- Created: 22 November 2011
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.
The nose of this juice is slighly smoky, and there is something really, really familiar here. Is that a minute amount of capsaicin there? I smell this and my brain shouts "Wyatt Earp Light".
The flavor on inhale is....ok, this juice makes a great first impression. It totally nails the throat hit and core satisfaction benchmarks. The flavor is almost but not quite smoky. There is a powdery element. The flavor isn't as noticeable on inhale, because it hits those great performance marks and it totally takes your attention away from the other sensory cues. Throat hit, like I said, way above average.
The flavor on exhale is where things slow down and we can be more analytical. My initial impression looking at this juice and hitting it a couple times real quick, was that this contained a light tobacco extract mixed with flavorings. The more I vape it the less sure I am. If I absolutely had to put money on it one way or the other, I would wager no natural tobacco here. If that is the case, they've done a really nice job with flavorings. There is a little sweetness here and a little of that capsaicin (chili pepper) impression. I don't taste any tobacco here. I will stand by my initial reaction and compare this to Wyatt Earp Light, maybe Wyatt Earp Ultra Light is more accurate. However, the combinations are handled much more deftly here, and there isn't anything in this bottle that turns me off. Vapor production is average for a PG blend.
This isn't going to join my rotation, but it is an impressive juice nonetheless. Kick Bass has come up with a tobacco vape in Crossfire Trail that is very satisfying and has excellent performance characteristics. If I'm right and there is no tobacco extract in this, this juice stands with the very best artificially flavored tobacco vapes. There is absolutely no mystery nut here, which is good for extra credit.
I am judging this as a vape, not as a tobacco. As a tobacco my view would be much more critical, but it pretty much fires on all cylinders as a satisfying all day vape. If you like tobacco vapes that aren't syrup-y sweet and that make you feel like you're vaping something, then Crossfire Trail is one that deserves a recommendation. Welcome to the club Kick Bass, this juice is alive!