E Liquid Reviews UK
Reviews of best (and worst) E Liquids from UK suppliers, plus eliquid price compare offers
Still miss smoking too much to enjoy vaping? Keep going back on the fags? Fear not! Jacvapour UK have just released a new line of eliquids for smokers, just for you! Their brand new UK-made Smoking range promises to deliver the same smoking pleasure (or as close as you can get) in an e liquid that combines real tobacco flavours in a nicotine salt base, for a smoother throat hit and a satisfying head rush. As a non-reforming tobacco fiend myself, I decided to give these a go…
The first one (of two) in the Jacvapour SMOKING range I tried was the UK tobacco. Thick, dark and very pungent-looking, the UK Tobacco was the one I was looking forward to the most as the tobacco aroma seemed quite realistic right out of the bottle (I always sniff before I vape). Once in my tank, it seemed to flow very well thanks to the heavy PG ratio and this also made for a stronger flavour in the mouth.
Slightly less vapour with this one (again due to the high PG, I guess) though flavour was very strong and satisfying.
Just like tobacco? Well there’s none of the “smoke” flavour in the UK Tobacco (or indeed the menthol version), so not really smoky as such, but definitely a very satisfying and heavy tobacco “roll-up” aroma and flavour, which certainly hits the spot.
Thanks to the nicotine salt content, the UK Tobacco also goes down very smoothly, giving a very mellow throat hit with tiny puffs at 18mg. However, I personally found the strength to be a bit much (I usually vape at 10mg max with an MTL set-up and no more than 6mg if I’m lung vaping), so I ended up adding a few drops of VG to my tank, which smoothed the throat hit out further still.
The UK Tobacco Smoking is a rich brew that is made with real tobacco that really does the job. However, even for hardened ex-smokers (or current smokers), and especially if you’re new to vaping, I would recommend starting with the 12mg version and working your way up – or else just dilute the 18mg, like I did. I would also recommend vaping at around 20 watts for maximum flavour and smoothness – any more power than this will ruin the tobacco experience. UK Tobacco smoking satisfaction score: 9 /10
Smoking “Tobacco Menthol” E liquid 18mg
The Tobacco Menthol was the second up and I liked this one, though no way near as much as the UK Tobacco. The menthol flavour is strong and refreshing, but in my opinion a little out-of-balance with the underlying tobacco flavour. The tobacco is certainly there somewhere, but the minty, almost clinical flavour of the menthol really steals the show in my opinion. for me, this would have been a much tastier brew with a milder, more peppermint-like top-note, which would have allowed the tobacco flavours to shine through.
Smoothness and throat hit are just as good in the Tobacco Menthol as with the UK Tobacco, though head rush is where the Menthol really comes into its own. The combination of the nic salt base and the menthol combine to really knock you out, if you’re not ready for it, and this is why I’d again recommend going for the lower nicotine variety if you feel like giving this one a go. In short, the Tobacco Menthol is satisfying in terms of head rush, though in my opinion, a bit lacking in the tobacco flavour department. Tobacco Menthol smoking satisfaction score: 6 /10
SMOKING e liquids are available from Jac Vapour UK at £4.99, or with a 15% discount with code: ECF (valid through 2019)
Nicotine Salts are of course the latest vaping craze right now, in case you hadn’t already noticed. Nicotine salts contain a new formulation of nicotine that is extracted in a more natural way. Nic Salts are designed to ensure a smoother, stronger throat hit, more satisfaction even in liquids with lower nicotine levels…and even a cigarette-like head rush. But what are the actual effects of nicotine salts, and do they really improve your vape? I’ve been using nicotine salt base e liquid for a few weeks now – here’s what I think!
Nic salts throat hit?
It seems that less is more when it comes to throat hit with nicotine salts. When I first got my first few bottles of 18mg nicotine salts (flavourless) base e liquid, I poured the stuff neat straight out of the bottle into my SMOK Spiral tank and tried vaping it at my usual 20 watts just to see what would happen.
The first thing I noticed was a noticeably stronger, thicker and slightly sweeter flavour. When vapour reached my throat, I got the hit alright, but this was a smooth but powerful, slow-spreading ball of vapour, rather than the usual short, sharp slap on the tonsils that you’d normally expect with 18mg e liquid at this wattage. Yes, I was awestruck by the power of the mighty salt, but I’m afraid, at that concentration the throat hit was too heavy for me. I tried dropping the power, but below about 16watts I wasn’t getting much throat hit at all. Back up to 18watts but within three minutes or so, I felt my lungs starting to constrict and I decided I needed a break. Oh dear…
Rather than give up the salts as a bad idea, I tried diluting with (standard supermarket) VG to about 30%, whizzed for a couple of seconds in the microwave and then added a few drops of water to thin it out a little. Throat hit was a lot better (now at around 12mg) and the glycerine made a big difference to the vapour, which was now cooler, smoother and very rich. With a regular base e liquid, I would not get much satisfaction with so much VG dilution, but with the nicotine salts, it seemed to work. Throat hit was now much better than before dilution, and because it was so much smoother, now, I could take longer, deeper puffs. Now, the rolling fireball of vapour had become a warm, soft, and much friendlier marshmallow. After diluting down to 50% VG, I was still able to get a decent throat hit and depth of flavour at 20 – 22 watts on my very basic device. So far, so good.
Head rush with nicotine salt e liquid?
Head rush is an inevitable part of the nicotine salt experience. With such rich-tasting vapour and easy inhaling, it’s very easy to overdo it with nicotine salt e liquids, however much you dilute – and a head rush is what happens. The whole point of nic salt formulations is to improve nicotine uptake so that it reaches the bloodstream (body and brain) more quickly. After a couple of minutes vaping on salts, ex-smokers will recognise that old familiar warm glow between the eyes. If you’re already feeling satisfied, you’ll decide you’ve vaped enough for the time being, and put down your wand for half an hour or so. If you carry on vaping, there’s a considerable risk of getting the dreaded “nicotine headache”, which can affect some people more than others.
Are nic salts more expensive?
Nicotine salts are easier to produce than regular nicotine, and so should not cost you much more to buy. The quality of nic salt vapour is impressive, though I would recommend playing around with dilution ratios until you’re happy with the mix. I avoid adding PG (Propylene Glycol) in any form with Nicotine Salts, as I find they detract from the smoothness of the throat hit. I would also try mixing nic salts with a small amount of your usual nicotine liquid to see what works best.
The head rush from nic salts is very noticeable, depending in the device you’re using, power level, nicotine strength, etc. This is probably a great comfort to those trying to give up smoking, though long-term vapers (and especially those who’ve never smoked before) might not appreciate the buzzy effect.
Final verdict: go for an 18mg UK-made nicotine salt e liquid, dilute if you need to (it will go further), vape at no less than 18 watts, and stop vaping as soon as you start to feel the buzz!
As all seasoned vape nerds will tell you, nicotine salts – or “Nic Salts” – are the latest must-try e liquid innovation, apparently promising to offer a more satisfying vape that matches more closely the experience of actual smoking. But are nicotine salts just a passing fad, or are they worth the spend?
Nicotine salts and nic salt bases are a new type of e liquid, made from nicotine extracted from tobacco using a different process to conventional e liquids. As such, manufacturers claim nicotine salts offer a stronger, smoother throat hit, a richer depth of flavour and even a cigarette-like head rush, something which standard e liquids don’t usually achieve.
Nic salts: Why now?
Vapers like high wattages and strong vapes, but they are sick and tired of harsh throat hits. Nicotine salts are designed to let you enjoy nicotine vapour at higher concentrations without the rasping throat ache and inevitable hiccups.
Over the last few years, vaping has gone super high-tech. High wattage DTL devices with more efficient coils mean more vapour, and more nicotine consumed, but guess what? Really high nicotine levels just annoy people. More and more vapers have noticed that more (standard “freebase”) nicotine in their big clouds does not equate to a bigger nicotine hit, hence the demand for a new, smoother nicotine formulation.
Are nicotine salts legal in UK?
Yes, though only recently. Though technically possible to import, up until early 2018, “alternative” e liquid formulations were not permitted in UK.
Now, nicotine salts have been approved for sale in UK and are being snapped up by all of the big suppliers.
Best nic salt brands?
A few nic salt suppliers are selling well-made, reliable formulations that are tested and manufactured in clean lab environments. See my latest review on this brand new nicotine salt DIY mixing liquid from JAC Vapour UK.
In case you hadn’t heard, Black Note E Liquid is the latest US-made N.E.T. (Naturally extracted) tobacco e liquid to hit the UK. Black Note e liquids are made from natural tobacco essences, claim to contain no artificial additives or flavourings, and are quickly gaining ground among serious gourmet tobacco-lovers thanks to their realistic tobacco flavours and carefully-designed composition. But which Black Note flavour is the best?
All Black Note e liquids have a 50% VG/50% PG composition; available nicotine strengths (five in total) range from 3mg through to 24mg. Please note that Black Note e liquid bottles and caps are not pet/child safe, so make sure to keep bottles well away from both.
Black Note E liquid: Best flavours
Cadenza is a full-flavoured, complex, rich tobacco concoction, and is my absolute favourite Black Note flavour of all. Warm and sweet on the inhale, drier, richer and slightly spicy on the exhale, Cadenza is complex and full of character. In my opinion, this slightly smoky, fruity and full-bodied e liquid is the best flavour to go for if you want to see what Black Note is all about. Lighter sweet strawy/hempy overtones really shine at lower, cooler wattages (7.0-9.0 Watts), while top tobacco notes are brighter with a hotter coil (10 watts+). Highly distinctive flavour and a real experience. 10/10
Bravura is my second favourite Black Note flavour. Clean, warm, soft and sweet – subtle creamy low notes of nougat, honey and nutmeg, with a confident, rich and distinctive tobacco key note. Very smooth throat hit and an extremely mellow session vape. Again, flavours are fullest and most complex at lower wattages. Minimal smokiness detected. 8/10
Prelude has a dry, tobacco flavour that is subtle though distinctive, but nothing really overpowering. To me this was the one that took longest to really “get” in terms of overall character. Unlike Cadenza and Bravura, Prelude is slightly smoky, though this doesn’t seem to interfere or obscure the main tobacco essence flavours. No sweetness on the tongue noticed during review at all, even at high wattages, this is probably the most grown-up and elusive Black Note flavour of the pack. 8/10
Legato is in a different league from other members of the Black Note family in terms of heavy smokiness. Unlike Cadenza, Legato’s key note is wood smoke, though this is still light enough for strong dark, Kentucky tobacco notes to shine through. Very well-balanced on the whole, and a real campfire vape, though probably best to save this one for special occasions – I would also recommend reserving a separate tank for Legato as the smokiness is strong enough to otherwise overpower flavours of any subsequent e liquid you put in your tank. Legato is the darkest, most distinctive Black Note flavour by far and probably the closest you’ll ever get to smoking an actual Gauloise, though its very obvious smokiness may not be for everyone. 9/10
Solo is the only menthol member of the Black Note family, though don’t expect the usual antiseptic menthol-eucalyptus flavour of generic off-the-shelf menthol eliquids that freeze your tongue like mouthwash. Solo offers a warm, soft, well-rounded pepperminty flavour that tastes like it’s meant to be there. Most importantly, the menthol flavour is distinctive enough to be refreshing, though gentle enough to allow underlying rich tobacco tones to hum along in the background. A very well-balanced and extremely satisfying menthol e liquid, Solo is the most realistic tobacco menthol I have tried to date. 10/10
Adagio is one of the more subtle Black Note e liquids, and may be a good one to start with if you just ordered the Notebook box kit. Very mellow, bright, smooth and light with no determinable “dark” flavours, though the tobacco flavour is definitely there in the background. I actually found that Adagio grew on me after half an hour or so – there is a little smokiness, and vapour is smooth as always, though I felt this one lacked the distinctiveness of some of the others. Probably the lightest and cleanest of all the flavours I tried, and a great everyday vape, but a bit too subtle for me, to be honest. 7/10
Sonata is a sweetish, woody flavour that tastes a little sharper and slightly more acidic than other flavours. For me, this is the vaguely citrus morning vape I’ve been looking for, and is the brightest of all the Black Note e liquid flavours I reviewed. Quite fresh and again, the usual subtle tobacco flavour with no real smokiness detected, though not as distinctive as Bravura, Cadenza or Legato. 7/10
Forte is “Burley” blend of tobacco essences and the tobacco flavour is certainly rich enough to satisfy. Again, another great all-day vape and a really smooth, full flavoured e liquid. Probably the closest in terms of flavour to Bravura, Forte is another fairly realistic tobacco e liquid. Warm, woody and resiny, Forte is best vaped at low wattages. Give this one time to show its true colours. 8/10
Note: all eliquids were tested with a 3ml subtank and rebuildable Kanthal wire coil, which was cleaned and rewicked with pure cotton between refills to avoid cross-contamination of flavours.
So which is the best Black Note e liquid flavour?
For me, the real winner in the Black note pack is Cadenza, made from extractions of Greek Basma tobacco. The balance of flavours is really first rate and vapour is rich, warm, thick and very, very satisfying. Bravura and soft menthol Solo come a close second and third, and the dark, mysterious and super-smoky Legato would certainly be on my list too, but only as an occasional vape.
Remember to give Black Note e liquids time to soak through any apparatus you’re using, and test on a clean wick / new build on your first taste to avoid subtle flavours becoming contaminated by whatever liquids you’ve been vaping on beforehand.
JAC Vapour has just released its new UK-made e liquid range, and they persuaded me to try some of these, four of which included a few new fruity e liquid flavours: Banana Milkshake, Real Raspberry, Strawberry Chew and Blackcurrant Squash. (PG/VG) £5.19 (10ml) or £13.99 (30ml) – discounts for multiple buys & 15% discount with JACVapour discount code: ECF
JAC Fruity e liquid: my thoughts
The Banana Milkshake flavour smelt nice out of the bottle, and out of a clearomiser it did indeed remind me of the kind of banana milkshake I used to buy aged 16 waiting for a bus, though I found the sweet vapour of this e liquid had a tendency to make me cough for some reason. Great flavour and very realistic, but a bit too much for an all-dayer.
The Strawberry Chew e liquid is another very realistic flavour, again very sweet and strong, though no coughing this time. I could (and just have) vaped this flavour all day, though tomorrow I’ll be back on terra firma with something else. A lovely strawberryish flavour, and soft, non-acidic vapour, though a little too artificial-tasting – more like strawberry ice cream than actual strawberries.
Quite a lot nicer than the Strawberry Chew was JAC’s Blackcurrant Squash flavour e liquid. A very full and really fruity (as opposed to artificial) in flavour, and I felt this was a stronger, more rounded and mature flavour. Nice thick vapour and again, a very soft, alkaline bouquet overall. Very tasty and worth a try.
My final (and favourite fruity e liquid) was JAC’s Real Raspberry flavour e liquid. I wasn’t looking forward to this one, and left it to last as I generally dislike the flavour (and texture) of actual raspberries, though in the end this was a pleasant surprise. Once again, a much more mature and realistic fruity flavour, and a really full and satisfying flavour, which I kept wanting more and more of. Extremely soft on the tongue and palate, no sharpness whatsoever and a lovely mellow throat hit. Liked this one so much I finished the 10ml bottle in three days.
Fruity e liquid roundup
In general, these fruity e liquids from JAC weren’t anywhere near as bad as I thought they might be, and I ended up actually enjoying two of them quite a lot. Fruity flavours from some suppliers can often be overly sharp and harsh on the mouth tissues/mucous membranes and this is why many people, including myself, have issues with vaping on them as a rule. However, apart from the banana flavour, I can honestly say that all of these liquids from JAC are very soft on the tongue and a nice change from tobacco flavours. Well worth a try, even for fruitaphobes.