don's juice. He took the Vapey for 2010 Best Vendor. That doesn't mean his juice gets a free ride though, so off to The Lab with this 18mg 70PG/30VG blend, which I will be vaping at 3.7v on my Bombshell.
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The reason I went to NicVape was for the 50% off nic liquid sale he had in December. By the way, the sale was so successful Rich ran out of product, so he has extended the sale through January. If you need some quality nic you might want to take advantage of the great half off deal and get some when he restocks here shortly.
My liquid showed up, and two of the nicer freebies I ever received from a vendor were in the box with my nic; a 510 atty and a 10ml bottle of e liquid labeled Jr Mints Daddy. So, loving freebies, I add Rich to the list of world's greatest vendors and pop open the juice to give it a little sample. You guys know I'm a tobacco guy. I never get too excited by non-tobacco vapes. Well let me tell you, I was so delighted with this juice that I went straight to Mrs. Doctor Vapenstein to confirm my impressions, and she agreed.
Today's specimen is a vape that promises chocolate mint bliss that pushes the nostalgia button in all of us. Who hasn't downed a box of these candies at the theater? I have reviewed a couple chocolate mint juices previously, and while I enjoyed both, I never really got around to vaping them after the review session was over. This juice might break that trend.
So let's get to the vaping of this 25mg PG blend and see how it measures in The Lab. I will be using my standby Bombshell at 3.7v for this evaluation.
Virginia tobacco is very common in cigarettes, and it is also used as a mixer in pipe tobacco blends. Flue curing exposes the hanging leaf to heat without the addition of smoke, and turns out a sweet cured leaf with medium-high nicotine concentration.
Flue Cured is one of those necessary if somewhat generic e liquids that every vendor makes a version of. Slightly sweet Virginia tobacco, sometimes with the addition of honey, is a lot of vapers' all day vape.
Today's test subject is Intellicig-USA's RIZe Flue Cured Tobacco. So far the RIZe juice analyzed in The Lab has been very analog-like, and with the exception of Cigar Aficionado all have been entered into the Analog Replacement Sweepstakes.
So without further hesitation let us enter The Lab, where I will be running this 24mg PG blend through some critical analysis on my 3.7v Bombshell.
How much nicotine should a new vaper start with? If I smoked lights is 12mg the right amount to start with? Will I vape more than I smoked? Will the nicotine strength be enough to keep me from smoking?
Unfortunately there are no guidelines for the above questions that will apply to everybody. When you smoked, the tar deposited in your lungs served to act as a time release nicotine delivery mechanism. With vaping, the nicotine absorption is much quicker, and mostly occurs in the mouth and throat. We all seem to metabolize nicotine slightly differently through vaping.
The venerable DK Tab, short for Dekang Turkish American Blend. How many vapers started their vaping journey at this particular point of embarkation?
I never liked this flavor. I always found it curious that so many of the analog-alike juices incorporated DK Tab's weird peanut note. I don't know if people were disassembling DK Tab to find out what made it tick, conducting gas chromatography on it to get the chemical breakdown of it, doing whatever to try to duplicate the throat hit and impact of it. It baffled me, and although some juices that had some that nutty weirdness infiltrated my daily vaping life, I never sought that characteristic.
So it was with some head shaking and disbelief that two days ago when I was trying out my new Bloog MaxXFusion I found after a while that I was really digging the Reds cartos that came with it. I knew I had something in The Juice Cellar that would be perfect for refilling those cartos, and I retrieved the neglected, unused bottle of BlueMist Vaping Dekang Tobacco Type I had collecting dust down there.
So before I vape this bottle dry I had better submit my formal evaluation for your perusal. I will be vaping this 24mg 80PG/20VG blend in a cartomizer on my MaxXFusion, which hits a little hotter and harder than a standard 510 atty at 3.7v.
Vapenstein is about vaping and vaping product. This isn't a platform for politics or personal agendas, but before I begin today's juice review I feel I would be remiss if I didn't address this issue regarding the vendor whose product I am about to review.
Long story short, some issues came up with Totally Wicked's Yo Yo Sale that left a bad taste in some of their customer's mouths. People would have a full cart waiting for a really good discount, only to have their cart empty on them once they went to seal the deal. This was an experience shared by many who took the time to comment on ECF. Also, Totally Wicked ended the sale a full 18 hours earlier than the time they had published for the sale's conclusion, so some people missed out on the deal altogether. Obviously, people weren't happy with the sale, and many ECF users contributed to the thread with similar experiences. Of course, this opened the gates for anyone with a beef against Totally Wicked to pile on, and there was some of that as well.
I contributed as politely as I could, because I had some issues with how they handled the sale and a curious customer service response to a query I sent them, but I was fortunate in that I did get two orders in at a price I was happy with. I observed the ensuing anti-TW mania, but didn't participate.
Fast forward to yesterday, when on Twitter I see Mr. Wicked (aka pillbox38) call a specific ECF member from that thread a "moron", label a group of ECF users as "libelous", and describe the rest of the ECF members as "annoying". This struck me as being a shocking display of bad public relations, and I replied with the following tweet:
I expressed some skepticism over Bloog's MaxXFusion KR8-based ecig in an ECF forum thread. The thread in question read like an affiliate ad, and I politely pointed out the humor in one of the lines from the original post considering the context.
Next thing I knew I had a PM from leaford, one of the people behind Bloog, in my inbox. He very politely stood up for his product and offered to send me an evaluation unit. I am always willing to review anything vaping related, so I thanked him and said I was looking forward to it. I am always impressed by people who keep their cool under fire. People in general are far too quick to forget their manners on the internet, and leaford's calm and persuasive manner of speaking won me over immediately, especially after I had indirectly cast aspersions on his product.
The Bloog MaxXFusion showed up at Castle Vapenstein yesterday. I am having a rough go of it vaping-wise this week, as The Creature infected me with the crud and my taste buds are out of commission and my throat is killing me. If nothing else, this taught me to have some menthol juice on hand for days like this. As a result, juice reviews are stacking up til I am back in the saddle, but I was so impressed with the MaxXFusion I thought I would take the opportunity and do my evaluation of it. I opened the box after it had been in from the cold for a while, screwed a carto on the battery and took a blast, and the result was far more satisfying than I was expecting.
So today we head to The Lab for the infrequent hardware review. Let's put this little KR8-based device through some critical observation and see how it stacks up on its own merits and against those of the venerable 510. Before we enter, I want to state that this is the first KR8 I've had my hands on. My entire vaping life has revolved around 510 hardware.
Dr. Vapenstein's palate is out of commision today. The Creature gave me the crud. My throat is killing me and my sense of taste is out to lunch. I am vaping PG-heavy juice in the hopes that, despite its drying effect, it will act as a germicidal agent and kill whatever microorganisms have taken up residence in my esophagus.
I thought I would take the opportunity and address some of the frequently asked questions I get. One of those is how to get the primer out of atomizers. This might seem like a no brainer, but if you've never done it before, you're going to get a mouth full of primer and it isn't going to be pleasant.
The amount of primer present depends on the brand of atomizer. I exclusively use Joye brand attys in The Lab, and they are loaded with a pretty heavy dose of primer on arrival.
Begin by wiping off the outside of the atty, including the threads, with a paper towel to remove the primer that got on the outside of your atty. Once you've removed the external excess, gently blow from the threaded, or battery, end of the atty, holding your paper towel at the opposite end to absorb the primer. When it stops coming out, fold the end of your paper towel over a couple of times and carefully insert into your atty, being careful not to ram into the bridge, or the part that looks like steel mesh. Turn the paper towel to wipe and remove the excess primer fluid from the inside of your atty.
Wipe the outside of the atty again to remove any primer fluid, and then screw it into your device. Give it two drops of juice, and vape without inhaling the vapor for 7-8 draws. Give it one more drop of juice and vape about 6 more draws without inhaling. You should be ready to use your new atomizer now. Give it one drop of fresh juice and enjoy!
Who doesn't remember their first peanut butter cup? Chocolate and peanut butter go together magnificently, and Reeses has become a brand name as closely identified with the product as Kleenex and Xerox are with theirs.
We still honor a decades-old holiday tradition in our family by making "Buckeyes" every Christmas, a homemade version of the esteemed sweet. A favorite since childhood, everyone fights over the buckeyes and they never seem to last long. Indeed, I spent more than one Christmas away from my family where a carepackage of buckeyes in the mail was one of the things that kept me from sinking into a holiday depression. That and the bourbon balls.
So, as usually happens when it's time to evaluate a non-tobacco flavor in The Lab, it is with some reluctance that I make my preparations prior to testing. I haven't yet met the non-tobacco flavor that compelled me to vape it outside of the confines of The Lab. Aside from a genuine love of tobacco, there is something deeply ingrained within my mind that associates the pleasure of nicotine usage with that most noble of leafs. Perhaps today is the day when a non-tobacco vape receives my highest endorsement. Maybe not. As they say, it's why we play the game.
So trepidations set aside, lets run a complete analysis of this juice and see what develops. I will be vaping this 24mg confection on my Bombshell at 3.7v.
I ordered some of the Chinese-made Totally Wicked Red Label juices when their Christmas sale began. I liked these so much that I placed a larger order to try out their Black Label juice, which is made for them in the UK by Decadent Vapours.
First off I want to get this out of the way, then I won't mention it in future Totally Wicked juice reviews. This stuff is overpriced. The market just won't bear $1/ml, and that's what they sell it for. The only way it makes sense to buy from Totally Wicked is when they're running a sale, which is not the greatest model for their customers. I thought Halo was on the pricey side, but Totally Wicked costs 50% more than Halo! Ultimately it boils down to whether or not you like the product enough to order at a given price. With Halo, I do. I feel that Halo juice is good enough to spend a few dollars more a bottle than most of my other vendors. ECOpure is expensive at $25/30ml, but I want it bad enough to happily pay that price. With Totally Wicked I just can't justify spending their list for the product offered. I do like it well enough to order it at Halo pricing levels, because TW offers some interesting tobacco flavors, but $30/bottle is just ridiculous.
What you do get for your $30 are some juices that are pretty unique and offer something outside the pedestrian for vaping tobacco lovers. This water-thin juice is available in some pretty compelling flavors. Also worth mentioning is that Totally Wicked's packaging puts everyone else's to shame. All TW juice comes in an attractive box that houses two boxes, one with a dropper, and one with the juice already capped with a Euro dropper. The boxes and the labeling are A+.
Let's open one of these beautifully packaged specimens in The Lab and see how it performs. Today's test subject is Totally Wicked Black Label Real Tabs, described as "a light analog tobacco flavour with well rounded woody and smokey notes". I will be vaping this runny 18mg PG blend on my Bombshell at 3.7v.
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