- Created: 23 November 2010
I have a funny story to relate regarding this particular juice. It is also a reminder that we must never violate the first tenet of juice evaluation: Every juice must be given the time it needs in The Juice Cellar to allow the flavors to marry and mature before serious scrutiny is applied to it. The fact of the matter is that for various reasons some juice will be ready to vape straight out of the mail, and some juice is going to need as long as a month before it is ready to give you its best. One Vapenstein It's Alive! award winner needed 3 1/2 weeks before it was ready, several were ready right out of the box. You need to give a juice the time it needs before you throw in the towel and write it off.
Halo is highly regarded on ECF. People really seem to like several of their juices, and I knew I needed to place an order. I was also told that Halo juice was ready to vape right out of the mail. So when my small Halo order showed up a couple of weeks ago, I dove right in. I want to mention that the Halo blue childproof dropper bottles are awesome. I prefer dropper bottles, and so far I would have to say that Halo and Vermont Vapor have the best packaging in the business.
I was incredulous. This stuff had a vile chemical aroma to it. I didn't smell cigar or vanilla, just some unidentifiable, unwholesome smell. I vaped some. It tasted vaguely chemical, but worse, it had no throat hit and barely any flavor. Wispy vapor. I was a little freaked out. I mean, this juice couldn't be like this, could it? People love Halo. I vaped some more. Naw man, there has got to be something wrong with this juice. It's just off.
So I emailed Halo. I received a polite response back, telling me that the batch was fine. I respond "No, it's not!" and proceeded to tell Halo I thought their juice was gutless and feminine, and that I wasn't happy. Long story short, the communication spanned several more emails, and by the time it was over I had settled down and agreed to give the juice 48 hours, and if I wasn't happy they would do whatever it took to make it right.
Can't ask for better than that, and I knew that I could unload the juice with no problem in the ECF classified forum. It dawned on me that I was being a big hypocrite, because I had recently started a thread regarding the very topic of giving juice the time it needs to shine. I couldn't believe that 48 hours would make such a dramatic difference in any juice though, much less one that had made such a negative impression on me.
So, 48 hours later I pulled the Bella out of The Juice Cellar and tried it again. It still had some weird chemical-ness to it, but now it tasted like cigar, gave a hearty throat hit and made vapor. I emailed Halo back, apologized and thanked them for handling me so well when I had been unhappy, and my own lesson was learned: Give juice a chance to age before rushing to judgement.
It bears repeating that Halo was great with me when I was a disgruntled customer. I don't think many vendors would tolerate having their product called names and remain as professional as they did, so major props to them.
So now this juice is two weeks old, and the juice is telling me it's ready. The chemical weirdness is gone, and I am confident that this juice is mature. I am vaping this 18mg juice on my 3.7v Copper 510.
This juice is a thin, but atty friendly, PG/VG blend.
The nose of this juice is pleasantly vanilla tobacco. Pretty mellow, but the tobacco note is decidedly cigar.
I definitely get mellow cigar and sweet vanilla on inhale, and the throat hit is great, just perfect for a robust tobacco without being overwhelming. It would probably be more suited to cigar to get this juice in 24mg, and the throat hit would be correspondingly better. It's so tricky trying to get cigar or pipe tobacco right in a vape juice, because you could never inhale them. At least I couldn't. Too robust. This juice does an excellent job of translating that flavor into an enjoyable vape that is both rich and mellow. It does not perfectly replicate a cigar, but gives you a vapeable re-imagining of one that is very compelling.
On exhale this juice delivers mellow cigar notes smoothed with vanilla. It's exactly as advertised. The taste lingers yet doesn't overpower the vaper. Vapor production is average to maybe slightly below average.
So after all that, this juice is in Vapenstein It's Alive! territory. Not quite enough to push it over the top, but really, really good. This is a juice that I can vape all afternoon or evening and get complete tobacco satisfaction. Not too robust, not at all wimpy. It's a sure reorder for me. Recommended, with the caveat that you need to open this juice when you get it, then put the cap back on and let it rest for a couple of weeks.
This is not something I am going to get in the habit of doing, but after careful consideration I am revising my evaluation of this juice. Halo Bella Valente keeps drawing me back to it. It simply gets better and better with every day. As mentioned in the original review, this juice was teetering on Vapenstein It's Alive! Award territory.
This juice changed so dramatically from the time I first opened it. Today, it is an absolutely brilliant, mellow cigar tobacco with a smooth vanilla component. It is delicious, and it's vapeable in a way that few juices are. I usually pull this juice out in the evening when Mrs. Doctor Vapenstein and I are relaxing in the Castle after putting little Igor down for the night. It is bold, but not overbearing. It is enticing the way premium tobacco is. The same enjoyment lies in this juice that makes us seek single malt scotch, fine wine, and artisanal air cured meats.
There are very, very few juices, no matter how much I enjoy them, that I panic at the thought of not having in The Juice Cellar. This is one. Halo, I apologize for my initial reaction to your juice. You have proven me very, very wrong.
Vapenstein It's Alive! Award winner. Wholeheartedly.