Juice Battle 33: Smokecignals Edition

juice-battle-smokecignals-preview

If you read my last Juice Battle, you probably remember I said I was back and would be doing more battles more frequently. Many weeks later, I’m finally back with the next installment. Here’s basically what happened – I had a bunch of these Smokecignals juices left. I’ve been trying to figure out a better way to structure my juice reviews and subsequent juice battles, and what I decided was that it was better to focus on related groups – either all from the same vendor, or all similar flavors – rather than just selecting 10 random juices per week. As much as I liked doing the 10 random juices per week format, it was taking a TON of time for me to do, and frankly I wasn’t really able to spend enough time vaping each individual juice to give them a proper evaluation.

So I started out reviewing this last batch of juices. Originally I had probably 20-30 total juices from Smokecignals, and I already picked through a lot of the ones I really wanted to try. As a result, this last group is comprised of many that just didn’t interest me that much.

Somewhere in there, I ordered the full line of MBV’s Gwar juices for the next juice battle, and I was so bored with this batch that I started vaping them – and all 5 of them turned out to be SO much better than this entire group that I ended up continuing to vape them for the last month or so.

I finally made myself go back to the remaining Smokecignals juices so I could finish this batch out and move on to more interesting things.

So before we get into this battle, it’s important to note that I really didn’t find any of these juices exceptional. A large reason for that is I basically already cherrypicked the best ones for previous battles – you may even remember several smokecignals juices winning previous juice battles.

Bottom line is, you are going to see a lot of juices I didn’t really like in this list, and it shouldn’t be a reflection of their company as a whole, because in general I did find quite a few that I liked from Smokecignals over the last 6 months or so.

So that out of the way, let’s get into the battle.

#11, #10 Hungry Sarlacc/Sarlacc Crunch

I’m not even going to bother including these with the rest of the list in a proper format. I knew right away from the smell in the bottle that both of these juices were totally funked out. They both have an extremely overpowering perfume/floral flavor to them, taste nothing like tobacco at all, and the former got so embedded into my Magma with only a small amount of drips that I had to let it sit and air out for several weeks.

Obviously some people like this flavor, but I found it to be absolutely disgusting and unvapable. There’s really not much else I can say about either.

#9 Bourbon Infused Tobacco

bourbon-infused-tobacco

This juice wins the dubious award of “Worst Non-Funk Related Juice I’ve Tried All Year”.

Really, it was quite bad. It definitely has a very strong alcohol flavor to it – whether it even tastes like bourbon is debatable. I felt it had a slight bourbon taste, but in general tasted more like straight alcohol. In addition, it had kind of an ammonia undertone to it that seriously made this taste somewhat like actual urine to me.

As you can probably imagine, the alcohol flavor was SO overwhelming that there wasn’t any room for any kind of tobacco flavor to make an appearance.

I really had high hopes for this one, but it fell totally flat and is truly one of the worst juices I’ve ever tasted.

#8 Margarita

margarita

Another truly bad juice. I don’t know what it is with their alcohol related flavors, but this one was a total bust as well – but for a different reason.

As unusual as it may sound, this one tasted like pure celery to me. I didn’t get any alcohol flavor or any lime – both of which should have been pretty easy to produce. It was pretty much like popping a big mouthful of celery seeds.

It was also surprisingly dry. For a beverage flavored vape, I was shocked at the level of dryness on this one.

I normally love acidic, citrus flavored vapes so I figured that this one would be a almost a sure thing, but it wound up being very disappointing.

This is probably also on my top 10 worst juices of all time. The difference between this one and bourbon tobacco was that it was at least vapable. I’m not a celery fan, really, but I suppose if you like celery you might be able to stomach this one.

#7 Pipe Tobacco

pipe-tobacco

While this one wasn’t nearly as bad as the previous competitors this week, I also thought this one was still pretty bad.

For starters, it really doesn’t have a tobacco flavor to it at all. The only thing I could really taste was mothballs.

Additionally, the flavor was quite light – I had to struggle just to get the mothball taste, and as you can imagine, mothball is not the most vapable flavor out there.

I chalk this one up as another juice billed as being a tobacco flavor that in reality tastes nothing like tobacco at all.

It’s just plain bad.

#6 Limeade

limeade

Another juice I had high hopes for that turned out to be below-average at best. It’s really just not very good.

Much like Margarita, this one really didn’t have the acidity that I would expect from a good citrus vape. With citrus, the acid is what really makes the flavor pop and takes it to another level. This one, while at least somewhat tasting like lime, had an overt flatness to it.

It tasted stale, lacked any real originality and frankly didn’t have any redeeming quality that would make me want to vape it at all. Too bad too, because in general I love flavors like this.

#5 Trailhand Tobacco

trailhand-tobacco

To be clear, while I felt this juice was much better quality than the previous juices this week, I personally didn’t care for it either. Think HHV’s Huntsman. That’s basically what this juice tastes like. It’s a light-bodied tobacco flavor that has almost a sour grassyness to it.

Now they kind of marketed it as a Marlboro flavor, and I find that to be totally inaccurate. While this one definitely does have a tobacco flavor, I feel like it’s much more of a niche flavor and not a very general USA style tobacco taste.

If you’ve tried Huntsman or something similar before, you will probably like this juice. It’s one of those flavors you either love or you hate. I started out liking Huntsman but quickly got burned out on it and have never had a desire to vape it again since then.

This one is worth a shot, but I personally didn’t care for it.

#4 Snacky Smores

snacky-smores

I started out liking this juice a lot, and I actually thought for a long time that this one would probably end up winning the juice battle. However, after spending the summer vaping more high end flavors, when I came back to this and started vaping it again, I realized it did have quite a high level of unwanted artificial notes to it. I would almost say it has kind of a cardboard-like undertone coursing throughout the entire vape. Now in this case, while it is unwanted, it also isn’t bad enough to make it unvapable.

Additionally, the flavors that ARE supposed to be there are quite good and well balanced. You can clearly taste the graham, marshmallow and chocolate and they are well balanced with the perfect level of sweetness.

Overall I feel that this is one I could probably vape through a whole bottle of, but I likely wouldn’t buy it again.

#3 King Cake

king-cake

I ended up quite enjoying King Cake. While it’s not the greatest vape in the world, there’s really nothing wrong with it and it does have some originality.

It kind of starts with a cinnamon danish style base flavor and then has a nice kick of icing and a slight bit of fruityness to it. It also has a fairly strong butter undertone – if you don’t care for strong butter flavors, you might not like this one, but I found it to be just enough so that it wasn’t too overt.

I felt this one was fairly unique, and overall the flavor was good enough that I ultimately ended up vaping quite a bit of it.

#2 Churro

churro

I was really looking forward to trying out Churro, as it’s a great overall flavor and something I have never vaped before.

This one actually tastes quite a bit like king cake, except with a slight touch more cinnamon and no icing and fruit.

I thought the flavor was pretty clear and fairly accurate, although in the end it seemed to have more of a doughnut quality to it. A churro has kind of a crisp bite to it that you can only get from the deep fried component, and that is something which is probably difficult to replicate in an ejuice, so I don’t know if you could ever find a Churro flavor that’s completely accurate.

Additionally, I did feel like the cinnamon level was still on the low end. When I think of a churro, I think of cinnamon and sugar, and I felt this one was more heavily concentrated on the pastry angle than the cinnamon sugar angle.

Still, I actually really liked this juice a lot and would have no problem vaping through the entire bottle.

#1 Chai

chai

Ultimately I think I liked this juice the best because it tasted completely accurate, didn’t have any unwanted notes, and vaped great. At 18mg and 35% VG, I found the performance to be spot on.

Flavor-wise, it’s pretty hard to fuck up a chai flavor, however I have had some in the past that were way heavy handed on the clove, and I felt this one was perfectly balanced in terms of spice.

Overall it is wonderfully accurate and vapes great. Other than that, there’s not a hell of a lot else to say about it. Chai is nothing special these days, but it’s one of those flavors that if you like it, you can’t really go too wrong with anyone’s chai rendition.

The Bottom Line

I really have to apologize that this Juice Battle just didn’t turn out to be stellar at all, and it is primarily by my own doing.

In the future, I plan to fix this by reviewing smaller pools of juices and spending more time on each one. Additionally, I will likely be reviewing more high end options going forward.

After doing this for over a year, I’ve pretty well come to the conclusion that there IS a huge difference between the higher end juices and the budget lines that have 50+ flavors. The fact of the matter is, when you have that many flavors, it’s hard to control the quality of each one and make sure they are all at a standard that is acceptable, so you ultimately end up with a situation like today’s battle where I’ve got 11 juices from the same vendor and none of them are really very good at all.

The next juice battle will be MBV’s Gwar line. I’ve already spent a ton of time on each of the Gwar juices individually and I have a lot to say about each one. I will say right now, that they are all pretty good, and some of them are truly exceptional juices.

Thanks for reading!

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