- Created: 11 May 2011
House of Vapor is one of those vendors that seems to have been around since the beginning. I had never really had a reason to keep an eye on them, because it looked like they only offered Chinese and Johnson Creek juice, neither of which interest me much.
So a little while ago they rolled out their Gold Label juice line. I thought this meant they were producing their own USA made juice initially, and they had a cigar flavor, which always interests me.
Well, it turns out that the Gold Label juice is still Chinese, but that didn't affect the very positive impression HoVana made. I put my prejudices aside and have vaped this for a couple of weeks now. In all fairness, some of the Chinese juice is good. TW Red Label, while ridiculously priced at $1/ml still has a couple flavors I am fond of. Most of the Dekang makes me feel ill when I vape it, but there are a couple other Chinese juice makers who make good juice. The interesting thing about the Chinese is that all their flavors are made using the services of a flavoring chemist, so you won't be getting any of the familiar DIY flavors we're all so used to vendors selling us over here in the States. That's a pet peeve of mine. If I wanted DIY I would make my own. I expect more from a vendor. Anyway, sometimes the Chinese stuff tastes odd, but sometimes they really nail a flavor.
Gold label juice comes in a black 10ml bottle, wrapped in gold foil ala a Hershey's kiss. It's a nice touch, and it lets you know that the bottle you're holding is supposed to be premium. It should be at $8.99/10ml, which is still too steep for Chinese juice, no matter how good.
Let's get to it. I will be vaping today's clear 18mg 100% PG specimen at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a 1.7 ohm SLB atty.
The nose of this juice has a strange chemical body to it. It doesn't smell much if anything like cigar, and there is an weird floral element. Strange, and I buckle down for disappointment, which is not so uncommon when doing juice reviews.
The flavor on inhale sort of reminds me of Halo Bella Valente, but not. It's the only thing I can compare it to. That molecule that is responsible for your brain thinking "cigar" is here, but without the smooth sweetness that Bella has. It is also much more intense here. Not as solvent-like as Torque 56, this does have a similar, rough body that lets you know you are vaping something that is going to more than satisfy your need to get that nicotine fix. I can't do much better than that. This suggests cigar, but the flavor is closer to the performance in this one than any vape I can think of. The flavor here is a component of the performance. It really is unique. Fortunately the weird chemical body of the aroma is completely absent in the flavor.
I have never dedicated a separate paragraph to throat hit before. Throat hit is always the last sentence of my inhale flavor impressions. The throat hit of this juice is spectacular. Even after vaping it for a couple weeks, this morning when I sat down to review the first pull of this juice made me cough. In fact, HoVana is the only juice I've ever vaped that has made me cough, and it does it consistently the first drag just about every time I vape it. That is at 18mg. I can only imagine it at 24mg. This is the juice you want to reach for on those days when none of your juices are scratching that itch, when none of them are giving you the impact you need. Best. Throat. Hit. Ever.
The flavor on exhale is very suggestive of tobacco. There is a dry, rough quality that is similar to the sensation you get in your mouth when exhaling tobacco. Cigar? Maybe, just a little. There is also a little wet burlap sack in there too. Frankly the flavor is fine for this vape. You're so wrecked from the intense inhale experience that you won't be paying much attention to the flavor anyway at first. Vapor production is pretty good for an all-PG juice. Really not too far off what a 70/30 blend would produce.
Anyone who complains about vaping not scratching the itch needs a bottle of this. Everyone who has bad vaping days where no juice satisfies should have a bottle of this. This is not the tastiest or deepest juice. I wouldn't call it artisanal by any stretch. HoVana represents performance that is seriously tobacco-like. If you like throat hit and nicotine sizzle, HoVana is your huckleberry. This is not a juice I will vape very often, but it's a juice I never, ever want to run out of. Unique and satisfying, this juice goes where others have tried to go and failed. It's the performance superstar of the vaping world, if things like nicotine and tobacco-like satisfaction mean anything to you. A weird aroma and slightly off flavor can be forgiven, considering how this juice performs. If I could make this kind of performance I would in a heartbeat. So would a lot of other vendors. Well I don't and they can't and HoVana does. An imperfect juice worthy of a solid "A", and addition to the It's Alive! list.