- Created: 22 March 2015
On my quest for the Best, Big, Cheap Custard I made a stop at Steam Juice. One of the juices I ordered from them was Golden Road, which they describe as "a combination of several different flavors with a touch of RY4, vanillas, caramels and other dessert notes". Yeah I'm in. RY4 was one of the flavors you usually couldn't go wrong with back in the old days when there wasn't as much great premium juice around as there is today. Everybody had one. There is even an active ECF thread devoted to RY4 that is up to 569 pages.
For me the all time best RY4 ever was Backwoods Brew RY4, which I reviewed in November 2010 and was only the second It's Alive! Award winner. That juice was inconsistent and varied from bottle to bottle, but when it was on, to this day it's one of the best things I ever vaped. It's a shame Don discontinued it.
For me RY4 means a tobacco base with caramel and vanilla in the background. I don't even know if Ruyan #4 is still available, but it spawned countless variations over the years. In this day of strawberry custards many of you may not have ever vaped an RY4, but it used to be a thing as The Creature and Little Igor would say.
Let's head to The Lab and tank up some of this modern day RY4 and see how it compares to the great RY4s of vaping yore.
I'll be vaping this 3mg 70% VG juice at 23w in a Kanger Subtank Mini at 0.54 ohms on my Hcigar HB DNA 40. Regarding Kanger Subtank Minis: this is a great tank. I know some of you curl your lip and sneer that this is just a clearo with a token rba section. Yeah it is a clearo, but it's the clearo that drug me out of the Stone Age of vaping and got me off Joye 306s and into modern gear. Here's what I love about the Subtank Mini. The Kayfun style build section is extremely easy to throw a build on, with the added bonus that you do not have to empty the tank to access it. Similarly, filling them is easy and does not require any tools. This is a tank that anyone can put on their device and get a great vape from. It isn't rocket science with a Subtank, and for that alone, it's a watershed device that brings a very good quality of vape to a very large number of vapers. It is not the definitive subohm experience, but it does make subohm accessible to all vapers, and we should applaud Kanger for that.
These tanks do have a limitation though. For me the ST Mini provides an excellent vape at 23w with a half ohm build. Most of the time I can happily vape away the day like that, but if you're looking for even more heat and more #cloudsbro, this isn't the tank. At 25w and above the tiny juice inlets of the Subtank can't keep up, and you end up with dry hits. For me, it's perfect at 23w and I never get a dry hit unless the juice is super thick, but it is a limitation you should be aware of if you're an intermediate to advanced user and are considering one of these. Great product at a great price and will bring subohm to a lot of vapers, but many of us will be adding Goblins, Goliaths and Lemo 2s to our collections if we want to surpass the wicking limitation the ST Mini has.
tl;dr if that was too much for you you're on the wrong site. This is a blog and I'm not a YouTube reviewer ;)
The nose of this juice is butterscotch-y. mmm I love butterscotch.
The flavor on inhale is predominantly caramel. Steam Juice doesn't offer a flavor boost, and when I emailed them about it they replied that they adjust the flavor of high VG blends to compensate. So far all of the juices I've got from them have been flavorful, but this one is more subtle and it almost feels like it could have used a flavor shot, but read on because that may change. I don't really get any tobacco out of this so it isn't quite striking me as an RY4 variation. Just a caramel forward sweet concoction so far.
The flavor on exhale opens up and becomes more complex. I get butterscotch and I could swear there is a custard going on in there but it might just be vanilla making me perceive custard. I still don't get a sense of tobacco base. The flavors are subtle, it's definitely a more muted vape. Core satisfaction is good and the vapor is consistent with a 70% VG blend.
Overall I'm somewhat disappointed as the description gave me high hopes for this one. Good flavors, but I'm just not getting enough of them and it's a little flat compared to the juicy, saturated custards I've been vaping lately.
This is where I normally wrap up and give my overall opinion, but this review is about to take a turn for the awesome.
The way I originally vaped this juice was a completely different experience, and it shows why with modern equipment we reviewers need to sample juice with different hardware and at different power levels. So now I am going to bump this one up to 40w on my Troll rda with a single coil 0.53 build.
The flavor on inhale is now a brighter, denser combination of caramel, butterscotch and vanilla.
The flavor on exhale is where it really pops though. There is a powerful, juicy butterscotch finish to this. It's big. I get all the flavors I got from the tank, caramel, vanilla, custard, butterscotch, still no sense of tobacco, but everything is big and bold. It's like a butterscotch sundae in my mouth. The flavors pop on this juice like nothing I've ever vaped before, and it's an entirely different experience than I got at 23w in the ST Mini. Core satisfaction is excellent, and obviously I am fogging the room with this setup.
This is a very good vape. I'm not really getting the whole RY4 thing out of it, but it is a nice diversion from my normal custard vapes. If I had only ever vaped this in a tank my impressions of it would be lukewarm, but it really shines when you put some heat to it. Best in rdas or tanks that can handle more watts.
This one doesn't make It's Alive! territory for me, but it's a very good, above average vape. It definitely opened my eyes to just how much difference it can make to a juice how much power you apply to it, and in the future when I encounter juices that are starkly different in an rda vs a tank you'll hear about it in the review. Like the other Steam Juice juices I've vaped, this one has good quality of flavor, burns cleanly, is satisfying, and of course their prices are great. They are increasingly becoming my go-to vendor and most days I am vaping one of theirs. Good stuff and recommended.