The target for today's cigar vape is an interesting one. Toscano cigars are a dry cured, hand rolled Italian OTC cigar. By OTC I mean they are an inexpensive cigar that fills a similar niche over there that Black and Milds and White Owls fill here in the States. Toscanos are a love it or hate it cigar, but they do have a fervent fan base, including celebrity Clint Eastwood. They have a reputation for strong flavor, or harshness, depending on who you ask. Sounds like good extract material to me.
I'm always up for a good cigar vape. Problem is, there are only a couple good cigar vapes in all of vaping. It's tough to capture all that robust body and flavor when you aren't striking a match, and most attempts are either incomplete recreations or laughable failures.
Well, if I have confidence in anyone to make me a cigar vape I can't do much better than Todd at Vaperite. Todd is one of vaping's pioneers in the area of natural tobacco extracts, and if vaping ever gets big enough to warrant more than a page or two on Wikipedia, Todd will be memorialized as such.
I will be vaping today's 16mg 50/50 blend at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.7 ohm SLB atty. A note on natural tobacco extract eliquid: natural tobacco extracts are very high in suspended solids. Because of this they are hell on atomizers. You can help mitigate this problem by using a product like want2vape Atty Refresher or Vape the Rockies Purge Atty Cleanser. I use both, and I also have a habit of choosing a thin, clean burning eliquid and alternating when I vape natural tobaccos. They're hard on attys, and until we figure out a workaround for that, it's the price you pay for vaping genuine tobacco.
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I smoke quite a lot of Perique, so it's a subject near and dear to my heart. Real Perique is only grown in St. James parish Louisiana. There isn't a whole lot of it. A lot of Kentucky Burley is processed as Perique and passed off as Perique, but there is a difference.
The Indians taught us how to make Perique. In a nutshell, it's Burley that has been pressed and allowed to ferment in its own juices. It has a high nicotine content, and it adds either a fermented fruit tang to the tobacco its blended with, or it can have a peppery taste. The peppery taste is more often than not from Perique that isn't the real thing, but the real thing can display that element too. The blends I smoke that contain Perique have a magical smell when you open the tin. Tangy, raisin-y, mouth watering; it smells like Christmas in a can. Perique adds a nice element to blends as long as you use a judicious hand with it.
Goodejuice just sent me a package of a bunch of their house tobacco blends. I thank them and will share my thoughts with you. The first to enter The Lab is their Natural Perique Tobacco, which they extract from the genuine article. I will be vaping this 18mg 50/50 blend at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a brand new SLB 1.7 ohm 510 atty.
Virginia tobacco has the highest sugar content of any tobacco. Because of this it ages marvelously, continuing to improve under proper storage conditions for four, maybe five decades. Like wine.
Virginia tobacco has an amazing natural sweetness due to all that sugar. There is nothing like it. I have been trying for months to make an extract that captures that magic, and so far I have been striking out, bad. I am tempted to do some gas chromatography on some Virginia tobacco smoke to see what's going on in there on the molecular level. I still hold hope for doing an extract without having to resort to sorcery though, so for the time being I will keep making test samples and see if a source tobacco can be found that translates into a vape with at least some of that magic intact.
Todd at Vaperite has one of the original Virginia flue cured vapes in Vaperite Flue Cured Virginia Tobacco. Not all of Todd's tobaccos are natural extracts though, and I think this one is achieved via flavorings. If I'm wrong he can let me know and I will change this review.
Let's get today's Test Subject into The Lab, where I will be vaping this 16mg 70PG/30VG blend at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.5 ohm Joye 306 atty.
I hit a wall pretty fast with most artificially flavored tobacco vapes, no matter how much I like them initially. At first I was in love with Prime Vaping's Love From Above, but by the time I got around to doing the review, the infatuation had disappeared.
I know they were disappointed in me for that, because I had told them enthusiastically how much I liked it when I first got it. Hell, I ordered 60ml of it. That's the first and only time I ever did that. The review is the review. It reflected my honest opinions on the juice. I hope they read past their disappointment and realized that regardless what my thoughts on that one juice were, I am enthusiastic about Prime Vaping. I think they're one of the better eliquid creators out there.
So today's Test Subject is Prime Vaping The 8th Wonder. This is actually the same base as their Love From Above with the addition of malted chocolate. I have had this forever and just forgot about it. I was clearing out some stuff in The Juice Cellar and found it yesterday, and it's long overdue to knock out a review on this vintage tobacco vape.
I will be vaping this 18mg 70PG/30VG blend at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a brand spanking new Joye 306 1.5 ohm atty.
I've been meaning to review this juice for a long time. Just hadn't got around to it, compounded with the fact that the vendor who makes it is open only sporadically. I'm sure they have a schedule, but 90% of the time I've been to their site, the store's been closed.
That vendor is Kick Bass Vapor. They're no longer the new kid on the block, and they have built a solid reputation for excellent non-tobacco vapes.
I'm a tough sell when it comes to tobacco vapes. It's not because I make my own. Frankly, I don't vape my own too often. It's like being a good cook but preferring to eat out. Besides, I have impossible criteria for what constitutes an all day vape, and only about half a dozen eliquids have ever made that cut and stayed there. What I am really looking for in a tobacco vape is not what I try to capture when I make a tobacco vape. When I set out to create a new extract with Donley, I am thinking of nothing but capturing the essence of the target tobacco, and recreating that experience as best as we are able within the limitations of our medium.
But my criteria for the tobacco juice that I vape day in and day out is different. First and foremost I want something that scratches the itch. That means I need throat hit, and I also need that nebulous quality that we'll call "core satisfaction", which is the feeling you get in your upper chest that flips the satisfaction switch in your brain. Second, and almost as important, I want juice that is clean burning. The atomizer is the weakest link in our chain, and for the juice I vape day in and day out I don't want it to contribute to its premature demise.
Today's test subject is a tobacco vape from a popular vendor, Kick Bass Vapor Crossfire Trail. They describe it as "A Bold Robust Tobacco. Smokey and Dark." I will be vaping this 24mg 70PG/30VG juice at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a Joye 1.5 ohm atty.
It's been nine months since the original article, so I thought I'd update with some observations.
Most of that article still holds true. Cisco attys are still tough to beat, but they bring a premium price that may not justify the pluses. Joye attys are still the best all around atty in terms of longevity, price and performance.
There has been a change in SLB attys in the last six months though. I have been told by one insider that they were redesigned, which backs up my more recent experience with them. I have grown to really dislike SLB LR attys. They clog faster than any other atty. They feel restricted from the start. You can't even dry burn them, they just won't get hot no matter what you do. Previously I thought that the low price and the performance of SLB LR attys made them a firm alternative to Ciscos, but I do not feel that way anymore.
For my personal use I have really taken to Joye 306 LR attys. These give me everything I'm looking for in an atty. It takes a really long time to kill one of these babies, they perform great and they're cheap.
I'll touch on a couple newer areas really quick:
There are only two things I can think of that will placate a cigarette smoker who is trying to give up cigarettes. Vaping and snus. Not everyone wants to use snus, and vaping has its own set of drawbacks despite the fact that it satisfies the hand to mouth fixation that cigarette smokers suffer. Atty design is an Achilles Heel, and for whatever reason vaping doesn't seem to have the short term fulfillment that smoking did. I can easily vape nonstop all day long, constantly chasing that fix that made me smoke. I have never been able to vape a little and then go for a period without vaping anything. I always have my device in hand.
Vaping works for me. I was motivated by wanting to stick around for Little Igor, so I was and am willing to put up with the areas where vaping leaves something to be desired. Even so, I am constantly seeking juice that scratches that old itch, and I know that I am not alone in that. That's why you're here. Vapenstein has over 200 juice reviews, and almost all of them are tobacco vapes.
Today's test subject is Vapure Full Flavored. Let's get this 24mg 100%VG juice into The Lab and see if it's got what it takes to make tobacco vapers satisfied. I will be vaping at 3.7v with a brand new 1.7 ohm SLB 510 on my Silver Bullet.
Russ (@burnt_wick) hosted a show on Vapers Place last night that turned controversial early in the episode. The heart of the matter is this VapeTV document, linked by Russ on Twitter. According to VapeTV this document has been rewritten and is not current, which doesn't really affect the article I am writing today.
I will say that the conversation between Russ and Lu degenerated into name calling on Lu's part in response to Russ' pot stirring. I don't know what the relationship is between these guys and I don't care. Lu provides a good vaping resource with VapeTV, and Russ has a good show on Vapers Place, and prior to that had arguably the best show that VapeTV offered at the time. I'm not here to pick sides or pile on, so for the rest of this I am going to stick to the meat and potatoes of the real issue.
Everyone who makes quality content for the web deserves to profit from it. I'll talk about me for a minute, but the points I make apply to anyone making content for the web. I do Vapenstein because I wanted to create a quality vaping resource. That was, is and always will be my primary motivation.
Vermillion River showed me that they aren't just a one trick pony. The juice has good burning properties, the flavors are very good, and they satisfy. I started out with the Maplewood. Loved it initially, then kind of hit a wall with it and figured it was one of those juices that made a good first impression but wore out its welcome quick. I got back to it about 10 days after I thought I was tired of it, and I liked it all over again and vaped the bottle dry.
So I went back for another order and snagged a couple more of their Kentucky series. Up for evaluation today is Vermillion River Kentucky Vanilla Blend, their signature tobacco base with vanilla. Vanilla is a great addition to tobacco because it adds a sweet note without obliterating the tobacco. It's Alive! Award and 2010 Vapey winner Halo Bella Valente is my favorite vanilla vape, and the closest thing I've ever had to an all day vape. It is very, very temperamental however, and my enjoyment of it depends on my body chemistry that day, what I've had to eat, and how much of it I've vaped. If that wasn't the case, it's very likely I would vape nothing but Bella.
I will be vaping today's 20mg test subject on my Silver Bullet at 3.7v with a 1.5 ohm Joye 306 atty. Vermillion River doesn't list PG/VG ratios specifically, but I would guess this one is 70/30-65/35.
I like my tobacco unadorned. The tobacco that I smoke in my pipes has no added flavorings, at least no overt added flavorings since all tobacco has been treated to some extent or other. I just don't want any apple or maple fogging up what I came there for in the first place, which is the tobacco.
E liquid is another matter. If you think this stuff tastes just like tobacco then it's been a really long time since you've smoked any. Since none of our juice really tastes like the real thing, or at the least does not capture what smoking tobacco is like, some added flavoring helps make it more enjoyable. I love the Vapor Station tobaccos, and every single one of them has a strong nut presence. There's even some nut buried in Torque 56, which no one describes as mystery nut with throat hit.
Todd at Vaperite was one of my biggest inspirations in wanting to make my own juice. His natural tobacco extracts were a light in the darkness when no one else was trying to make a quality tobacco vape. They tend to be a little mild in body, but that probably appeals to more people, and there is no doubting the quality of flavor he captures from the leaf. I'm a fan, it's no secret.
Today I will be vaping one of his classics, Vaperite Rou's Hazelnut Tobacco. I will be vaping this 16mg 50PG/50VG juice at 3.7v with a 1.5 ohm Joye 306 atty.
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