Vaping can be more than just an alternative to smoking. A lot of dedicated vapers have discovered an amazing world of flavors, equipment, and techniques to explore in the vaping community. When you get enough experienced vapers together, discussions about the ideal vape liquid are likely to break out. If you’re ready to start exploring this vast marketplace yourself, this guide will give you some pointers for picking out great-tasting vape liquids of all kinds.
What’s In This Stuff?
If you’re relatively new to the vaping scene, you might be curious (or even a ltitle apprehensive) of what goes into the liquid you’re loading into your vaporizer. There’s absolutely nothing to fear in those innocent little bottles! The vast majority of juices (commonly called e-liquid or e-juice) boil down to just four basic ingredients.
The liquid base of e-juice is provided by two components: vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. The glycerin is responsible for stabilizing the whole mixture and producing the majority of the vapor. Propylene glycol is a superb aerosol base that carries the other ingredients into the vapor. It’s the same ingredient used in asthma inhalers. The third ingredient is an optional one — pharmaceutical nicotine. Most juice manufacturers offer their products in a variety of nicotine strengths, all the way from powerful 24 mg/ml mixes down to nicotine-free blends.
The final ingredient is the flavoring, and this is where the real magic happens. Juice flavoring ingredients are a lot like perfume ingredients; individual manufacturers jealously guard their proprietary blends. Some manufacturers produce all-natural flavors, but others rely on artificial ingredients to create their distinctive flavors.
A Word About Nicotine
While this article is primarily about the many different tastes and flavors available to vapers, the contribution of nicotine to the vaping experience can’t be ignored. The level of nicotine in a given blend will affect the throat hit it produces and alter the way you taste the e-liquid’s flavors. The exact way the nicotine interacts with the flavor tends to vary between different manufacturers. Mt. Baker Vapor is noted for producing juices that are at their most flavorful in low-nicotine varieties. Green Smoke and V2Cigs, in contrast, produce juices that get more intense as you ramp up the nicotine level.
What does this mean? That you shouldn’t be alarmed to find a difference in flavors when you step down (or step up) your nicotine levels. This can be disappointing if you have a special favorite blend, but it’s all part of the game.
Common Flavor Bases
Before you start perusing the samples, take a moment to note the major families that e-juice flavors fall into. Many juice blends are crafted to precisely replicate the taste and aroma of natural tobacco. Minty and menthol-based blends are common and popular enough to deserve their category. The other predominant flavors are mostly food- and confectionary-based, and they fall broadly into two classes, sweet (e.g., fruits and desserts) and savory (e.g., coffee, chocolate).
A lot of popular blends cross over into multiple categories, so you shouldn’t think of these as rigid definitions. It can be helpful to have some basic terminology though, especially if you’re trying to describe what makes a particular e-liquid great.
USA Blend by Pink Spot Vapors
This is a nice, straightforward tobacco juice. Devotees love its simple quality and smooth, familiar flavor. If you’re using vaping to transition away from traditional smoking completely, a blend like this makes an excellent everyday choice.
Twisted Java By Halo Cigs
Halo is one of the biggest names in the vaping market, and bold, sophisticated juice blends like Twisted Java make it easy to see why. As you might expect from the name, the base of this flavor is rich, dark espresso. It’s complemented nicely with a peppermint kick, and a gentle hint of caramel rounds out the taste nicely. If you’re looking for a rich dessert-style juice that isn’t cloyingly fruity, this is a perfect example.
Banana Cream By Apollo
Bananas are a curiously popular flavor choice in e-liquid, showing up in many different dessert and fruit oriented blends. If you’d to try a more purified example of the flavor, Apollo’s offering is rich and flavorful. This is pretty indicative of the manufacturer’s whole line; Apollo can be relied on to provide pure flavors without a lot of needless complications. When they do create blended flavors they’re very good, though; Apollo is also famed as the creator of the All Nighter blend that mimics the flavor (and caffeinated kick!) of Red Bull.
Snake Oil By Seduce Juice
Representing the interesting world of “boutique” juice blenders, Seduce Juice has become famous for doing something with fruit flavors besides imitating a Starburst. Their Snake Oil flavor is based on the winning combination of pear and coconut flavors, but the result is a lot more complex than a basic pairing. Try this out if you want a first-hand taste of what expert blenders can do.
Gambit By Five Pawns
Another “boutique” selection, Gambit is an e-juice designed to capture a whiff of the perfect apple pie your grandmother would have killed herself to bake. Five Pawns layers in a lot of subtle notes (including caramel, whipped cream, and vanilla) to bring this dessert flavor to life. Of course, you can also use Gambit as a cautionary example of just how pricey premium juices can get; the manufacturers feel completely comfortable charging you almost $30 for a 30 ml bottle.
G-35 By The Standard
The Standard is a well-named company. They’ve been in the juice-blending business as long as anybody, and their concoctions are regularly praised by the most discriminating of vapers. G-35 is an excellent selection when you want to go for all-out fruit flavor. It’s a bold mix of coconut, mango, and pineapple topped off with a touch of peppermint. A real tropical treat; this one is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
These are just a few of the vape liquid options available to you. Thanks to the power of online shopping, you have thousands of blends to experiment with. Before you settle in and declare one single brand to be your favorite, make sure you’ve taken a look at the full range of possibilities.