Vaping Diaries #343: Elixir Vape Epothecary Interview (ECC 2015)

Out of the 100+ e-liquid companies I saw at ECC 2015, Elixir Vape was the most singular. The company’s Epothecary line of vaping e-liquids is so distinct. I can honestly say that I didn’t try anything remotely similar to Epothecary at the show and haven’t vaped anything like these juices. You see, Elixir Vape Epothecary e-liquids are infused with numerous herbs. In addition to giving each juice a unique taste, the company claims that vaping their herbal concoctions promotes various health benefits. The Elixir Vape team has a licensed herbalist and a licensed nutritionist, to help ensure safety. Company co-founder Billy Vernetti told me about Elixir Vape and the Epothecary line in the ECC 2015 video interview below.

There are currently four flavors in the Epothecary line. Initially, the juices contained 0mg of nicotine, but a 3mg option was added later. Awake contains vitamin B12, ginseng, green tea, and yerba mate. Elixir Vape claims that it promotes alertness and clear thinking. Breathe contains peppermint, eucalyptus, mullein, and thyme. Billy said that this e-liquid helps those with respiratory ailments, allergies, and migraine headaches. Calm features St. John’s wort, valerian root (not Valyrian steel), and ginseng. This juice is meant to help with relaxation. Lastly, and probably most controversially, is Enhance. With yohimbe, maca root, cinnamon, and ginseng, this juice supposedly aids libido and vitality.

Naturally, I expect many vapers to be skeptical about the benefits of vaping herbal mixes. Billy was kind enough to explain the company’s view on the effectiveness of inhaling vs. ingesting these herbs. While I haven’t tried any Epothecary e-liquids yet, I do have a few friends that swear by Breathe. Two of them claim that it helps them breathe better when they have allergy attacks, while another claims that it has cleared up her sniffles on a multiple occasions. I’m anxious to try out these e-liquids in the near future and curious to see what kinds of effects they’ll have on me, if any.

To learn more about Elixir Vape’s Epothecary e-liquids, check out my chat with Billy below.

Vaping Diaries #342: Revol Vapors Austin Hopper Interview

Revol Vapors co-founder Austin Hopper is affectionately known as #TheFaceOfVape within the industry. He has been an executive at some of the biggest e-liquid companies in the business, such as Space Jam and Cuttwood. His latest venture is much more personal. Revol Vapors (Revol is lover spelled backwards) is his very own juice line and he told me all about it at ECC 2015.

Revol Vapors has launched with three e-liquid flavors. Friends With Benefits (FWB) is aimed towards vapers that like candy and is reminiscent of Fun Dip. For fans of tangy e-liquids, there’s Date Night, a melange of Greek yogurt and blueberry. Last, but not least, is Her Addiction. My personal favorite of the three Revol Vapors launch flavors, Her Addiction is a lemon poundcake e-liquid. Austin was quick to point out that all of his liquids are free of acetylpropionyl and diacetyl.

Continuing with vaper safety, Austin also spoke about the “Vape Responsible” campaign that Revol Vapors is involved with. The first initiative is getting vapers with children to lock up their e-liquids. Similar to how parents should keep alcoholic beverages away from children, Vape Responsible wants adult vapers to treat their e-liquids in the same fashion. In the vaping community, Austin is known for his proactive work for vaping political and social causes. He also talks a bit about that in our chat.

Not to kiss his ass or anything, but I really appreciate vaping executives like Austin Hopper. He has helped some of the biggest and most popular juice companies attain success, while also promoting awareness and informing vapers about political situations. The vaping business is better when people like him are involved and I hope, on a personal level, that Revol Vapors becomes a very successful e-liquid company. Anyway, check out my chat with Austin to learn more about Revolv Vapors and the Vape Responsible campaign.

Vaping Diaries #341: VLS Box Mod, Vector Cap, and Thunderstorm Tank

Vapour Lifestyle (VLS) had an exciting booth at ECC 2015 and the company’s head of product development, James Ting, was kind enough to walk me through the lineup. The most interesting products at the booth were a pair of upcoming VLS box mods. First is a temperature control box that goes up to 75 watts on a single 18650 battery. The more novel product runs on a single 26650 battery and features a modular design. The 26650 VLS box mod has a rail system that allows users to swap out chips. If all goes well, vapers can expect an SX350 variant and a proprietary VLS chip. More information on both VLS box mods should hit in September.

When I spoke with James at Vape Summit III, he told me about the Vector RDA. At ECC 2015, he showed a new cap for the Vector RDA that allows vapers to use their own drip tips instead of using the one built into the standard cap. The new cap also alters the way airflow works, making it a bit better for cloud chasers that like to take long pulls. The new Vector RDA cap reminds me of how the company listened to its customers in regards to airflow on the Vulcan RDA. I appreciate the way VLS listens to its customers and releases accessories that accommodate their wishes.

VLS has recently partnered with Thunderhead Creations and is the US distributor for the Thunderstorm Tank. I’ve been using this sub-ohm tank for a little under a month. So far, I love the way it looks and enjoy how it vapes. If you’re not familiar with the Thunderstorm Tank, James talks about it in the interview below.

The last four months of the year should be really exciting for VLS fans. The VLS box mods look fantastic and I can’t wait to learn more about them. For now you can learn about these products and see near-final prototypes by watching my chat with James.

Vaping Diaries #340: Sub Ohm Innovations Competition RDA Interview

Sub Ohm Innovations had a pair of excellent vaping products on display at ECC 2015. Company owner Cale Crase was kind enough to tell me about them on camera. First up is a black version of the company’s fantastic Subzero Competition Mod. When I first saw the Subzero at Vape Summit III, I was extremely impressed and had to pick one up on the spot. The black version packs all of the great features and top-notch performance of the original, and adds a slick and durable black finish over the copper body. The Subzero is my favorite tube mod of 2015 (so far) and I’m tempted to pick up the black model…because, you know, it looks cool.

On the atomizer side, Cale showed me the Subzero Competition RDA. Like the mod, the Competition RDA packs a ton of great features and is available at a great price ($65). It has a deep juice well and dual-post design for easy building. The really cool, unique, and convenient feature of the Subzero Competition RDA is that the deck can slide up from the bottom, offering a nifty building stand. The feature is one of those clever ideas that makes you wonder, “Man that’s smart. Why haven’t I seen this before?!?”

Sub Ohm Innovations was a VapeSafe USA partner at ECC 2015. The organization is a collective of companies and individuals that want to educate the public on vaping safety. In addition to showing off his two awesome products in the interview, Cale spent some time talking about VapeSafe USA’s mission. From what I’ve learned, the group is doing important and much-needed work that will benefit the vaping business and consumers alike.

Check out my ECC 2015 chat with Sub Ohm Innovations Cale to learn more about the black Subzero Competition Mod, the Subzero Competition RDA, and VapeSafe USA.

Vaping Diaries #339: Founder’s Favorites Interview

Founder’s Favorites was the last interview RPadholic N8R and I shot at ECC 2015, but it was also the biggest e-liquid surprise I had all show. I learned about the company through POET Michelle, who was very impressed with the Founder’s Favorites crew’s juices and professionalism. When Nate and I stopped by the booth to try the e-liquids, we were similarly floored. When I learned about the company’s concept and how they came up with these flavors, I was floored. In the ECC 2015 interview below, Founder’s Favorites CEO Samad Lakhani talks about his company and how the six Los Angeles Edition flavors came to be.

In order to differentiate its juices from the ever-growing e-liquid market, Founder’s Favorite decided to base its six LA Edition juices on foods from actual Los Angeles eateries. As a huge fan of The Pie Hole, I was thrilled to see that the company has a juice based on the restaurant’s Earl Grey Pie. Samad also told me about Cookie Butter (based on the Trader Joe’s favorite) and Affogato (from Culina at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills). The Founder’s Favorites crew spent months eating at various Los Angeles restaurants to come up with ideas for e-liquids. After flavors were picked, they spent months focus testing the flavors at various trade shows and finalized the six LA Edition flavors. As an Angeleno with a sweet tooth, I love the Founder’s Favorites concept and appreciate the e-liquids.

If all goes well, Founder’s Favorites will tackle New York next. If the team comes up with an authentic cannoli vape, I will love them forever. To learn more about Founder’s Favorites, check out my ECC 2015 chat with Samad below.

Notes: I completely flubbed the company’s name thrice in the interview. Also, my voice was close to shot after four days of filming. I apologize to Samad for my error (but not-so-secretly blame N8R for not correcting me…ha).

Vaping Diaries #338: Cafe Racer E-Liquid Interview

My colleague Charles from Blue Orb Vapor grabbed me at ECC 2015 because he thought that I’d enjoy a certain Cafe Racer e-liquid. He knows that I enjoy tobacco vapes and am a fan of the history of RY4 e-liquids. With that in mind, he introduced me to Cafe Racer’s Lucky 13. This juice is a blend of vanilla, caramel, tobacco, and almond. The profile is similar to other Western RY4s, but the almond gives it a unique twist. I was glad that Charles introduced me to Cafe Racer and Lucky 13, because the juice’s novel spin on the tried-and-true RY4 formula intrigued by tastebuds.

RPadholic N8R, on the other hand, was taken by Cafe Racer’s Peach Guzzi. Another unique blend, this juice mixes peach, blueberry, and custard flavors, touched with a bit of green tea. While it certainly has a lot of fruit notes, I wouldn’t classify Peach Guzzi as a fruit vape. It’s more complex than that. Even though I’m generally bored with fruit vapes, I enjoyed Peach Guzzi as well (thought not as much as N8R).

In the interview below, Charles told me about the Cafe Racer style of e-liquids. He was quick to point out that while a lot of juice companies claim complexity and premium flavors, Cafe Racer truly makes complex e-liquids made from premium ingredients. I certainly enjoyed the two Cafe Racer launch flavors and was intrigued by the latest addition, Yogurt Bomb. Like the company’s other juices, this is a multi-flavor blast. It combines yogurt, berries, orange, almonds, honey, and bavarian cream. Charles pointed out that the yogurt in this flavor is on the soft side and isn’t as in-your-face as competing yogurt e-liquids.

To learn more about Cafe Racer, kindly check out my ECC 2015 chat with Blue Orb Vapor Charles below. Based off of the three flavors I tried at the show, I’m definitely keeping my eye on this company.

Vaping Diaries #337: The Vape Kit Coil and Cloud Interview

In late 2014, The Vape Kit made a big splash with its complete and convenient tool kit. Expanding on that product’s success, the company released the Coil and Cloud (stylized Coil/Cloud) line of vaping e-liquids at ECC 2015. I caught up with The Vape Kit co-owners Aleks Blagojevich and Rush Hall to learn more about the juice line and to get a tease of version two of the tool kit.

The Coil and Cloud line has launched with two flavors. First up is Spectrum, which is aimed towards vapers that enjoy fruity vapes. It’s a rainbow sherbet, with a touch of yogurt-like creaminess to round out the flavor. The second Coil and Cloud launch flavor is Moonstruck (rumor has it that Rush is a big fan of the Cher movie). Aimed towards vapers that enjoy savory flavors, Moonstruck is a rich blend of butterscotch, caramel, and banana. As a huge fan of bananas Foster, I’m looking forward to vaping more of this e-liquid. The Vape Kit crew said to expect additional Coil and Cloud flavors before the end of the year.

As a special treat to ECC 2015 attendees, The Vape Kit enlisted master builder Vaping Drew to build Clapton coils for its customers. This was a nice way for the crew to let customers appreciate the full flavor of the Coil and Cloud juices. I am not ashamed to say that I took advantage of this service, since Claptons are beyond my skill (and I also refuse to make my own because I believe that they should be called Hendrix coils).

Of course, vapers want to know when The Vape Kit v2 will be out and what improvements will be made. Aleks and Rush gave a few hints on what people can expect from the new tool kit and when they can expect it.

To learn more about the Coil and Cloud juice line and what The Vape Kit is up to, check out my ECC 2015 chat with Aleks and Rush below.

Vaping Diaries #336: Dr. Juice Vapor Liquid Interview (ECC 2015)

To be completely honest, Dr. Juice Vapor Liquid first caught my eye at ECC 2015 because of the crew’s t-shirts. While most of the exhibitors at the show were sticking to their cotton shirts, the Dr. Juice crew were cool as the other side of the pillow thanks to their synthetic tees. When RPadholic N8R learned that these cats are from Pittsburgh (Nate’s hometown), we had to chat with them more. When N8R and I learned that Dr. Juice makes delicious vaping e-liquids, we knew that we had to get the company for an interview.

In the ECC 2015 video interview below, Dr. Juice Vapor Liquid co-owner Jeremy Fuss talks about how the company got started. Originally, the juice was meant to be a fundraiser so that the boys could open up their own vape shop. The popularity of the flavors made it so that the gang dropped the vape shop idea and is now focusing their efforts on Dr. Juice Vapor Liquid.

Jeremy also described three of the company’s unique juices. N8R’s favorite was Crunchberry. Unlike most cereal e-liquids on the market. Dr. Juice’s is an original concoction made up of 12 ingredients. Most cereal flavors out there use a common base that may or may not be complemented by lemon. My favorite was Delish, which blends Oreo cookie, sugar cookie, and custard. Again, there are many cookies-and-cream juices out there, but Delish is more layered and complex than most of the ones I’ve tried. Lastly, Jeremy described Headless Horseman, which is a seasonal flavor that melds pumpkin and custard. If you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes then you definitely want to check out this flavor.

To learn more about Dr. Juice Vapor Liquid and for a tease on what’s coming next from the company, check out my ECC 2015 with Jeremy below.

Vaping Diaries #335: Cartel Mods Scatola & Xanic Blanc Interview

It’s always excellent catching up with Cartel Mods main man Gino Litonjua. He was one of the first people in the vaping business that I interviewed (way back at ECC 2013) and watching his company grow has been lots of fun. At ECC 2015, Gino told me about the Scatola Box Mod and the Xanic Blanc line of vaping e-liquids. As with all the Cartel Mods products I’ve seen over the last few years, the Scatola and Xanic Blanc are different and classy.

Let’s start with the juice. Xanic Blanc has launched with three flavors that are atypical for a Southern California vaping company. Crema is a mix of orange, cream, and yogurt that playfully blends sweet, savory, and tangy notes. Lusso is a mix of honeydew melon and milk, touched by a slight bit of menthol — definitely one of the more unique flavors I’ve tried this year. Lastly, Biancco is a creamy strawberry funnel cake. I’ve vaped a bunch of all three flavors and enjoy them all, but I’m still trying to figure out which one I like best. It changes by the hour. Ha!

On the hardware side, Cartel Mods is currently taking pre-orders for the Scatola Box Mod. Made from a unique hybrid resin body, the Scatola mimics the look of stabilized wood, but is more durable and doesn’t have issues with humidity. The box mod is accented by 304 stainless steel and uses Delrin insulators. The Scatola box run in parallel, allowing vapers ample battery life. At the show, Cartel Mods had several finishes on display and several of them looked brilliant.

Check out my ECC 2015 chat with Gino below to learn more about the Xanic Blan e-liquid line and the Scatola Box Mod, as well as what he’s working on next. (Hint: Expect a regulated device from Cartel Mods in the near future!)

Vaping Diaries #334: Sweet Nectar Juice Interview (ECC 2015)

A relatively new vaping e-liquid company, my buddy Chris introduced me to Sweet Nectar at ECC 2015. A few of the company’s juices surprised RPadholic N8R and me. N8R was enamored with Home Grown, a melange of pineapple, watermelon, and blueberry. Even though I find most fruit vapes banal, Home Grown’s atypical blend and texture worked for me. My personal favorite was Cookie Butter, which is Sweet Nectar’s first savory flavor. The company describes it as, “a great inhale that taste like fresh baked cookies and a snickerdoodle exhale.” In the interview below, Sweet Nectar owner Alex Hards talks about the company’s history, a few of its flavors, and the upcoming Select Line of juices.

Vapers looking for a good deal should definitely consider Sweet Nectar. The company’s 15ml bottles retail for $7.50, as opposed to the $12 price point used by most of its competitors. Even though the price is low, Sweet Nectar uses PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, which are more expensive than and superior to the LDPE (low-density polyethylene) used by many juice companies. The upcoming Select Line will use glass bottles. Alex talks about the first flavor in the Sweet Nectar Select Line in the interview.

It’s going to be fun watching Sweet Nectar invade the retail scene. From what I understand, the company’s wholesale prices will appeal to store owners, while consumers will be attracted to the retail pricing. Sweet Nectar has a good variety of flavors and should have at least one that will tickle your fancy. For discerning vapers and those that insist on glass bottles, the Select Line should be an interesting choice. I’m looking forward to seeing the bottles and price point for that line of Sweet Nectar products. To learn more about the company, a few of its flavors, and the upcoming Select Line then check out my ECC 2015 chat with Alex below.