It's no secret that I like Halo's approach. Instead of using off the shelf flavorings like most vendors, they appear to take the Chinese path and employ a flavoring chemist. Unlike the Chinese juices which more often than not produce flavors that make you scratch your head and wonder just what the hell you're vaping, Halo juices are almost always great.
They're not for everyone. There is a certain chemical quality to some of their juice. I've said over and over that Torque 56 and some of their other juice has a solvent-like taste to it. Believe me, I mean that in a good way though. I am not interested in vaping nail polish remover.
What Halo does and does better than anyone else is make juice that satisfies and performs. I have my own juice. Some would think that I would extoll my juice's virtues and demean all others, right? No. Vapenstein is separate from Vapenstein Blend. My job here is to provide neutral, thoughtful reviews on all juice, which is what I do every week. Halo gets vaped more at Castle Vapenstein than Vapenstein Blend does, but don't tell anyone that. Kind of like preferring restaurants to your own cooking I guess. The fact of the matter is that Halo is very good at making juice with world class throat hit, nicotine satisfaction and clean burning performance. That clean burning performance is a big deal for me. I burn through an atty a week anyway, so I really appreciate juice that doesn't speed that up.
Today I am reviewing a juice I got really excited about when they announced it, Halo Captain Jack. Initially this was marketed as their take on pipe tobacco. You guys know I'm a pipe smoker, so how could I resist that? They kind of backed off on the pipe tobacco comparison, but this is a Halo take on a robust tobacco vape. #win.
Off to The Lab where I will vape this 18mg 80PG/20VG blend at 3.7v on my Silver Bullet with a brand new 1.7 ohm SLB atty.
The nose of this juice is almost smoky, without the sweetness that accompanies most Halo juice. There is a slight chemical twang to it, which I also get from Freedom, Tribeca, Prime 15, Bella Valente and Torque 56. The genetic similarity is evident from the start.
The flavor on inhale is very, hmmm, aromatic. I get ginger from this, but really toned down from Smooth 8 and other ginger vapes you've had. You could mistake it for something else it's so subtle. This is a tough one to describe. I would identify this as a Halo vape in a blind test. It's got their fingerprints all over it. You vape, try to figure out that initial flavor presentation, and are left a little lost other than to say that it's a fragrant potpourri of spice and flower. Perfume-y is not adequate. It's almost incense-like, the way you smell a jasmine or wisteria charcoal based incense, that is similar to the buttons this pushes in your mind. Interesting and mysterious flavor transitions into world class throat hit, as you expect from Halo. This is satisfying juice, along the lines of Torque 56.
The flavor on exhale is that cigarette-like magic that Torque 56 has too. Nothing about these Halo juices makes me think I'm vaping tobacco, yet almost every one of them nails some tobacco performance element better than any other juice in all of vaping. Here, it's a convincing exhale. Stop thinking about the flavor for a minute, just vape, and this juice, like Torque 56, gets you as close to smoking as you're going to get in a vape. There is sweetness on exhale, and a flavor that is so familiar yet I just can't put my finger on it. Sweet and dry like there is almost a microscopic amount of chocolate or nut to this. This juice is very hard to decipher. The total package is more than just a few elements thrown together, so as far as blending flavors goes this succeeds wildly. It's a new flavor, not just a mash-up of disparate elements. Slightly floral, slightly spicy, slightly chemical, slightly sweet, but all performance. Vapor production is just slightly below average for a PG blend, but none of the Halo juices are fog machine fuel.
Once again Halo has made a juice I have to have around. This is similar to their other vapes, but different enough that it isn't Torque Lite or Torque with an added flavor and renamed. It bears the family resemblance but is unique. I really like it, and of all the new flavors it is my favorite. Halo has had a very good year in 2011, ushering in a group of new vapes that are as good as their initial offerings. Captain Jack won't be for everyone, but it sure is for me. Not many juices get into my permanent rotation. Halo had two, now it's three. Well done.