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!