Rebuildable Atomizers- What are the Implications?

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Vape Convention? Yeah, it’s right over there somewhere…

Over the past year, I’ve really grown into the fullness of my obsession and hobby; vaping.  My most recent addition to this hobby is the practice of rebuilding my various (and growing) collection of atomizers.  I have about a dozen decent models now, and more than a few mediocre to poorly-constructed models which have served their purpose many times over as “practice atomizers.”  Every time I build a new coil, thread some organic cotton through it, and fire up an exciting new juice, I can’t help but wonder where the detail-oriented and painstaking yet rewarding chore of rebuilding atomizers is headed next month?  Next year?  Five years from now?  Fifty years from now?  I can’t say that I agree with those who claim that E-cigarettes are a passing fad.  This is a new technology that has surpassed age groups and social demographics.  I posted a picture a while back of a small group of elderly ladies playing bridge (or a similar old-people card game) all vaping their E-cigs!  When I see images like that, I can’t help but think that this is not a passing fad by any stretch of the imagination.

Once upon a time, the smoking or insufflation of tobacco was a practice that took a considerable amount of preparation and attention in order to enjoy.  Your local tobacconist would go to great lengths to make cigarettes or snuff to a self-imposed standard that they believed would give them a competitive edge over their competition and result in a quality product of which they could be proud.  Then Big Tobacco was shat forth onto the Earth and took all of the personality out of the art through the automated mass production process of reconstituted tobacco-like substances.  Now, every cigarette out there is an ode to depersonalized sticks of artificially-flavored tobacco-like brown paper loaded with deadly chemicals composed of the cheapest materials allowed by law.  E-cigs started out in much the same way because that’s what the world is used to these days.  However, they are slowly evolving into a much more personalized, quality-driven industry.

Electronic cigarette atomizers can be rebuilt with careful attention and patience by those who wish to improve their experience as much as possible.  A vaper’s coils are as varied and diverse as are vapers themselves.  Different techniques, styles, and materials result in a nearly unfathomable realm of endless vaping possibilities.  Mods are only limited by the human imagination and currently available technologies.  If you want a life-sized R2D2 mod that vapes E-juice across 137 separate coils, all you need to do is take the time to build it yourself, or at least commission a tradesman to build it for you.  There are literally thousands of independent, privately-owned E-juice manufacturing companies peppering the surface of the world with their presence.  A serious, hobbyist vaper can choose from high-quality E-liquids that quench his or her specific tastes exactly, without having to lower standards or make concessions in quality for the sake of cost.  Even the most expensive juices out there are still well within the price limits of the vast majority of E-cig users.  Just today I made a single coil, .8 Ohm coil made of three braided 32 gauge Kanthal wire segments.  For a wick, I used tightly wound organic cotton which I have found to work extremely well in RDAs (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers).  Others prefer dual or even quad coils, and Ecowool or Stainless Steel Mesh wicks.  There are also wires made of different metals and wicks make out of a ceramic wicking material that somewhat resembles Kevlar.  So, yes… the possibilities are truly endless with more new technology being introduced to the world every day.

Where is all of this headed, you may ask?  I suppose that all depends on just how much the powers-that-be involve themselves in the E-cigarette industry.  Federal regulation is the enemy of uniqueness and ingenuity, in my opinion, and in this particular case, federal regulation will more than likely unfold along the lines already provided by the already-established tobacco regulatory environment.  We might soon see a day where rebuildable atomizers are outlawed or regulated out of existence “for our own safety.”  We could also see a day sooner than later when all of our E-juices are adulterated by unwanted and dangerous chemicals all in the name of “consistency” and “uniformity.”  Mods could be phased out of production by unnecessary electrical safety regulations.  Even my personal favorite batteries (the high drain varieties) could be deemed unfit for use by the public and taken off the shelves “for our own good.”  These bought-and-paid-for periods of regulation implementation on the horizon could put an end to this enjoyable, life-saving technology… all to pave the way for Big Tobacco to continue the promotion and sale of their dangerous, unhealthy products for several decades to come.

On the other hand, we may still see a heyday for custom-built E-cigarettes and E-cig atomizers in the near future.  The all-powerful FDA could possibly leave the smaller mod and RBA/RDA markets relatively untouched in order to concentrate their powers of regulatory lordship on preloaded cartridges and disposables.  If this turns out to be the case, I predict that we will see a slowly, steadily growing interest in the rebuildable atomizer industry.  Vape bars are popping up all over the country now, and are growing in popularity.  Most of these locations operate along the same principles as hookah bars, but some have begun to offer atomizer rebuilding services, classes on rebuilding, etc.  In addition to this, we’ve been seeing a growing tendency toward reusability, homemade products, and “cloning”/replacement goods due to the poor economical condition of our fiscally-diseased nation (don’t bother denying it!).  Obviously, more and more people are realizing that analog cigs are now officially out of the question, financially speaking.  Expensive E-cigs (read: E-cigs that work well enough to actually simulate the smoking experience) are just that; expensive!  So, instead of hanging themselves in the bathroom next to a suicide note full of shameful, American bad grammar, recently quit smokers as well as seasoned vapers are now able to buy great E-cigarette mods for very little money up-front, and maintain it for even cheaper!

I don’t know if my readership shares in my negative views of our “instant gratification” culture, but I am a fan of anything that makes us sit down and take the time to make something for ourselves instead of expecting it to be instantaneously available to us.  This is the reason why (tobacco) cigarettes have become such a problem.  Nearly gone are the days of the pipe smoker who had the patience and diligence to pack his pipe, not too loose and not too full, and keep it lit for the duration of his smoking activity.  Gone also are the days of Bogie and the Duke hand rolling a perfect cigarette to smoke whilst battling evil with oh, so much class!  Hell, I get upset when I’m watching a YouTube video and I have to wait another twelve seconds to skip the rest of the preliminary advertisement.  In the future, however, we’re going to have to learn a little patience because our days living in the proverbial lap of luxury are dying out.  Yes, technology is going to new and exciting places, but there’s no guarantee that once it gets here it will be capable of near-instantaneous operation.  Think of the 3-D printer… Good things obviously come to those who wait, even concerning the latest and greatest technological achievements.

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ECI Vaping- Gold Ducat

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ECI Vaping- Gold Ducat

I’m on a foreign E-juice kick at the moment, and despite my trepidations I’m actually finding that contrary to my American sense of entitlement and superiority, there are many master mixers of E-liquid in every corner of Earth… except in the Dekang factory in China.  Sorry, guys, but In the immortal words of Shakespeare, a turd by any other name would smell as horrid (I’m paraphrasing).  ECI (E-Cig Israel) Vaping, which operates outside of the United States in… surprise!… Israel, has harnessed the genius of those tobacco chemists at the world-renowned Inawera company to create their Gold Ducat electronic cigarette liquid.  The ducat, historically speaking, is pictured above and refers to a pre-WWI Austrian gold coin… which incidentally would be worth about ten billion dollars today, or whatever the price of gold has skyrocketed to of late.  The flavor of this well-thought-out tobacco E-juice concoction is worth its weight in gold, at least as far as the juice aficionado goes, so the nomenclature of this bottle of liquid nicotine is apropos.

I was practically born a connoisseur of all things tobacco/nicotine-related.  For those who are not proficient in the language and practices of the tobacco arts, the notorious bearer of nicotine comes in many, many subtle variations.  In Gold Ducat, you’ll find a gentle mixture of golden Virginia and natural Cavendish.  This is definitely not a black Cavendish or maduro-type of tobacco flavor, in that the taste itself is much more reminiscent of the lighter-colored cut tobacco leaves than those darkened, heavily-cured “throatier” tobacco tastes.  Now, working up from that light, airy, golden tobacco foundation ECI Vaping has added a touch of a sweet, white wine and something akin to the earthy flavor of a wooden cigar tip.  I’ve spent many an hour vaping this juice trying to pinpoint that wine flavor exactly, and I feel as though I’m tasting a Riesling wine in this wild blend of perfectly complimentary flavors.

Throat hit is important in any E-juice, let alone a tobacco-based juice designed specifically to imitate every associated sensation of smoking an analog tobacco of some sort.  ECI Vaping knows this and has figured this most important characteristic into their calculations while birthing their proud brainchild, Gold Ducat juice.  Even the deepest of lung hits off of a sub-ohm quad coil running on a variable wattage battery cranked up to the max will result in a velvety toking experience comparable to vaping a 100% VG juice from a standard T-3 on an eGo-Twist.  And all of that brilliant vaporous smoothness comes on the back of a 65% PG blend!  The physical properties of the vapor itself match the sense qualities in every aspect.  A good atomizer… doesn’t even have to be a great atomizer… will spawn a cloud of bright white vapor so smooth and hearty that you’ll want to wrap yourself up in it and take a blissful nap full of puffy, white dreams.

ECI Vaping, together with Golden Drops from the Philippines, has convinced me beyond the shadow of any doubt whatsoever to broaden the reach of my E-juice reviewership beyond our shores and over to the old country, the older country, and Japan!  I just hope and pray with every last bit of my existence that the morons in the leadership of E.U. and the various world and national “health” agencies stand strong for what’s right and just regarding that ongoing E-cigarette “debate.”  Assuming the intrusive bureaucrats of the world don’t snuff out smokers’ hope of salvation, ironically in the name of “health,” we could see companies like ECI Vaping actually become established as both a valid method of smoking cessation and a healthy, enjoyable new hobby.  Flavors like Gold Ducat will be instrumental, when this happens, in providing a segue of recovery for the typical, suffering smoker and a continued venue of beloved tobacco flavors for all of the aficionados out there who truly enjoy their analog nicotine habits, despite the dangers.

IBVape

Ooxol- Vanilla Cactus

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Click to visit Ooxol’s website!

 

With an unusual and interesting name like “Ooxol,” I’m actually not surprised to see a flavor like Vanilla Cactus on their menu.  Having lived in both the high dessert in California and the low(er) dessert in Yuma, AZ, I have been initiated into the many unusual cacti-based flavors made available in the driest of environments.  A cactus, in terms of flavor, is essentially water that has been steeped inside of a thick, vegetative, gourd-like surrounding.  So the actual taste one would expect to experience whilst biting into the center of dessert flora is essentially one of a lightly-plantlike water flavor.  (If you desire to attempt this experiment, I should warn you that you really ought to cut the cactus open before eating, and not bite directly into the exterior skin of the plant.  This may result in some bleeding issues, excruciatingly sharp pain in the mouthal region, and just an atypically sh*tty day.)  In addition to the very clean, watery essence of cactus “meat,” you will find it difficult to ignore the crisp sweetness of the cactus, and if you’ve watched many TV commercials of late, you’ll recognize this as the source of agave sweeteners.

One other common household vegetable that is heavy in water content is the cucumber.  The flavor of Vanilla Cactus by Ooxol is similar to that of a cucumber, but with less cuke and more of a light green flavor.  The vanilla takes this otherwise light and somewhat hard flavor and softens it up perfectly.  Cacti, though, produce a much sweeter, almost fruity taste than do cucumbers, and that sweetness is what gives this vape its signature characteristic.  Vanilla, by itself, is not actually sweet as I’m sure those of you know whose curiosity has gotten the better of them while teetering on the fence of a decision whether or not to chug a bottle of extract.  It takes that agave sweetness, coupled with the aloe-like taste of the cactus itself, to even out that 70 proof bourbon sharpness of the vanilla flavor. (Yes, vanilla extract, not to be confused with imitation vanilla extract, is actually 70 proof bourbon.  Bet you wish you knew that back in your high school years.)

The throat hit on Ooxol’s Vanilla Cactus E-liquid is a bit on the heavy side, especially with the presence of the cactus flavor.  But even with this heavy inhale, it doesn’t taste “cheap” by any stretch of the imagination.  Instead, you’ll feel like you’re inhaling a vapor akin to the thick, robust smoke of a maduro double corona cigar.  The vaporized form of vanilla and cactus E-juice makes for quite a respectable cloud of flavored, foggy yumminess.  Heavy throat hit doesn’t necessarily mean “bad vape,” however.  There’s a reason why Winston cigarettes still sell, and why Newports are so popular.  Taste is vastly different from person to person, and many vapers out there, such as myself, will appreciate the opportunity to actually feel their vapor swirling around every hidden corner of their lungs.  The overwhelming sense of vaping satisfaction you’ll get from the inhalation of a thick, hearty vapor made of flawlessly complimentary flavors is difficult to find in the world of E-liquids and should be celebrated whenever a juice like this pops up.

Ooxol is an unusual name with unusual flavors.  Vanilla Cactus is just one of the hard-to-find flavors offered by this E-juice manufacturer.  The next flavor I will be reviewing by this company is spicy chocolate.  Without going into too much detail, I’ll just offer the following scenario as a teaser for that review… semi-sweet chocolate lightly dusted in chilli powder.  I recently had a conversation with a vape-geek friend of mine about how there seems to be a shortage of truly masculine flavors available in the ever expanding E-juice market.  Ooxol has taken on this challenge and offered more than a few flavors that could easily be characterized as slightly more masculine in character than all of the fruity (please try not to read that previous bit in the Urban Dictionary sense of the word).  In addition to Spicy Chocolate and Vanilla Cactus, you’ll find Tequila and several tobacco-based flavors as well.  I’d like to start seeing flavors such as Leather Jacket, Scotch Whiskey, Redman Chewing Tobacco, Bloody Meat, Spent Gunpowder, Deer Jerky, Sawdust, etc.  It’s time to bring some John Wayne into this industry!

Visit Ooxol's Website!
Visit Ooxol’s Website!

Golden Drops- DBG

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I normally review USA or European-made E-liquids, so when a beautifully packaged (during the day I work in shipping and appreciate a good, well boxed shipment) box of E-juices came to me in my trusty, old vape-mailbox… all the way from the Philippines on the other side of the planet, I was slightly apprehensive at first.  So, not being one to stall on the threshold of adventure, I dug right in and grabbed a random bottle.  The Golden Drops bottle I pulled out first bore the name of DBG, an acronym of unknown meaning.  I’m guessing that it stands for something along the lines of Dat Bomb diGgitty, or possibly Damn Beautiful Geuse (pronounced as in Betelgeuse).  Either way, as far as I’m concerned, it stands for Awesome Friggin’ Juice.  I wasn’t expecting something quite so complex, though, and it took me a long time to really pin down my feelings about this magnificent anthem to Philippine E-juice manufacturing.

The flavor, as stated above, is complex and hard to really nail down.  I feel like there are present here more than just three or four simple flavors combined one on top of the other.  I can’t help but think that the birthing of Golden Drops’ DBG began very humbly with a lemon-lime/menthol base fully steeped and more-than-adequately homogenized.  Then, the addition of at least a few citrus flavors like orange and tangerine, and possibly a few rarely-seen-in-the-States Philippine-native fruits.  Finally, as if that wasn’t enough to perfect an amazing flavor, I really want to say that I am detecting an actual mint sprig inclusion, separate but complimentary to the menthol.  The end result is something that can only be described as a gourmet Italian soda.  The truly amazing thing about this vape is that it actually seems to quench your thirst.  The addition of the menthol to such a complex combination of flavors all on top of that readily recognizable soda-like, lemon-lime foundation, has the effect of making your soda flavored vaping experience feel cool to the throat, as if the soda itself was chilled on ice!  This is the first time I’ve come across an E-juice that delivered this unique and almost magical effect.

This soda on ice effect ties perfectly into the actual throat hit of this E-liquid’s vapor.  DBG E-juice quite literally slides down the throat like liquid, you know, without the hacking and coughing normally associated with liquid in the lungs.  That cooling sensation gives life to the other flavors, especially the lemon-lime, and turns them into a blissful, heavenly rain for your soul.  The vapor produced by the atomization of this Golden Drops product is perfectly thick for its flavor without overdoing it.  A deep lung hit off of a Genesis atty or a dripper will obviously give you a much more respectable, massive exhale of San Francisco fog upon the exhale.  However, even a more modest ProTank or even something as pedestrian as a GS-series or CE-series clearo will yield a perfectly enjoyable cloud of vaporized 50/50 VG/PG mix.

This juice opens up a whole new world of vaping for me.  I haven’t had the opportunity before these graciously accepted samples from Golden Drops to delve into the Philippine E-cigarette industry.  Now, like any self-respecting E-juice fanatic, I must have more.  DBG is a great example of professional E-juice manufacturing.  It’s obvious upon tasting this juice that quality ingredients were used in its creation and expert mixmasters had a hand in its flavoring.  I am looking forward to trying my next Golden Drops flavor, which will be happening about 45 seconds or so after I click on the “Publish Post” button at the bottom right corner of this page.  Soon you will be reading another (hopefully) glowing review of Golden Drops E-juice.

Zen Mind Vapor- Elephas Dew

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There is something to be said for all of the traditional E-juice fruit flavors; blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, cherry, mango, peached, and the like.  Occasionally you’ll see a few non-traditional fruits pop up, such as lychee, currant, etc.  It’s a rare mind, however, that will take a few of the more non-traditional flavors and combine them in a way that makes you wonder why God didn’t create a fruit that tastes exactly like the combination of the constituent fruits.  I think it may have something to do with our celestial obligation towards the culinary arts, but I digress into a deeper, theological realm.  Snap, back to the juice review.  Here we have Zen Mind Vapor, and no, I’m not continuing along the theological track, that actually is their name.  By a stroke of pure genius, their brilliant mix master(s) have struck pure gold with their Elephas Zen, a kiwi/fig combination with a hint of honeysuckle binding the two together perfectly.

There are flavor combinations where each individual flavor is still discernible separately, and there are flavor combinations that meld together to form an entirely new flavor.  The latter species is that of Zen Mind Vapor’s Elephas Dew.  Before tasting this E-liquid for the first time, I saw the word “Dew” and did what all good consumers are trained to do; I immediately thought about a certain highly-caffeinated, carbonated beverage by PepsiCo.  In actuality, this strange but delicious blend of flavors has very little in common with Mountain Dew, except for the fact that it is, in fact, its own, unique flavor.  The kiwi and the fig come together nicely to form a bittersweet combination.  The smooth, light-weight sweetness of the kiwi and the heavy-handed, robust flavor of the fig fit together like male and female jigsaw puzzle pieces.  Then the honeysuckle comes in and seals the flavors together to form a new flavor that can only be accurately described as… Elephas Dew!

A deep inhale of the atomized vapor of Elephas Dew can only be described as a religious experience, which is apropos to a product of a company named Zen Mind Vapor, I suppose.  The vapor of this remarkable E-juice is light, reminiscent of meringue or mousse.  It flows gently down the throat and into the lungs, maintaining its unmatched flavor all the way down, and all the way back out.  I haven’t found many E-liquids capable of delivering a “finishing note” as strong as that of Elephas Dew.  And the vapor production of this juice on my Kraken, Vision Eternity, and even in my friend’s T-3 clearo was very impressive for such a light textured cloud of pseudo-smoke.  Everything about this vaping experience is actually supernatural in nature, again apropos to the manufacturer’s Eastern Religion-inspired name.  Flavors are supposed to taste like whichever edible substance they are named after, not change into something heretofore unheard of and completely new.  Heavily flavored E-juice vapor isn’t supposed to produce a light and airy throat hit.  There is something miraculous about this mysterious E-liquid mixture.

If Elephas Dew is indicative of the character of E-juice products manufactured by Zen Mind Vapor, then I am very excited about their other flavors, waiting for their turn at the tasting in my suddenly-too-small-for-my-hobby backpack.  If this trend towards magical transformations of flavors and contradictory yet exquisite flavor combinations continues, I think I’m going to love this juice manufacturer…

The Mad Alchemist- Fairy Dust Elixir

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Here we have one of the most enjoyably perplexing E-juices I’ve yet to come across.  The Mad Alchemist has taken a number of usual suspects in the world of vaping flavors and combined them together in such a way as to produce a flavor that is wholly unlike any of its constituent parts.  The aptly named Fairy Dust Elixir is a fruity, sugary bastion to the art of E-liquid blending.  I am truly a fan of flavors that I am forced to keep vaping and vaping in order to pinpoint all of the elusive flavors involved in a multi-levelled, palate-stimulating concoction like this one.  One thing I can say for sure about this juice is that it is sweet.  So sweet, in fact, that I’m almost shocked that the bottle lacks a warning label detailing the dangers that this elixir poses to diabetes sufferers.  Imagine an extremely magnified image of a cloud of vapor, and in each of those countless, floating droplets of liquid sits perfectly symmetrical, multi-colored sugar granules.  I think that’s where the “Dust” part of the name comes from.

I often cheat a bit in my E-juice tasting procedures, in that I sometimes visit an E-juice manufacturer’s website in order to check the descriptions of the flavors I am tasting, just to make sure I’m not experiencing any gustatory hallucinations.  Also, more often than not, I’m stuck in a situation where I just can’t put my finger on a certain flavor with no visual aid.  When this happens, I almost always see the juice’s description on the website and say, “Oh, of course.  How did I not guess that?”  Not with The Mad Alchemist’s Fairy Dust Elixir.  When I saw “strawberries, apples, and pears in the descriptive copy next to the E-liquid’s graphic, I was shocked.  My first puff of this interesting vapor immediately brought to mind several of the various pixie stick E-juice renditions I’ve tasted in the past.  Several re-drips later I began tasting an apple/pear/sugar cane sort of blend.  A rebuild and another few re-drips finally brought out that Strawberry, which is now unmistakeable as I am writing this review.  All in all, this a complex blend of various fruits and sugars with waves of flavor that all come together to offer a sweet, professionally-created candy essence.

But that’s not even my favorite part of Fairy Dust Elixir.  Each of those magical, little granules of perfectly formed, rainbow sugars, weighs down that vapor just enough to make it feel like you’re actually breathing a soft, heavenly nectar of pure sweetness from God Himself.  Remember the film, The Abyss?  In the climax of the movie, Ed Harris’ character dons the liquid-breathing suit so he can drop down to the bottom of the bottomless pit so he can take a 50/50 crapshoot with a nuke and then make nice with the underwater, acrylic and LED versions of Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still.  (If you haven’t seen the Director’s Cut of the movie, you probably won’t get that last reference.)  Anyways, little did we know back in the late ’80s, when the Abyss saw its initial theatrical release, that by the time Doc Brown and Marty arrived in Hill Valley, 2015, that we’d actually be able to “breath” liquid in the form of an unnaturally thick, soothingly humid nicotinated vapor from an electronic cigarette.  I would not, however, suggest deep sea diving while vaping The Mad Alchemist’s E-liquid creations.  The results are likely to be heinous in nature.

All joking and elaborate analogies aside, The Mad Alchemist has hit a home run, out of the park, during their very first at-bat of the game.  Their Fairy Dust Elixir is something unique and refreshing to the world of gourmet E-juice, and should be celebrated as such by all those who appreciate the complexities and many variations of E-cigarette liquids.  Never before have I seen an E-juice so deceptively spectacular in so many different ways.  In fact, this juice is the real-life, E-liquid equivalent of the gum from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; every moment brings another full course of flavor!  Kudos, Mad Alchemist!  You may be mad, but in your madness is an unparalleled genius that the world is sorely lacking these days.

Original Vaper- Machine Gunn Kelly

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Click image to visit Original Vaper’s website!

This new line of E-Juice is one that will soon become a household name… in the houses of vape aficionados, that is.  Original Vaper makes a grand entrance into the world of E-cigarettes with a carefully and expertly mixed selection of four introductory E-juices.  First and foremost in this introductory set is Machine Gunn Kelly, which is tantamount to starting a Michael Bay movie with a Nuclear Explosion that actually bleeds out of the screen and irradiates the entire audience… in a good way, of course.  The Holiday Season may be over until next month when Pennies puts the Christmas Tree Display back up for the ’14 X-mas season, but that doesn’t make those beloved Holiday flavors taste any less wonderful and joyous!  If I were to ask you, my dear readership, to name two Holiday flavors without thinking about it, the vast majority of you would name the same two flavors.  And those two flavors are easy to find individually in E-juice form.  But combined, together, in one blend… that’s a rarity!

Pumpkin Spice and Spiced Eggnog blend seamlessly together to make Machine Gunn Kelly.  I get the impression, however, that the flavoring used during the creation of this gold medallist E-liquid is not your standard, average pumpkin spice, or spiced eggnog.  I want to say that the spice(s) were brought in separately and added to a basic pumpkin and basic eggnog flavor.  While it may be true that some of those pre-mixed flavorings out there actually taste great, I like the idea of being able to hone the exact amounts of each individual flavoring in order to ensure that your intended vapor tastes exactly the way you want it.  I think the mix-masters over at Original Vaper feel the same way.  While vaping Machine Gunn Kelly, I felt like I was holding a warm Thompson Sub-Machine Gun (Tommy Gun for my non-firearms literate readership) in my lap over a pile of freshly mowed discontents… while sitting in a comfy chair before my blazing hearth, sipping on Holiday eggnog while munching on delectable portions of freshly baked pumpkin pie with a touch of whipped cream.  And that’s exactly what I want to taste almost every moment of every day of my life.

A creamy flavor deserves an equally creamy throat hit… and Original Vaper’s Machine Gunn Kelly does not disappoint in these regards.  The vapor itself feels like a light pumpkin pie/eggnog moose soufflé as it passes down into your lungs.  I’m not even going to try to guess at what combination of elements went into creating a near-flawless throat hit like this one, but I’m sure there are professional mix-masters behind this Olympic-grade victory.  When tasting a new vapor, I have a series of movements I go through in order to complete my process of rating.  Among these is the holding of a cupped hand (usually mine, occasionally the cold, deceased victim of a brutal machine gunning) in front of my mouth in order to “catch” the vapor on the exhale and continue to taste in both an oral and olfactory capacity until the vapor dissipates to the point of disappearing completely from sight.  Occasionally, I come across a juice like this one where I eventually have to remove my cupped hand from my mouth because the vapor itself just refuses to dissipate completely due to the heavy thickness of it.  My scoring system reflects this (read my PDF of Juice Ratings for E-liquid scores by manufacturer and flavor) in three of my five rating categories; Throat Hit, Vapor Production, and Olfactory Rating.

There is very little else I can say about Original Vaper’s Machine Gunn Kelly E-Juice that is capable of capturing in the vernacular the exquisite nature of this superb vape.  All I can really do at this point is to urge you, my vape-crazed audience, to keep on the lookout for this newly released E-juice brand.  It may take a short while for it to find its way into your neck of the woods… or it may already be there.  Just give it a try as soon as you possibly can.  You will not be disappointed in the least.

Click image to visit Original Vaper's website!
Click image to visit Original Vaper’s website!

MInky Juice- Belly Dancer

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Everything has it’s best.  There is a Platonic Form of all things in the Universe.  Consider coffee, for example; Kona and Jamaican Blue carry the national standard for the Kingdom of Java.  The frapped liver of tortured geese take on the unassuming name of “foie grois” and lead the march for all of you foodies out there.  Cigars owe their allegiance to the land of communism and impressive beards better known as Cuba.  Florida houses the best orange groves.  Chicago births the world’s greatest pizza (Sorry, New York… I have loyalties!)  And Turkey produces the best cigarette tobacco in the known Multiverse.  I’d even go so far as to say that the hobbits in the Tolkien-conceived Shire couldn’t even match it.  Minky Juice has created this E-juice and named it Belly Dancer in order to harness one of the most readily recognizable visual cues of Middle Eastern culture.  And in the belly of Belly Dancer resides the real, true essence of Turkish tobacco.

Now, Minky Juice in their arrogance decided that they wished to improve upon perfection.  Their arrogance, however, in this particular case is totally justified.  The complex flavor bouquet of Belly Dancer builds on the Turkish tobacco base by adding a small blend of complimentary spices and a pinch of orange peel to the robust yet smooth tastefulness of the tobacco.  The result is superb in every sense.  The spice content is subtle, but I feel as though I’m detecting a gentle, homogenized blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and possibly cardamom.  The orange is just perfectly on the bitter side, which is why I analogize to orange peel.  The Turkish tobacco, like all E-juice versions of tobacco, tastes most like the smell of the fresh cut and cured tobacco leaves themselves, rather than like the burnt smoke version of those same leaves.  Together with the orange spice, the tobacco of Belly Dancer E-juice is good enough to become the flagship flavor of the Minky Juice E-juice company.

Throat hits with tobacco-based E-juices are tricky.  Depending on the tobacco flavor you’re going for, you need to make sure that your throat hit matched the expected inhalation smoothness (or harshness) of that particular strand of tobacco.  If you are trying to nail the flavor of a Marlboro Red, your throat hit should be a bit on the heavy and harsh side.  If, like in the case of Minky Juice’s Belly Dancer, you are attempting to capture the spirit of Turkish tobacco in your vaping experience, you need to be going for a smoother, lighter throat hit without losing the full-flavored essence of the tobacco itself.  Obviously, this requires a bit of experimentation in the VG/PG department.  Enough vegetable glycerine needs to be used to take away a lot of that harshness, and enough propylene glycol to keep the vapor feeling like actual cigarette smoke.  The lab guys over at Minky Juice must have taken their time making sure that they were going to get this flavor just right!  The thick vapor production of vaporized Belly Dancer (wow, there’s an image… Dear NSA, we’re talking about vaporized E-juice here, not vaporized belly dancing females.  Don’t read this out of context!) testifies to the amount of trial and error that went into the formulation of this juice.

All in all, what we have here is a juice that pushes the envelope of what we all thought possible in the world of E-liquid manufacturing.  Minky Juice has taken the world’s most readily recognizable type of tobacco (thanks, of course, to that Camel guy with a cigarette in his constantly gum-chewing mouth) and turned into a vapor masterpiece.  Tobacco, orange peel, and a selection of traditional spices… all make Belly Dancer the juice that will carry Minky Juice into the conversations of many a vape-geek at vape shops across the country.  I would like to see someone, hopefully Minky Juice (having proved that they have what it takes), attempt to capture the long-lost palate-stimulating flavor of Three Castles rolling tobacco.  Three Castles was a 50/50 blend of Turkish tobacco and English-grown golden Virginia tobacco.  Back when I was a connoisseur of smoking tobacco, that was my absolute favorite rolling tobacco blend to buy.  I bet that Minky Juice would truly do it justice.

Things I’m Sick of Hearing…

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I’ve been vaping long enough now (as I’m sure all of you have as well) to be able to put together a list of things that I am really getting sick of hearing from the stereotypical American, misanthropic, coffee house scientist/lawyer.  Feel free to add your own contributions in the ‘comments’ section:

  • “Did you know they put antifreeze in there (my E-cig)?”  Answer: Of course.  I made this one myself and without antifreeze it just doesn’t have that… that Oomph, ya know!?
  • “They just did studies that proved that those (E-cigs, once again) don’t actually help people quit smoking.”  Answer: Really?  That’s fascinating because you’re actually, physically sitting next to and conversing with a person who has quit smoking with E-cigs.  In fact your optic nerve is receiving visual information that completely negates the statement that just vomited out of your face.
  • “I want to use the 0mg nicotine stuff because I just use hookah.  I don’t smoke.”  Answer:  Um, I hate to be the deliverer of bad news but the fact that you use “hookah” means that you not only smoke, but you smoke incredibly dense pipe tobacco, rich in massive amounts of nicotine and inhaled directly into the lung in long, deep breaths.  And by the way, pipe tobacco is not really supposed to be inhaled at all, simply because it’s so friggin’ strong and bad for you.
  • And in the same vein as the previous one… “Is that a hookah pen?”  Answer:  No, actually it’s a… You know what?  Yeah.  Yes it’s a hookah pen, except awesomer!
  • “I can’t believe you’re using that around your (or someone else’s) child.”  Answer: Well, I figured that the vaporized antifreeze wouldn’t really matter, what with the heroine and steroids that I inject into that little bad-ass kid!
  • “You know, nobody really knows anything about those things yet.”  Answer: Is that a fact?  That’s depressing because apparently, according to you, I just wasted a week and a half reading about 700 pages of scientific evidence that ‘nobody really knows’ because the more-than-adequately executed and documented experimentation and research ‘doesn’t actually exist’ on this planet which ‘isn’t really there’ in a universe which ‘may or may not be real.’  Go home, hippie!
  • “This looks like a shooting up kit for heroine!”  Answer:  It’s funny you should mention that because it doesn’t actually look anything like a kit in which one would keep their drug paraphernalia.  If you look at this kit for more than a split second, you’ll notice that we’re lacking almost all of the necessary components of the typical syringe and drug collection.  Also, it would be rare to see a battery, or anything USB-related in a heroine kit.  Finally, heroine generally doesn’t come in flavors like ‘Tobacco’ or ‘Strawberry Cheesecake.’  Just sayin’… (P.S.  Why don’t you go bother a diabetic about their insulin ‘kit’ for a change.)
  • “Excuse me, there’s no smoking in here.”  Answer:  Does this look like a f*****g cigarette to you?  When was the last time you saw a cigarette with a digital readout made of solid metal with a liquid-filled tank attached to it?!?!
  • “Excuse me, I’m allergic to smoke.”  Answer:  Just go away!  You’re apparently also allergic to human brain matter, too.  Just go!
  • “Candy and dessert flavors are designed to attract young children and get them to start smoking.”  Answer: Mm hmm.  That’s great!  And I suppose that sleek and loud-colored sports cars are designed to attract young children and get them to start illegal street racing, too?  Bottles of alcohol with pirates on the labels must also be aimed at getting children to start drinking… OR… could it possibly be that adults like candy, too, and also respond with a sense of adventure and awe at the image of a pirate drinking rum?  Since when do children have more pervasive tastes than adults?
  • “I’ve only owned this clearomizer (a CE-4) for about a month and a half and it just tastes burnt now.  I don’t think this whole E-cig thing is as good as everyone (the ones with rebuilt atomizers on good mods) says it is.”  Answer:  You wanted a good E-cig experience for under $10.  What the hell did you think was gonna happen, moron!?!?
  • “I don’t see anything wrong with FDA regulating E-cigs.”  Answer: Really?  ‘Cause I’m not sure if you’re aware of it or not, but the FDA isn’t the end-all-be-all of approval committees on this Earth.  In fact, they more often than not approve the harmful and either ban or regulate-out-of-existence the helpful.  So why should we trust them to regulated an industry that really is doing just fine on its own?
  • “I think that all of the legislation to prohibit the sale of E-cigs to minors is a good thing.”  Answer: I CHALLENGE YOU to find any vendor of E-cigs ANYWHERE in this country that sell E-cigs to children under the age of 18.  In fact, I TRIPLE-DOG-DARE YOU!
  • “Excuse me, sir (or ma’am, as it applies)… you can’t smoke that in here.”  Answer: [say nothing, just keep walking] or:  Ok.  I don’t even have a lighter anyways [and then take a long, hearty puff off of your E-cig].
  • “Did you know that stuff like Nicorette and Chantix (etc.) actually work better as smoking cessation devices than E-cigs?  They worked for me the last three times I quit.”  (Seriously… I actually heard this come out of a real person’s mouth AS THEY LIT A CIGARETTE WITH THE BUTT OF ANOTHER CIGARETTE!!!!!)  Answer:  Just go kill yourself.
  • [Direct quote]: “Mimicking smoking in public is probably not getting you closer to quitting.”  Answer: Are you aware that what you’re essentially saying is that ‘not doing something at all’ isn’t ‘not doing something at all.’  Do you suffer from a learning disability?  You know, being retarded probably isn’t getting you any closer to being retarded.

That’s all I got for now.  I might add more at a later date, but I can actually feel my already high blood pressure starting to bubble.

 

Elements- Earth

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I have mentioned in several other reviews that I am becoming an appreciator of those smaller, micro-manufacturers that focus not on variety, but carefully and diligently formulated quality.  Elements E-Juice company has necessarily, by virtue of their name, limited themselves to only four flavors… unless they come up with a few others like “Plasma” and “The Fifth Element” (with permission from Sony Pictures, of course).  But for now, we are dealing with just the four traditional elements… Wind, Water, Fire (or Fyre, as Elements has chosen to give this third one an Olde English twist), and of course Earth.  For the purposes of this particular review, it’s this last one that we (that’s the imperial “we,” to keep with the Olde English feel) will be focusing on in detail… and with all of its complexity and various flavor subtleties, detail is required to do this marvelous E-liquid justice.

“Complexity of flavor” is a phrase that is plumb necessary in an accurate description of Element’s Earth.  We begin with a product of one of the greatest gifts God has placed on this Green Earth… chocolate!  But this isn’t just some normal, run-of-the-mill, convenience store chocolate.  With this juice, we are speaking more in terms of obscure truffles flown into the country via unicorn from an unreachable-except-by-foot monastery perched about a block and a half from Zeus’ retirement home on Mount Olympus.  Essentially, we’re dealing with a sweetened, creamy dark chocolate here.   Now, concerning the other, more subtle flavor presences… If you’ve ever been into one of those more upscale chocolate chops like those found in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, you’ve no doubt seen and even tastes those wallet-emptying, credit card-maxing chocolate truffles rolled in cocoa dust.  That unmistakeable cocoa dust taste is definitely present in this juice, separate from and complimentary to the creamy dark chocolate itself.  As I sit here and vape Earth E-juice by Elements, I’m also picking up on a small hint of a nutty inclusion, although I’m not entirely sure which nut variety(ies) I’m tasting here.

The throat hit of this amazing concoction is a truly a wonder to behold.  Thick plumes of smoke-like clouds are produced off of this Elements E-juice by even the most pedestrian of CE-series clearomizers.  I vaped this on a CE-5, a Pro-Tank (both on my Evic), and a Trident Dripper on a Zorro Plug-in.  Earth E-liquid yields a throat hit smoother than a baby’s recently powdered bottom.  Essentially, we’re breathing in the atmosphere of the uppermost tier of Heaven when we inhale the Godly vapor of Elements homage to the terrestrial element.  I think it’s safe to assume that this juice has been blended by expert mixmasters on an 80/20 VG/PG (Vegetable Glycerine/Propylene Glycol) foundation.  But I’m also betting that this is a true 80/20 mix.  Many mixmasters don’t take into account the VG and/or PG content used as a base in both their flavorings and nicotine suspensions.  When those contents are taken into consideration, then and only then will the label of 80/20 VG/PG blend be completely accurate.

This is my first first of four reviews for the Elements E-Juice company.  So far, this unparalleled E-liquid manufacturer is batting a thousand.  Elements’ Earth is the perfect example of what types of fruits can be yielded through patient diligence in the sculpting of a true masterpiece.  Don’t let the lack of variety in their flavors fool you… when you turn out results which achieve even half of what these juices have accomplished, you don’t need variety because the power of your small selection of crafted pieces of inspired art will carry you through.