Halo is one of my favorite suppliers. I like Bella, Torque and Freedom, and Bella is the only juice I've ever considered an "all day vape". I vape Bella every day and have for months. Never get tired of it. A lot of It's Alive! Award winners lose their luster after the initial infatuation, but in the case of Bella Valente I just keep buying 30ml after 30ml. It's my go-to juice the same way that Vapor Station Tampa is Mrs. Doctor Vapenstein's go-to juice.
Halo has released a whole bunch of new flavors the last month. A couple have joined the permanent lineup, and today's test subject, Prime 15, is going to in another week or three. Here's what Halo has to say about Prime 15:
Halo is pleased to introduce Prime15, an exciting new tobacco flavored e-liquid. This flavor is the closest we have ever tasted to real tobacco cigarettes, and we are excited to see if our customers agree. The taste is somewhat earthy, and even offers hints of cocoa when used with certain electronic cigarettes. It offers a solid throat hit, similar to Tribeca, but with a bit less sweetness. This is a very smooth tobacco flavor that offers excellent vapor production.
I actually got excited when I read that description. Torque used to seem cigarette-like to me, then I got over my newbie status and realized that no vape was anything like smoking. Don't believe me? Fall off the wagon and take a drag off a cigarette, then go back to whatever juice you've convinced yourself is so like smoking. It isn't. We have to accept vaping as a smoking substitute, not a smoking replacement. Accepting vaping on its own terms, I find Torque sweet, slightly solvent-y. Satisfying? Yes, I like it quite a bit, I just don't lie to myself and think it's like smoking. It isn't. Plain and simple, vaping is not as satisfying as smoking. You choose to vape because you don't want to go down the road that inhaling tobacco into your lungs leads to. You have to try harder to find your sweet spot with vaping, and for their part the vendors need to try harder to provide e liquids that provide that performance satisfaction that we, as ex-smokers, crave. Halo is as good at doing this as anyone and I think their juice sets the benchmark for performance in our community. Crazy vapor? No. Satisfaction? Yes.
I have more thoughts on this subject, but this intro has already gotten long winded. Let's get this 18mg 80PG/20VG (that's my guess as Halo doesn't release their specs) juice into The Lab where I will be vaping it at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a brand spanking new SLB 1.7 ohm atty.
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When I ordered my Silver Bullet from AltSmoke I needed a small addition to my cart to qualify for free shipping. I didn't need any attys at the time, so I looked through the juice Rob sells to add a small bottle to the order. That was a little daunting, as he only offers Chinese juice and High Caliber. High Caliber isn't exactly known for their tobacco vapes, but I did see a couple flavors on AltSmoke that I hadn't seen before.
I should qualify this flavor selection. I have an adventurous palate. There isn't really anything I won't try, and I favor a lot of foods that people would shy away from. I LOVE kimchi, any kind of kimchi. Fish roe, pickled pig's feet, stinky French cheeses, chicharones, organ meats...they're all on the menu at Castle Vapenstein. There is however one food item I do not eat. One that the flavor and the texture and the whole package pretty much puts me off. It's the only food I avoid. It's banana. I just hate it. I hate it in desserts, I hate it by itself. I even avoid banana flavored candy and ice cream.
When I was looking over the High Caliber flavors at AltSmoke I kept coming back to Habana Banana. It was banana, but it was cigar too. I love cigar. Maybe the cigar would negate the banana for me. I thought about it a long time, then finally put it in my cart. It was only a 5ml bottle after all.
So I've had this bottle for a while now. I sampled it when it first arrived, but this is the first time I am doing any serious vaping of it. Let's take this in between amber and honey colored juice to The Lab, where I will vape this 18mg 50PG/50VG blend at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.7 ohm SLB atty.
More and more vendors are popping up with juice made using Flavor West, the flavorings produced by the people behind Vapor Renu. We all love to hate FlavourArt, so perhaps this is a reaction against offering more of the same, but Flavor West is the wrong direction in my opinion. Three vendors pop into my mind when the question of "who makes the worst juice?" pops up, and guess who one of them is? No vendors who use FA are on that list of infamy, and two of them make their own flavorings. Like love or hate FA, at least most of those flavors are true to their target, minus the tobaccos anyway.
This is part of a bigger problem. It's what I call "Commercial DIY". Many, many vendors sell juice that is made of flavorings you can buy and make at home, for much less money. This is not a slam against Bombay Vaping, who are the focus of this review, although they do use Flavor West for at least some of their juice.
The problem is that I feel it is the responsibility of every vendor to make and sell juice that offers their customers something more than just squirting some off the shelf flavorings into some base. That is lazy. It certainly isn't artisanal, or even creative. If you aren't going to make your own extracts or flavorings, go find some flavorings that no one else is using. Combine flavorings to create something new and unique. AT THE VERY LEAST. Vapers deserve better than to pay for DIY, much less DIY that doesn't show any creativity. There are many, many vendors, and there are many, many ways to skin a cat if you want to make juice. Don't be lazy. Show some creativity and make a product worthy of the people who are willing to send you their money for it.</rant>
Ok, I took a deep breath and now I am ready to evaluate this 18mg 70PG/30VG blend. I will be vaping it on my Silver Bullet at 3.7v and using a 1.7 ohm SLB atty.
You guys know I'm a tobacco vaper. I've voiced some contrary opinions from time to time on non-tobaccos. However, when I review a non-tobacco, I am not comparing it to tobacco vapes, or looking at it with a jaundiced eye because they aren't my preference. I am looking at how well it stacks up against its target, and how it stacks up as a satisfying vape and whether or not it meets my performance benchmarks. You'll just have to take my word that I give every juice that comes into The Lab a fair shake.
Today's test subject is Joogler Juice Monster. I do not drink energy drinks, so today I can't attest to whether or not this vape is true to the original or not, so I'll just make observations based on flavor and performance.
Before stepping away from the caffeine, I used to drink those little bottles of energy drink on occasion. I work a lot of 16 hour days at the day job, and you start racking those up and it wears you out. Those little bottles of energy drink get you going, but I never liked the payoff, which was a crash a while after you drank one. It's better to go au natural and just try to eat right and get enough sleep.
I will be vaping this 18mg 70PG/30VG blend at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.7 ohm SLB atty.
American cigarettes are a lot like American beer. Watered down, thin and lacking in personality compared to what our European cousins enjoy. For the 30+ years that I smoked the nails, I loved to infrequently pick up a pack of something good to smoke from a tobacconist. Gauloises, Players Navy Cut and Sobranie Black Russians were all on the menu.
Sobranie Black Russians aren't the stoutest cigarette at only 14mg. What they lacked in nicotine kick they made up for in quality tobacco. Many people have tried these just because they come in a cool black wrapper with a gold wrapped filter, but the cigarettes are good as well as fun to look at.
They offer several obscure to Americans European cigarette brand vapes, so of course I had to order this one when I stumbled across Croatia-based E Liquid Shop. My order took several months to arrive, probably due to an incorrectly filled out customs form. I finally got these, and this is the second I am reviewing.
I will be vaping this 100%PG 24mg juice at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.7 ohm SLB atty.
I am an avid pipe smoker. I love the lore, the tradition, the variety, the paraphernalia and most of all the tobacco. Smoking a pipe forces you to relax. You can't sit and puff on it. You nurse your pipe, smoking slowly and gently. Too much heat kills the flavor and the pipe, so you shoot for a long, cool smoke that showcases the best the tobacco and the pipe have to offer.
I love a good cigar too. The problem with cigar, from a pipe smoker's perspective, is that they tend to be kind of a one note affair. Even with a very good cigar, I find my attention drifts away sometime before the 45 minute smoke is complete. I smoke three pipe tobaccos that have cigar leaf mixed in, and that is my preference when we're talking about Cuban leaf. The joy of smoking a hand wrapped maduro is not lost on me, I'm just a pipe guy is all.
I do really enjoy cigar vapes. After 200 juices I vape only a handful by choice, but there is one juice that I vape every single day. It's a cigar vape. It won the 2010 Vapenstein Award for Best Cigar, and my enthusiasm for it has not diminished with the passing of time, even though it's not a natural tobacco extract and you'd think that's where my loyalties would lie. It isn't the world's greatest cigar vape, but I do think it's one of the world's greatest vapes.
So for our mutual pleasure today I will be evaluating DFWvapor's US Cigar. This 70PG/30VG juice has undergone a slight transformation since I ordered it over a month ago. It was water-clear, now it has a light hay shade to it. I will be vaping this 18mg blend at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.7 ohm SLB atty. To me 3.7v + LR is the best way to showcase what any juice has to offer. Many juices do not stand up to 5-6v and lose their flavor. I would be wary of any reviews where you know the reviewer vaped at high voltage only.
May 31, 2005. Mrs. Doctor Vapenstein and myself check into the hospital to have labor induced because Mrs. Doctor is full term. I also receive a promotion at my day job this day, but that's not even in my mind because I am about to become a father to a new son.
My child isn't here yet, but we already know his name, Valor James. James was my father's first name. I loved my dad very much and lost him when I was still too young to be without a father. My dad was my hero, and he taught me everything I know about what it means to be a man without ever saying a word on the subject.
At midnight they put the stuff inside Mrs. Doctor that is supposed to make her cervix dilate. I finally get to bed around 1am. I wake up to voices in the room around 7am. As I was trying to wake up I hear the doctor tell my wife that the stuff didn't work as well as they would like, and they were giving her a drug that would do the trick and we would be having a baby soon.
The doctor left. I'm a little freaked out because this stuff is a big deal. I tell Mrs. Doctor that I am going to take a quick shower, go get some Diet Coke, chain smoke about 7-8 cigarettes and get something to eat, because we might be in for a long day. She says absolutely, good idea because there won't be time later.
I go get some caffeine, chain smoke, and buy a box of doughnuts. I am coming back to the maternity ward at the hospital when I think I see my in-laws and my oldest son walking down the hall in front of me.
Loving Vape the Rockies but hesitant because of my one horrible previous experience with Bubble Gum juice, I cautiously enter The Lab today to evaluate Vape the Rockies BZooka Bubblegum.
I chew gum. It's kind of a ridiculous habit, and I'm sure the sight of someone chomping on chewing gum doesn't impress anyone. I've been a smoker for over 30 years, and when I'm places where I can't vape I just have to do something. I alternate between snus and gum. I guess I'm a little high strung. My personal favorite is Extra Key Lime Pie, if anyone's interested.
Bubble gum is a childhood favorite that brings fond memories to many adults. Little Igor loves gum. I guess it was kind of a big boy thing to him starting when he was four or so, and now I find his spent gum in all the places it shouldn't be despite many conversations on the subject. We frequent an ice cream shop that's been dishing up the same ice cream since we were kids, and Mrs. Doctor Vapenstein always orders Bubble Gum, without fail. It's the butterscotch malt for me. In fact, when I was a young adult the house rule when friends were over was that if someone mentioned said shop they were going on a communal run there for all the people present.
The last bubblegum juice I vaped tasted like hairspray, so I have my fingers crossed that I won't have to destroy a perfectly good atty after this. Let's get in there and dissect this 18mg 70PG/30VG blend. I will be vaping this juice at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.7 ohm SLB atty.
Apple Tobacco. It sounds obvious, doesn't it? Like that is just something every vendor should be making. It's the reason Ares got my attention in the first place. They made this when no one else was making one.
Jon at Prime Vaping sent me this sample when I was stocking up on either Love From Above or Boston Cream Pie. It's Prime Vaping's natural tobacco extract plus some apple. Sounds perfect.
Speaking of Love From Above, yes yes, I've been vaping it forever now and I still haven't reviewed it. I know. It's coming, I just didn't have time today to do it justice. Actually Jon also sent me 8th Wonder, which is their natural tobacco extract version of Love From Above, and I really need to spend some time with that one before I commit my thoughts about Love From Above to publishing. -Jon emailed to correct me on this. 8th Wonder is another artifically flavored tobacco vape, not a natural tobacco version of LFA.
Anyway, today we are concerned with Apple Tobacco, so let's head to The Lab with this 18mg 70PG/30VG juice. I will be vaping this brew at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.7 ohm SLB atty.
I will give LiquidXpress this; the idea for the Indulgence line is clever. I also feel that the possibilites exist here for some clever vapes. I don't know what any of these are, outside of being able to isolate an element here and there. It's part of the whole mystery of the line. It's a smart way to market fruit vapes that might otherwise have gotten lost in the shuffle. Cleverness should be recognized, and the very idea of this line is commendable. I initially disliked the idea that I wasn't being told what to expect, but I am changing my tune.
Indulgence juices are 85PG/15VG. High PG content is always a way to my heart, and whether I've liked these blends or not, they always offer a satisfying vape.
Reviewing juice you have no roadmap for is daunting. People who have spent their lives in the kitchen often fumble in blind tests. Add to that the fact that often times our flavorings are vague and generic, and that adds up to every time I sit down to review one of these I am opening myself up to ridicule for being way off base. Thanks Rob.
Let the embarassment commence. I will be vaping this 18mg 85PG/15VG juice at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.7 ohm SLB atty.
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