After being late a day on last week’s battle, I actually ended up writing this one a couple days early and scheduling it so I wouldn’t miss another Monday edition.
This week I had a really nice selection to choose from from a variety of vendors including quite a few I’ve never tried before. I tested every single one of these juices on a .6 ohm twisted kanthal microcoil in a V7 mini dripper on a Vaporshark.
Let’s get right into it, on with the countdown…
#10 The Vapor Co – Espresso
Every week I get criticism that I am too harsh on juices, or that I’m pompous, pretentious or have an air of hubris or whatever. The bottom line is, I review 10 juices every week. If all 10 juices every week were good, I would have no real reason to even bother reviewing them. The fact of the matter is, however, you take any random sample of 10 juices and there are more than likely going to be at least one or two shitty ones in the bunch. Personally I think it does more good pointing out the shitty juices than the good ones. There are a lot of good juices I identify each week – in fact, I can’t think of any juice battle where at least the top 5 juices were all juices I would generally recommend as worth trying. Taste is always going to be subjective, and certainly just because I like or dislike any given juice doesn’t mean the next guy will have the same experience. That said, there are really some bad juices out there that are just plain bad, beyond my own personal opinion – and a lot of the time that’s not something you’re going to be able to determine by going to a vendor’s website and reading the reviews posted there, because generally reviews posted on any vendor’s website are going to be more positive than negative.
So with that said, coming in dead last this week is one of the worst juices I have ever tasted by far: Espresso by The Vapor Co. Here’s what they say about it:
Smooth and versatile this custom Espresso vapor leaves you wanting more and more. With each taste, you experience the rich nuances of a perfected craft. This particular flavor is a must have for all of you vapers out there! Its rich flavor, lingering aroma and caramelly sweetness make it completely invigorating.
I was actually quite surprised to see this one still available on their site. After I stocked up on a ton of bottles to review, they promptly decided to start removing and discontinuing a ton of their lineup leaving me not knowing from week to week if I’m reviewing a juice that even exists anymore.
Inexplicably, this one still exists.
On paper, this sounds like a great juice. And furthermore, I have generally had pretty good success with most of the “normal” flavored juices from the Vapor Co.
Unfortunately this one is nothing like it sounds on paper.
The first and largest problem with this vape is it has an extremely strong menthol presence. Odd because while they went to all the trouble of describing the intricacy of the coffee melding with the cream and caramel, etc, they forgot to mention that this is so packed with menthol that you really can’t taste any other flavor at all. And the flavor you can taste, really doesn’t play well with menthol to begin with – in my opinion.
It’s weird because in the bottle it actually smells decently close to a regular cup of coffee save for a little minty scent from the menthol.
Once you vape it, it’s like a tiny bit of coffee trying to peek out from under a blanket of thick menthol. Like if you were brushing your teeth and sipping coffee at the same time.
There’s really not much more to it than that. I can’t really speak to the intricacy of the coffee profile because it is simply hard to taste at all. I mostly get menthol with this vape, and the non menthol I do get doesn’t seem to mix well at all with the menthol.
Truly, this is one of the worst tasting ejuices I have ever vaped. There is just simply nothing good about it at all and it’s for sure in my bottom 5 all time.
#9 Nirvana Vapor: Rama’s Ras Malai
I’ve never tried a Ras Malai before, but if it’s like other Indian desserts I’ve been lucky enough to sample, I’m sure it’s amazing. Here’s what they say about it:
Rama’s Ras Malai: Ras Malai is an Indian desert, similar to a cheesecake, but without the tang of american cheesecheesecake. These dumplings sit in a creamy milk mixture with nuts and rose essence! This is an interesting and complex flavor that is sure to arouse your taste buds… creamy, floral, and nutty! Give it a try!
If Espresso hadn’t been one of the worst juices I’ve ever tasted, this one would have easily been dead last this week. It seems like every week I uncover a juice with the awful perfume/floral funk that makes it completely unvapable.
This week, Ras Malai is that juice. It has an absolutely overpowering floral tone to it. Interestingly, with this juice it was by design. As you can see from the description, it does have rose flavor as part of the profile. Now I have had rose vapes that were very good before. The problem with this one is it is just WAY too strong. It basically makes it so that you can’t taste any of the other elements in the vape. I saw a couple reviews on their site from people saying they could taste the nuts in it, etc. I honestly did not get that at all, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. This one was slightly more palatable than a typical juice suffering from awful floral overtones, so I was able to vape a decent amount of it, and I still could not taste any kind of nuts or cream base in this juice at all. It came off to me as pure floral, and as a result, I pretty much found it unvapable.
On top of that, it also had a very poor throat hit. The worst of the entire week, despite being at 18mg. Luckily these days I haven’t had as many issues with poor throat hit, but this is definitely one of those juices that just does not hit well at all.
#8 Hangsen: USA Mix
I’m really not a fan of reviewing cheapo Chinese juices like this one to begin with, but I’ve had this one sitting in my queue for quite a while now and I figured I had better get it over with.
I’ve actually vaped a pretty hefty amount of this juice. I got it quite a while back, when I was a much less experienced vaper, and I was primarily using it in cartomizers at the time. For whatever reason, I’ve kind of noticed that shitty cheapo tobacco flavors seem to actually taste better out of cartomizers. I really can’t explain it and it only seems to be with tobaccos like this – no other flavors have this same effect.
In a higher-end setup, I really don’t particularly care for this juice, although it isn’t terrible either.
It has a very nutty flavor to it – not really reminiscent of tobacco, but it does taste like other cheapo tobacco ejuices. It also has a bit of sweetness to it. The worst thing about it is it carries an artificial undertone that courses through the entire vape. It’s not really awful tasting, and in fact you can still vape this stuff fine despite it, but I do find it to be a little unsettling.
Basically, this juice tastes a lot like other cheap tobacco ejuices. It doesn’t really taste like actual tobacco, and the flavor is fairly neutral. Mostly nutty and sweet.
It’s a vapable juice and it’s super cheap, so if budget is a concern you could definitely do worse.
#7 Smokecignals: Malter White
This juice is named after the lovable Walter White from Breaking Bad. Here’s what they say about it:
A thick, sweet, almost indescribable flavor, great by itself or as an addition to other flavors.
Normally, this juice would have likely rated higher because I actually thought it was quite good, and easily top 5 material on a less competitive week.
The thing with Malter White is it doesn’t really have much of a flavor to it. Just on the first second or so of the inhale, I get a rush of a plasticky artificial type taste. Luckily it goes away instantly and doesn’t really cause any overall problems with the vape, but it is definitely there in that first second or two.
Beyond that, it’s tough to put my finger on any sort of flavor for this juice. It’s mostly just sweet. If I had to compare it to anything, it probably comes closest to cotton candy, although not quite as much candy flavor.
They mention using this vape as an addition to other flavors, and I think that recommendation might be dead on. Since it really doesn’t carry much of a flavor on it’s own, I could see using this almost as a sweetener in conjunction with other juices, and I think it would perform quite admirably in that area.
As a standalone, I actually vaped quite a bit of it this week, and I really do like it. At 24mg it hits very well and puts out a sizeable cloud, and it’s an all around nice vape. Considering these guys are priced affordably, this one is basically a can’t miss because worst case scenario you can always just use it for cutting other juices.
Don’t let the low finish fool you – this one is a good look.
#6 Johnson’s Creek: Silverthorn
This week I brought a new vendor into the mix I’ve never tried before – this one is from Johnson’s Creek and it’s called Silverthorn from their Red Oak line. Here’s what they say about it:
Silverthorn utilizes a special blend of high end, sun-cured Turkish tobacco flavors accented with bright Virginia undertones and burley notes. This flavor is a highly aromatic and less sweet than any of the other Johnson Creek tobacco flavors. Designed for vapers who want a more traditional tobacco taste. Solid throat hit and excellent vapor production
I was pleasantly surprised by this juice. The best thing about it is that it has a true tobacco taste to it. So many tobaccos these days just really don’t taste that much like actual tobacco to me, and this one really leaves no doubt.
The one issue I had with this juice is it has a strong alcohol presence. In fact, if you smell this in the bottle – it smells basically like pure alcohol.
When you vape it, the beginning of the inhale delivers a strong rush of alcohol flavor. To me it tastes like a mild whiskey. It’s not as strong as pure whiskey but has a definite alcohol flavor and kind of that oak-casked taste.
The alcohol flavor quickly dissipates and you are left with a nice medium bodied tobacco. I find it is really earthy and woody flavored and quite dry. A lot of times these tobacco vapes get bogged down with extra sweetness when they really need to be more dry. This tobacco needs to be dry, and it comes off perfectly. There is still a slight air of alcohol throughout the vape, but it actually adds quite a bit of flavor and a little zing from the acidity.
All around, this is a really nice tobacco vape. The throat hit was just a little under where I would like it to be at 18mg, but then again this is also a 100% pure VG vape, so that is somewhat to be expected.
#5 ECBlend: Dragon’s Blood
I vaped a LOT of this stuff throughout the week and I actually thought for a time that this one could end up winning this juice battle. This one is called Dragon’s Blood and if I am understanding correctly was the first of their Dragon Series, which all other Dragon Series juices are based off of. Here’s what they say about it:
Dragon’s Blood® – Described as “Beyond Creamy”™ with a rich dragon fruit taste. “Oh! So Creamy!”®™
Now quite frankly, I did not find this vape to be super creamy. In fact, I haven’t really found any of their Dragon Series vapes to be particularly creamy. That’s not to say that they aren’t creamy at all or aren’t good tasting, I just didn’t personally find them that creamy.
Out of all the Dragon Series juices I’ve tried, this one is the most creamy yet. In fact, I found that after I had been vaping this for a time, I actually could taste the cream more and the fruit less.
I’m really not exactly sure what dragon fruit is supposed to taste like. Based on the couple dragon fruit juices I’ve vaped and the scarce times I have tried it in real life – mostly in dried form, I think it tastes somewhat similar to strawberry with a little more acidity.
This vape rings fairly true to that. It has a very general kind of fruity flavor – which usually is most close to strawberry. It also has a slight air of “tropical” to it. It doesn’t taste heavy with coconut or pineapple or anything like that but just has a slight tropical vibe going on – something to help separate it from your typical strawberry vape.
All in all, I really liked the flavor a lot. I thought that the fruit came through nicely, stayed balanced and had a nice smooth finish. Additionally, it hits extremely well at 18mg and puts out a nice amount of vapor, especially considering it’s only a 40% VG mix.
This one is definitely worth a try. I really liked it and ended up vaping a ton of it over the course of the week.
#4 Captivape – Kraken’s Blood
This is another juice from a new vendor, and a whole new type of creature’s blood to vape on this week. Here’s what they say about it:
In the coldest parts of the ocean resides a creature that few men have seen and ever lived to talk about. That monster is known as The Kraken. This cold, dark & evil creature has ice in its veins and feeds off the souls of the weak. Only one has ever been killed, and upon slaying the creature the crew was shocked to discover that his dark skin was actually made entirely out of black licorice. So says the legend.
I was hesitant to even try this one because it smelled strongly of black licorice in the bottle, a flavor I didn’t always like but have become more and more warm to as I vape more high quality anise flavored juices.
Had I known it was also a menthol vape, I might have left it in the queue for another couple weeks, but I didn’t and was greeted with an icy menthol undertone upon taking a hit of Kraken’s Blood.
I turned out to be very impressed with this juice. In fact, this is another one I thought might be able to take the whole juice battle, before I had a chance to really evaluate the remaining 3 juices this week.
Basically, you’ve got 2 flavors going on here – menthol and black licorice. That’s about as low on my personal list of flavors as it gets. However, they blended them in such a way that has really created something special here.
The black licorice flavor is prominent – there’s no doubt about that, BUT they presented it in kind of a laid back way where you can still fully taste it, but it’s not in your face either. On the exhale in particular, it really melds in wonderfully with the menthol to create a super smooth, cool finish.
I always say I’m not crazy about black licorice and menthol among other things, but I am finding out more and more that it really just depends on a juice by juice basis because pretty much anything can be made to taste good if it’s mixed right. Now if they can come up with a way to make me like olives, I will be impressed.
#3 Vapors Anonymous: Street Walker
So far I have been really impressed with Vapors Anonymous, and I was really excited to try out their top seller – Street Walker. Here’s what they say about it:
She roams the streets at night looking to show you a good time. She possess the power to seduce any man or woman she can lay her hands on. The smell of watermeln and strawberry is only the beginning to your wild night. Just before your night is up you taste the orange creamsicle on her tongue. The aroma of such a forgetful figure lingers in your clothes and you can still smell her even after the night is over – not so forgetful after all! You keep wanting more and you can’t stay away because shes so sweet and pleasant. And yet just before the night is over and shes leaving you may aquire a light hint of coconut wafting from her clothing as she leaves the room. This had to have been the most pleasant night you have ever had. WARNING: Keep your loved ones close because this erotic e juice will steal them away!
Flavor: Watermelon, Orange Creamsicle, Strawberry, Coconut
I’ll start by saying that I was disappointed to find that this juice really isn’t much more erotic than any other juice I’ve sampled, so it’s not much in the way of an aphrodisiac or performance enhancer.
That said, it is a REALLY tasty juice, and oddly, the only non-menthol/mint juice in this week’s top 5.
This is a fruity vape featuring a medley of various fruits. The ones I found most prominent were the Orange Creamsicle and Strawberry. I didn’t find a whole lot of watermelon flavor in this one. It also doesn’t have a lot of actual coconut flavor, but it does have a slight tropical feel to it – which I think is likely the coconut blending into the background. Most prominent is the orange creamsicle – or at least those flavors. I get a really nice burst of citrus from the orange that adds a nice zing to the finish and really makes the whole juice pop. Additionally, it also seems to have a nice creamy undertone as well that keeps it super smooth.
Across the board, this one was great. It was also one of the best this week in terms of throat hit/vapor combo.
There’s really nothing bad I can say about it – this is a great juice and is totally worth a look. If it weren’t for the super stiff competition this week, this one could have easily been a winner.
#2 MBV Thug Juice
Our runner up this week is probably one of the most popular ejuices of all time – Thug Juice by MBV. Here’s what they say about it:
Try this blend of berries and melon, with a cool menthol finish. Thug Juice is a deliciously balanced cool and fruity vape.
I’m sure I’m probably not alone in saying this is one of the first ejuices I ever tried. With a name like Thug Juice, it’s pretty hard to ignore.
I’ve been meaning to review this one for a long time, and this week it was finally time.
First and foremost, this is a strong menthol juice. If you can’t stand menthol, you may not like it nearly as much. I don’t generally like strong menthol, but this is easily one of the most palatable STRONG menthol juices I’ve ever found.
It has a really nice watermelon flavor coursing through it. That’s the primary flavor you’re going to get on both the front and the back end. Then it also combines with a nice and mild berry undertone just to give it a little more character.
The menthol is powerful and it’s quite present on both the inhale and the exhale, but the watermelon does do a nice job of cutting through it and relaxing the vape.
Ultimately the end result is a super crisp and refreshing vape. I could see this one being great for chilling outside all afternoon on a hot day. The flavor won’t get old on you and it will keep hitting well all day long.
Which brings me to the second thing I really like about it – it has a super strong throat hit, even at 12mg. I’m assuming it’s somewhat assisted by the strong menthol presence, but regardless, any time I can find a 12mg juice from MBV that can stand up there and bang with the best of the week in terms of throat hit, it has my attention.
This is a really nice all around juice – maybe not necessarily an all day vape type of juice, but a great situational juice that just about everyone can probably appreciate on some level.
#1 Bombies: A Real Nightmare
I guess all the haters out there who think I am out to discredit their favorite vendor will have to find another angle to chew at me with, because this week Bombies stole the show. Here’s what they say about A Real Nightmare:
After a few months of vaping ‘Bacco B, I began to have vivid dreams of a juice that was only evident in my nightmares. A juice that fortified deep, dark, unconventional, rich, and extremely unforgiving tobacco. I started working on this in July 2013, and the ingredients fought me every step of the way. In the process, I learned to fight against the flavors, to skillfully blend these demons into something more than what every single one of my ADV has to offer.
Even at the lowest level of nicotine, this juice has an intense throat hit and the flavors will bounce around your taste buds as if to control your very own demons. This can either be the All Day Vape you’ve been craving for, or A Real Nightmare.
Good luck. You’re going to need it.
I was actually really disheartened when I smelled the bottle and got a strong whiff of mint, which isn’t my favorite flavor ever, because I really didn’t want to see 3 poor performances in a row from Bombies. In fact, I almost thought about waiting a week or two to review it just in case. But ultimately I’m glad I decided to try it because I was super impressed with this one.
I think this juice taste just like a grasshopper pie. It’s primarily a chocolate-mint vape, however I think it has a chocolate-cookie like flavor to it that really puts it over the top, and sets it apart from other chocolate-mint vapes, of which there are many.
So really at the heart of it, its a very basic flavor profile, but done exceptionally well. The chocolate and the mint are both really well balanced so I don’t get too much of either one and it ends up coming out super smooth and refreshing. The mint isn’t strong to the point where it’s menthol-like. It’s definitely there and will leave you with a noticeable cool sensation in your mouth, but it’s not in-your-face either, making it perfect for fair-weather mint fans like myself.
For a fairly simple flavor profile, they really did a nice job of keeping it accurate, consistent and delicious. I really enjoyed this one tremendously and am even vaping it right now as I write this.
And just so we’re clear, I don’t think it tastes anything like Seven Seas or Nana Cream.
The Bottom Line
I’m relieved I was able to buckle down and get everything done on time this week. It might not necessarily seem like a lot, but it actually takes me quite a bit of time to evaluate 10 juices, write a full review of each and then compile a juice battle each week. Particularly now that we’ve reached 50 degree weather here in Minnesota and my kids are starting to get active again.
At any rate, this week we had a really competitive lineup. There were only 2 bad juices in the whole bunch. Hangsen’s USA mix wasn’t great but as a really low cost option it’s serviceable. Beyond that the other 7 were all quite good, and I could recommend any of them with a straight face.
I think next week I will attempt a tobacco battle if I can find enough of them in my queue.