Okay, okay, I’m doing it, all right? It’s come to my notice that I created this post on the 6th – the sixth! – of August, and it now appears to be September. I’ll do my best to get caught up, reviewing the juices I have. Which is… hmmm, about thirty. Well, today I’m going to do the first three: Drum, USA Mix and Strawberry, all by Dekang, and obtained from a certain head shop in Greenwich. They charge £4.99 a pop, or three for twelve quid – on the expensive side for juice, but my objective for the day was to go out and buy some juices over an actual counter, in London, and take them home with me, so it was a case of taking my pick from what they had. So:
Dekang juice bottles. They all look like this – at least they did; certain pack shots on their corporate site suggest they’re trying to make themselves over.
When I smoked, I smoked Drum rolling tobacco, for at least the last 25 years. So you’ll understand that I picked up this Drum flavour juice (16mg) as my very first juice purchase. I can see what they’re getting at with the flavour. Actually its a pretty fair attempt to replicate the taste of the rolling tobacco with which I had such a long and sordid relationship. You might think therefore that I’d be golloping through this fairly quickly – but after six weeks or so, more than half of it is still in the bottle. This is not because there’s anything particularly wrong with it, but I’m just not finding myself reaching for the tobacco flavours, when I open the juice box. There’s nearly always something I’d rather vape. I’ll use it up eventually, no doubt, but I won’t be buying any more of it. Only a few weeks into the World of Juice, and commercial tobacco analogues are the first category of flavours to get the heave-ho.
USA Mix (16mg) is Dekang’s attempt at Marlboro. It’s been so long since I smoked a Marlboro, I really couldn’t say how successful an imitation it actually is, but as a dry-ish American style tobacco flavour, it’s okay. I used this up quicker (than the Drum), mostly in combination with other flavours; I already mentioned my pseudo-camel mix, of which I did actually make another 10ml. The Camel tobacco mood doesn’t overtake me very frequently, but I like that it’s there, waiting.
I was fairly convinced that I’d have to wean myself away from tobacco flavours slowly and carefully – so I was pretty surprised to find that of the early juice purchases, it was the Strawberry (24mg) that I was going through quickest – even though I could tell it was far from the Best Possible Strawberry Flavour. I’ve since picked up two different strawberry flavourings, and a juice sampler (DV’s Wild Strawberry, from Vapefest). This latter is by far the best flavour, and one I will maybe rhapsodise at greater length another time; the jury’s still out on T-Juice Strawberri (sic) concentrate – I don’t presently have the spare capacity to have yet another bottle taken up with Strawberry juice – and the impulse purchase, Sainsburys’ Strawberry food flavouring is a weird one. It didn’t have anything in the ingredients list that rang any alarm bells, and it was cheap, and I didn’t, at that point, have any flavours to play with, so why not? Well, I’ve tried it at various concentrations, and it resembles strawberries in none of them. Sweet, sickly and perfumed, vaguely berry-ish, but really, no. Just no. Ominously, when I tried to rescue the experiment by mixing with other flavours, it made the results meh. It was like an evil, anti-flavour. So it’s going into the kitchen cupboard, and sometime I’ll use it for cooking something where it can’t do too much harm.
The other thing about the Dekang Strawberry is that I bought it at 24mg, because that was what was in the shop. Now I’ve been vaping at 16mg since I took up the ecigs in January, so I tried diluting it, 2 parts juice to 1 part VG. This gave a nic strength of 16mg, a PG/VG ratio of (presumably, about) 50:50, and the flavour intensity dialled down by a third. I just made up 3ml like this, in case the result was horrid, but it wasn’t horrid at all. The flavour, while reduced, was adequate, and I’ve vaped (almost) the whole bottle away in the diluted state. So, this 2:1 dilution has become standard procedure for me since then. Almost all of the commercial juices I’ve tried have had sufficiently robust flavour that they can stand it, and the juice goes 50 percent further. Which is nice.
Finally, bear in mind that taste is a matter of, well, taste; flavours I’m keen on may not suit you at all, and vice versa. There really is no substitute for going off and trying a bunch for yourself, and finding out what you like. I’m not going to say this every time, but for the first juice reviews on the blog, I thought I’d better say it once.