Juice Battle 30

juice-battle-6-8

Now that summer is here, it seems like the weeks are going by so fast, it’s hard to keep up with my review queue, but I managed to get through 10 new juices last week and here we are back again with another juice battle.

This week I’ve got a nice variety of flavors from a variety of vendors, including one new one for me. I spent this week primarily testing juices on my standard Vaporshark setup I’ve been using for weeks, as well as a Stillare at .8 ohm with a twisted kanthal coil that I use on both a mech and a DNA30 device. I’ve also got a PVD Omega that I’ve been using on a Chana DNA30 clone I FINALLY got in this week. So nothing too out of the ordinary as far as the devices I am using to test these juices on.

Interestingly, after last week had some truly horrid juices, there really wasn’t a single bad juice at all this week. In fact this week’s last place finisher was actually a favorite of mine when I first started vaping, and I STILL don’t think it’s that bad – just not as good as the rest of the field.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the countdown…

#10 Azure Vaping: Almond Macaroon

almond-macaroon

When I first started out vaping, much like most people probably first getting into it, I bought a starter kit. I got mine from Volcano, and didn’t find it to be particularly great. In fact, I had 2 failed attempts at quitting smoking using strictly Volcano products, and it wasn’t enough to make it happen.

On my second attempt, I decided to get some juice from an outside source, and ended up at Blue Mist Vaping, which is now Azure.  I was shocked at how good and accurate their flavors were in comparison to the trash I was used to from Volcano at the time, and that is probably why I have still remained somewhat partial to Azure even today, when there are a lot more options out there – many being on a “higher end” level than Azure.

Azure is basically a cheaper juice option. They have a ton of flavors, their prices are pretty good, and if you find something you like you can get a huge bottle of it for cheap. The hard thing is wading through ALL the options they have and finding the real gems – and there definitely are some. Now I could spend my time only reviewing the most popular juices from the best vendors or focusing primarily on the high end stuff, but I don’t like paying $20 for a 30ml bottle of juice more than anyone else probably does, and I generally feel a lot better about finding really good juices that are also reasonably priced rather than just being the next guy to start fawning over the gourmet “flavor of the week” vendor, which doesn’t really help anyone.

So if you ever wonder why I choose to review a lot of juices from certain companies, it’s not because I’m getting them for free – I pretty much pay for around 90% of all the juices I review out of pocket. It’s because I got them for a good price, and bought a shitload of flavors so I could test them all and find the ones I think are good – to hopefully save you a little time and money doing it yourself. That’s why you see me reviewing a lot of these same vendors every week. I stocked up and have a ton of flavors to go through.

At any rate, this week I’ve got Almond Macaroon from Azure coming in last place. When I ordered a ton of these juices from Azure a couple months ago, I threw this one in because I had it before, a long time ago, and have always remembered it as one of the first juices I actually really liked. That’s what made me think of the Volcano story I bored you with above.

As fond as my memories were of this juice, now trying it again after having carefully reviewed around 300 juices I have to say that it isn’t nearly as impressive as I originally remembered it.

Basically, it’s a pure coconut flavor. Probably the reason I liked it to begin with. But really, this should have a lot more of an almond component. In fact, when smelling this juice in the bottle, it smells almost exactly like almond extract, yet I don’t get any almond flavor in the vape at all.

Additionally, it has a strong artificial component to it. It’s kind of plasticky and bitter and has a light alcohol tone to it. It’s most prevalent on the inhale but manages to carry through to the exhale, weaving it’s way into the coconut flavor.

The coconut by itself is really quite nice, but I really found the artificial notes to be too overbearing to truly enjoy this juice, and the fact that it doesn’t have much almond flavor is really kind of a bummer to me.

It’s actually a vapable juice, and the price is good. So if you’re looking for a super cheapo coconut vape you could do a hell of a lot worse, however I think there are a lot of other options that perform better.

#9 ECBlend: Vanilla Gorilla

vanilla-gorilla

Coming in at #9 this week is Vanilla Gorilla from ECBlend. This one sat in the queue for quite a while because the name lead me to believe it contained banana which I am really not the biggest fan of as far as ejuice goes – somewhat odd because I love actual bananas. For whatever reason it just seems like it’s always hit or miss with banana e-liquids.

Luckily, I found that this one DOESN’T contain any banana at all, despite the “gorilla” in the name.

Here’s what they say about it:

Vanilla Gorilla® – Mix of Vanilla and Toasted Marshmallows

This really isn’t a bad juice either – in fact it’s quite vapable. It has a very nice smooth and mild vanilla flavor. The first problem I had, was that during the vape I really did not experience much of any toasted marshmallow flavor. The craziest thing about it is, after taking a few hits of this juice, it will leave an amazing toasted marshmallow aftertaste in your mouth that is absolutely spot-on. I seriously wish that I could have tasted the same taste during the actual vape better, because I believe they really would have had something special here, but I honestly don’t get much of anything other than a very basic vanilla flavor during the actual vape.

The second problem is that it does have kind of an artificial taste to it. Now I have tasted a ton of vanilla flavored juices, and it is actually really common for them to have some artificial taste going on, and really it’s no different here than in any other similar juice I’ve tried. It’s not a bad enough artificial taste to make me not want to vape the juice – in fact, it’s far less offensive than the one going on in Almond Macaroon above. The problem is, it’s definitely noticeable, and this week it’s a pretty tough field, and basically this juice and Azure were the only 2 that had any real synthetic/artificial taste going on so that’s the primary reason they ended up at the bottome.

The third problem I found was that it simply doesn’t have a great throat hit. In fact looking back on this, I now am almost wishing I put Azure ahead of this one because the throat hit was markedly better and at 2mg less nicotine no less.

Really though, the flavor on this juice is quite a bit better than almond macaroon. It’s basically just a very nice vanilla flavor that is not perfect, but quite smooth, full flavored and not too dry. And unlike other average vanilla flavors, this one has a really amazing aftertaste of toasted marshmallows that is spot-on accurate.

#8 Bombies: White Gummy B

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Coming in at #8 this week is Bombies with their White Gummy B. Here’s what they say about it:

A candy-type vape that will satisfy your sweet cravings.

I’m a huge fan of gummy bears, and I have tried quite a few gummy flavored vapes in hope of emulating some of the gummy greatness the real thing has to offer in a calorie free format. So far, I have yet to find a gummy flavored vape that is even close to satisfying that void in my life.

I’m sad to say that White Gummy B didn’t do it for me either. I didn’t think this juice tasted like gummy bears at all. Basically, once again you’ve got your classic “red candy” flavor. The type of flavor you would get with a strawberry dum dum. About as basic as it gets. Nothing special to elevate it, no “wow factor”, just a very basic candy flavor.

The one plus that they have going on here is that the flavor is super thick. Thick to the point where it actually feels like you’ve had a sucker in your mouth after vaping this juice. I think thick flavor can play well in a lot of cases, and it’s pretty much the only bright spot here. The problem is the overall flavor is so unremarkable that it still doesn’t do anything to make this juice less boring.

And that’s basically it. I wish I could give you a full rundown of the flavor profile but all I truly get is a very basic red candy flavor from start to finish and I found this one to be completely boring.

#7 Vapetasia: Pineapple Express

pineapple-express

Coming in at #7 this week is Vapetasia with Pineapple Express. Here’s what they say about it:

Tastes like a big ripe pineapple, with other tropical flavor undertones. 70%vg/30%pg

This is another one of those juices where it probably could have finished markedly better on a different week, but this week the competition is very stiff, and this turned out to be a good, but fairly basic flavor.

It’s pineapple. I wouldn’t say it tastes much at all like fresh pineapple as described, rather to me it tastes like pineapple candy or dehydrated pineapple. Probably more candy-like than fruit like.

It has a very nice and full pineapple flavor that is totally balanced from inhale to exhale and even the scent of the cloud smells just like it tastes. So they did a great job of nailing down the flavor.

In fact I had a buddy of mine vape this the other day and he doesn’t generally even care much for fruit vapes and he vaped quite a bit of this one with no problems at all. So it’s actually a very good juice.  At only 30% PG, it still packs an excellent throat hit at 18mg, and puts out massive clouds, so the performance is spot on.

The only real downside is it’s kind of a basic flavor. That is probably more of an issue for me personally – since I try so many juices, I am at the point where I end up tasting a lot of the same things over and over so it takes a little more to impress me since I’ve already seen a lot of this done.

Basically, if you’re looking for a solid pure pineapple vape, you can’t possibly go wrong with this one. The flavor is dead on – it is what it says it is, and the performance is top notch.

#6 Smokecignals: Kahlua

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Speaking of something I’ve never tried before – this one was totally new to me. Of course I’ve indulged in plenty of actual Kahlua in my 32 years, but never vaped any until now. Here’s what they say about it:

Delicious coffee liqueur. Try this one after a meal.

At first I totally loved this vape. It’s really surprisingly accurate, and doesn’t contain any real artificial tones or any unwanted flavors. It just tastes like delicious, creamy Kahlua. You’ve got the subtle coffee notes, the liqueur, and the cream which all combine and balance evenly across the vape to produce an end product that is quite true to description.

One thing I found with this one is that after vaping it for a little while, it loses a lot of its Kahlua personality and starts tasting like pure vanilla/cream. Not that it’s necessarily a super bad thing and it’s not as if vaper’s tongue is uncommon, but with this juice in particular I noticed that the flavor seems to fade on me pretty quick after vaping it for a little while.

So this one ended up being just so-so for me. I like the fact that it’s really accurate and truly tastes like the real thing but the flavor fades so fast that I don’t think this would be a great choice for an all day vape. It’s really more of a novelty, or once-in-a-while kind of vape.

#5 Adirondack Vapor: Tupper

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The middle of the pack this week belongs to Adirondack Vapor with Tupper. Here’s what they say about it:

A fragrant blend of melon and strawberry finished with a champagne exhale.

I actually thought this juice was really good. It has a very strong melon flavor – similar to what you would get from the other melon heavy hitters like Hobbes Blood. The inhale is packed with intense melon flavor and the strawberry adds a little sweetness and cuts the intensity nicely on the exhale. It leaves you with your mouth watering and feeling juicy. Very nice performance all around and I was even impressed that it hit quite well at 12mg.

Beyond that there’s nothing super special about it. I’m kind of at the point with these melon vapes where I’ve already pretty much tasted them before a couple times, and this one didn’t have anything particularly special about it that would make me say it’s better than say a Hobbes Blood – although it is basically pretty similar across the board.

They mention a champagne exhale, and I unfortunately wasn’t really able to pick up any traces of champagne at all. I think the melon was just too strong and champagne is kind of a lighter flavor to begin with, so it probably got muddled in with the more overpowering flavors.

Really, it’s too bad because I think a nice pop of acidity would have made this one shine.

This is a great flavor overall, and I could really taste the quality. Based on how well this one vaped, I am definitely looking forward to trying more of their stuff in the future.

#4 Good Life Vapor: Mexican Hat Dance

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Ok coming in at the 4 spot is Mexican Hat Dance. Here’s what they say about it:

After a long day, you want to relax with a adult beverage. Well this is a Raspberry Margarita blended to absolute perfection. This is a shop favorite!

I tasted this one before looking at the description and I couldn’t tell at all what it was supposed to be. I get a LOT of raspberry and a nice kick of lime on the exhale that adds a really nice burst of acidity and elevates the flavor, although despite the lime taste, I still don’t think it tastes much like a margarita.

I look at this as a refreshing twist on a basic raspberry flavor. The raspberry flavor itself is really nothing special – it’s not even that great. But on the exhale, the way it mingles with the lime gives me a really unique flavor that I haven’t tasted before, and it is quite good.

I wouldn’t say this is one of my favorite flavors, and it’s not particularly true to description, but I appreciate the uniqueness of it, and it was nice to try a fruit vape that gave me a little something different than what I’m used to. If you like raspberry, this is definitely worth a look as I think it is FAR better than any standard raspberry vape I have ever tried.

Additionally, I was really impressed with the performance on this juice. At 12mg, it hits just as good as the other 18/24mg juices I’ve been vaping this week, and still chucks out a nice cloud.

#3 Alternate Cig – Pina Colada

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This week’s 3rd place finisher is Pina Colada by AlternateCig. Here’s what they say about it:

Just like your favorite alcoholic drink

A couple months ago I had never heard of these guys. I randomly found out they were running a $1.99/10ml sale and picked up a bunch of flavors from them, and they continue to impress me every week.

I’ve tried a lot of tropical style vapes, but this one is by far the most close I have ever come to the exact taste of a pina colada.  You get a great burst of coconut flavor with the additional tropical undertones. The sweetness on it is just right, and it’s not dry at all.

I vaped this one for about 6 hours straight the other day with no other juices in between and the flavor never got any weaker nor did the throat hit – just perfect and consistent performance every time.

The downside (if you want to call it that) is that there are no surprises with this one. It’s just a nice, straight up pina colada flavor. No extra bullshit, no bells and whistles. Just good, accurate flavor and solid performance.

It’s not the most special juice in the world, but when I’m going out for the day and need to grab a juice that’s going to perform reliably all day long and has a taste that isn’t going to wear on me, this is exactly the type juice I’m going to be reaching for. On a different week, I could easily see this one taking first or second place.

#2 Seduce Juice: Genesis

genesis

Coming in second place this week is Genesis by Seduce Juice. Here’s what they say about it:

Sweet n’ Sour citrus with Mango and subtle hints of Absinthe. 

Even though I’ve never been a huge absinthe fan, it seems like pretty much any juice I’ve tried that’s a mix of Absinthe and something else has always turned out to be really good.

This has never been more true than this week with Genesis. I was really taken aback when I tasted this one because I tasted something I truly have never tasted before. This is an extremely complex and flavorful vape and I was thoroughly impressed with it.

On the inhale I get a strong orange flavor – not a candy orange flavor, but real actual orange – like a good orange juice. I get light hints of the mango throughout that never overtake the orange but does give it a little extra pop. On the exhale, I get a fairly strong dose of absinthe. The way that it mixes with the orange creates a flavor that is really special and unique. It’s got a little bit of everything for your tastebuds. I really like acidity and sourness in this juice and I think it helps make it a lot more crisp tasting and refreshing.

The taste is totally unique, and incredibly delicious. Now in other absinthe mixes I’ve really liked, the absinthe is really muted. In this one, even though they say it is subtle, I find that the absinthe is quite strong on the exhale – so if you don’t like absinthe/black licorice, then you might want to tread carefully with this one because it’s definitely there in full force – however, I found that the way it mixed with the citrus was so unique and refreshing, it didn’t matter at all to me. I couldn’t stop vaping this one.

Not only is the flavor great, it is also super full and juicy. No dryness, no unwanted flavors, no overbearing sweetness. Just spot on crisp and refreshing goodness.

I had this one at 24 mg, and it gave me easily the best throat hit of the week. In fact I’m sure you could go down to 18 on this one easily but I am liking it so much at 24 I think I would get it at 24 again. No point in messing around when you have a good thing going.

As long as you don’t absolutely hate absinthe, this is a juice that you should really try at least once.

#1 Strix Elixers: Butter Shot

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Even with Genesis being one of the most captivating juices I have tried in weeks, I couldn’t ignore the all out goodness of Butter Shot. Here’s what they say about it:

Butterscotch fans unite! Creamy and sweet, but not too overpowering. Say hello to your new all-day-vape! Not a carto clogger.

I felt really bad because my first juice I ever reviewed from Strix Elixers had a bad case of the Funk and was pretty much unvapable.  At this point I have come to realize that a good percentage of all the vendors I’ve tried have had at least one juice with the funk, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that every juice they make is going to taste that way. So I hate trying out any new company when the first juice I try is unvapable.

Luckily, Butter Shot more than made up for it. This is an absolutely incredible vape. It has a strong taste of actual butter like no other vape I’ve ever had before. I’ve had other vapes – like pie and pastry flavor specifically where they have kind of a “butter” component, but it doesn’t really taste like butter. It’s far more heavy and unnatural tasting.

The butter in this juice is light, flavorful and not overbearing in anyway.

To put it into perspective, I started vaping this juice last Monday intending to review it by the end of the day and move on to another juice. I liked it so much that I didn’t even crack any other juice until Wednesday.

So let’s talk a little more about the flavor because this one had a lot going on.

It definitely at times can taste a lot like actual butter. Sometimes I get an almost fruity undertone on it. It really reminds me of sauteing apples in butter – the way it ends up getting kind of saucy and tastes like butter infused with apple. There isn’t a super strong fruity presence but I can pick it up from time to time. Other times, it tastes a lot like a Werther’s Original. After chain vaping it for more extended periods, it tastes a lot more like caramel to me – not like your average caramel you get in ejuice, but the best possible caramel flavor I have ever tasted in an ejuice. Just brilliantly spot on.

While this juice tends to change flavor a little bit here and there, it is ALWAYS in a good way, and actually helped keep it interesting for me – so much so that I didn’t even have any desire to crack open any of the ridiculous amount of other fresh bottles in my queue waiting to be reviewed.

This is definitely a signature juice, a must try and an easy all day vape candidate. I was thoroughly impressed and there’s no question I would be willing to buy it again. There’s really no situation this wouldn’t be good for. Not only that,  but I could also see a lot of potential mixing this with other juices to give them a boost.

Butter shot is an absolute no-brainer. One of the most unique and delicious juices I’ve tried, and absolutely an all-day-vape type of juice – which I don’t dish out lightly.

The Bottom Line

It was nice to have such a great field of juices to work with this week after last week had quite a few duds – and even better, no juices had the Funk this week, so that’s always a good thing. I was really glad that I had a chance to try another juice from Strix, becuase they more than redeemed their poor first outing and with Butter Shot gave me something totally unique and delicious.

I was kind of bogged down last week with work and other stuff so I didn’t get a chance to delve too deeply into my hardware reviews, which I have a TON of queued up. I recently got in a Chana DNA30 clone that I picked up off eBay as well as a Chana DNA20 that I got from Fasttech. I have some insights on both of them that I really want to get to as soon as possible, so I am hoping to review both of them this week. I also want to do a review of the Stillare and TOBH, both of which I have had a chance to test out and use quite a bit, and I still haven’t reviewed the 3D yet, and that is another one high on my list to get done. I also started using a new type of cotton and the iTeo wick method, which I plan to elaborate on and do a full tutorial on once I have tested it out enough.

Additionally, I am working on a better filtering system for my reviews. This week I will be passing my 300th e-liquid review, and now that I have so many, I need a better system for people to filter through them quickly – which I already have worked up, I just have to get around to implementing it.

Hopefully time will be on my side this week!

 

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