The Vapor Chef eLiquid Review
This is our first foray into the eLiquids of The Vapor Chef, and boy was it ever a fun ‘four day vape fest through the diversity of flavor’. Eleven bottles of eJuice, all of them not just different, but a different vape experience as well… Some sweet, some fruity, some heavy, some light…a good representation of The Vapor Chef lineup. So let’s get to it.
Our Interview with The Vapor Chef himself is available right here, make sure you pop over and read it, either before or after reading this review.
2013 has been a banner year for the vape community, from Vapers to the people making products for Vapers; it has grown so much larger, so much faster that every official financial ‘forecaster’ ever thought it would. In fact, Spinfuel was the only publication that believed 2013 would be a multi-billion dollar year for the industry, and we were right (we said that in mid-2012). And… it’s only just begun. 2013 is the year people will remember as the year history was made. The year Vaping went mainstream.
The Vapor Chef Company
Opening its virtual doors in January of this year The Vapor Chef offers a unique take on eJuice. The owner, and head flavorist (the person who crafted the overall flavor of the eJuice), comes from a fine-dining background. Aras was, or rather ‘is’, a fine dining chef, a profession that not only knows ‘flavor’ but also knows more about individual palates then any other profession. Aras brings that level of sophistication and talent to the art of making eJuice.
Of course, even the best chef’s can create a recipe that doesn’t go over well with his patrons. Just because a person understands ‘flavor’, understands how a person’s palate interprets certain tastes, it doesn’t automatically mean that every item on the menu is going to appeal to every customer that walks into the restaurant. That certainly holds true in the eLiquid business as well.
Four Vapers, all with certain likes and dislikes, and all with their own individual preferences, not to mention individual palates, spent four days vaping only eLiquids from The Vapor Chef. Some flavors were better than others, some on the team were crazy about certain eJuices, and others were not, and vice versa. This is what makes eLiquid reviews so interesting. The Vapor Chef review period was one of the most interesting reviews we’ve done this year.
As an example of how complex and intricate some of the flavors we reviewed: I remember a review awhile back where the defining ingredient, the singular ‘taste experience’ was ‘sweet’. Everyone, just about, loves sweet flavors, it’s in our DNA, it’s a survival thing passed down from the early days of mankind. If you want the best shot at making an eLiquid accessible to the mainstream just make it really sweet. Sure, not everyone will like it, but more people will then won’t. So when a vendor is born who takes a different approach, dares to actually care about flavor instead of sweetness, that vendor creates recipes that some will embrace and others will not. It’s a risk, a good risk, and it’s a lot braver than simply offering customers the choice between sweet and super sweet.
The Menu – Eleven Fully Realized eLiquids
Hobbes Blood Fluffy Cake Nutty Caramel Apple Slartibartfast (say what? –ed) Black Pompom Peppermint Pattie Unicorn Poop Pina Guavada Southern Hospitality Deep Thought Bloody Mango
The Vapor Chef tests all their eJuices with a multitude of hardware. They also push and pull the voltage, wattage, and ohms, to find out how well a recipe holds up under various conditions. They realize, like we do, that flavors can change somewhat depending on what hardware you use, or at what setting you use.
Admitting that an eLiquid you make will taste one way under one condition and another way under another condition is something to be admired, and something we’ve known as consumers of juice for almost two years, which is the very reason we gather together several people using several different hardware products to review these eLiquids.
How This Review Was Done
The four-team members used their personal batteries, clearomizers, cartomizers, and tanks. Whatever they wanted to use, they used. In addition, we used each other’s hardware so that by the end of review period each eJuice was vaped by each team member using at least four different combinations of hardware. Various voltage, power, and ohms in coils and attys were used to see how far the eJuice could be pushed, in both directions, and to find the personal sweet spot for each team member and each piece of hardware. It was a long process but it was worth the time and effort, and cost. We learned a lot about The Vapor Chef flavor signature, and that is what we will share with you.
We understand our reviews can be overly long, and sometimes quite boring, so we won’t bother to run down the performance of each flavor under each condition by each team member (can you imagine the length of the review if we did?), instead we agreed to discuss where the sweet spot, or best performance (including taste) was found for each of us. Your results could be different…probably will be different, but at least you’ll know what to expect.
Spinfuel Choice Award
For a company to be awarded a Spinfuel Choice Award all team members have to agree that in all areas they grade for the particular eJuice has to earn the maximum rating, 5 stars. The first time we work with a vendor it’s difficult to award any flavor with the Choice award, though it has happened. We’re happy to say that we did award a couple in this review as well.
The Vapor Chef Eleven
Team: Tom McBride, Julia Hartley-Barnes, Keira Hartley-Barnes, and Jason Little
Black Pompom – “Black currant, pomegranate, a slight hint of lemon. Pure deliciousness.” – TVC
Tom: Black Pompom has a lot going for it. Tremendous vapor production and a really nice throat hit. A lot of flavor too, and if you like the taste of pomegranate you will love this eJuice. That said, I’m not a pomegranate fan. Still, on the technical side this is a winner. Pomegranate flavor is very true to life. Best vaped warm. 5 Stars
Julia: Pomegranate juice took me a while to like. I wanted to start drinking it as a curative, to make me healthier, so I began drinking 8 ounces a day. At first it was killing me, the taste is so strong, like drinking concentrated grape eJuice that is still in the concentrated form. Then I learned to like it. Black Pompom is a very pomegranate tasting eJuice with lots of vapor and a solid throat hit. Not something I would vape everyday, but a great eJuice regardless. 5 Stars
Keira: I agree with Tom and Jules assessment of Black Pompom except for one thing; there is a distinct ‘floral’ element to it. For that reason I have to give it 4.5 Stars
Jason: Oh man, pomegranate is god-awful stuff, and this is a god-awful tasting eJuice. Which, according to what makes a great eLiquid, Black Pompom gets the title. It tastes like pomegranate, has excellent vapor production, a nice throat hit, and it can be pushed a bit when it comes to ohms and voltage. I might not like it because it tastes like pomegranate, but that’s the point, ya know? It’s an accurate, well made eJuice that delivers the real thing. 4.5 Stars
Bloody Mango – “Fresh, ripe mango and blood orange. This is a very refreshing vape. No steeping necessary.” – TVC
Tom: I decided to start reviewing flavors in these ‘team’ reviews in alphabetical order, and now I’m beginning to regret it. The fact is The Vapor Chef makes some great eJuice, and I look forward to a follow-up review in January, but Bloody Mango is just awful. If you’ve read our reviews before you know I like mango vapes, but the blood orange in this blend kills it.
Although the vapor is good, the throat hit is okay, the flavor is just sad. I’m giving this one a higher score than I feel it deserves because my dislike of blood oranges, and their photo illustration shouldn’t dissuade you from trying it. Why? Because this really does taste like a blood orange with hints of mango. Had they named it Mango Blood, calling it a Mango flavor with blood orange I might score it lower, but they admit this is a blood orange with mango. They are right, it is. 4 Stars
Julia: I don’t taste much mango at all in Bloody Mango. I’m not sure what I taste, but I know mango and this is not that. Good vapor, good throat hit, not so good flavor. 3 Stars
Keira: Of the eleven flavors Bloody Mango is my least liked flavor. First of all there is little or no mango flavor that I can detect, and because they say there is no need for steeping means that the flavor is as good as its going to get. Good vapor, an okay throat hit, Bloody Mango might have been better had they added a lot more mango. 3:75 Stars
Jason: Orange, as we have said many times, is difficult to tame. Bloody Mango is proof of that. Maybe if it were sweeter it would be a better vape, but as it is now…not much to like about Bloody Mango. Warm vapor improves this a little but not much. 3.75 Stars
Deep Thought – “Sassafras pipe tobacco. This is a very deep flavor. Vanilla, sassafras, deep rich pipe tobacco, and a little spice. Great for an evening vape.” – TVC
Tom: I can really taste the Sassafras, which tastes like a combination of Dr. Pepper and Root Beer with a little cream soda thrown in. And the ‘spice’ is definitely there as well. Big clouds of vapor, a lighter than expected throat hit, and as a pipe tobacco its not as ‘big and bold’ as I would’ve liked, but the Sassafras flavor makes this one an original and great tasting vape. 4.5 Stars
Julia: First, I wonder how many people think Sassafras is the same as sarsaparilla, because I did. Although both are derived from roots, Sassafras is from a tree (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sassafras_albidum), sarsaparilla is from an herb, and that’s where any similarities end.
Sassafras, artificial Sassafras anyway (the real stuff was banned by the FDA back in 1960) is an actual ingredient in Root Beer, so Tom got that right. Sassafras and spices are the dominant flavors, and this is a very interesting combination. As a pipe tobacco its kinda light on the tobacco, but as something original it works well. The most interesting thing about this eJuice is that the taste gets bigger the more you vape it. That’s a first for me. 4.25 Stars
Keira: Sassafras, vanilla, spice, and a pipe tobacco blend, Deep Thought is a pleasant but edgy vape. An original flavor, but one I am not likely to add to my collection. 4 Stars