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Mark 10:27 - But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: 7 eLiquids from Crystal Canyon Vapes

UPDATE: Please participate in our anonymous POLL.  It's for a really good cause!

Remember, these reviews are for the sole purpose of helping you to find a QUALITY VAPING EXPERIENCE.  They're not here to further my blog and they're certainly not here to denigrate or put down anyone...


If you like something that I say is "junk", that's great.  Use it and enjoy it. 



So this week, I'll be reviewing 5 7 eLiquids from Crystal Canyon Vapes (ccvapes.com).

Since the Strawberry Shortcake eLiquid I've been getting from ECBlend is blended too inconsistently for my tastes, I've decided to try some "fruity flavors" from another seller.  In my opinion, I rate eLiquids like I rate my cigarettes.  If "Marlboro Reds" tasted different every time, they'd never have created the true brand that they have.  If you can't make your stuff taste the same RELIABLY, then you may be in the wrong business.


Speaking of being in the wrong business, sometimes the only way you can help someone is by being honest.  Not honest for the sake of saying, "I'm just telling the truth", but honesty for the sake of caring enough to help someone improve.  For the sake of 100% honesty, this review was originally put online on 5/20/2013 (11 days ago).  It was not a good review.  I got a very nice email from the owners of CCVapes, asking me to give them another shot.  I did give them another shot, and me being a man of my word, I'm going to go on record here and state this once, clearly... I DO NOT GIVE 2ND CHANCES ON REVIEWS ANY MORE.  It's too stressful.  This is not directed specifically to CCVapes, but if any business can't do it right when you DON'T KNOW that you're being reviewed, then how can you be trusted to do it right all the time?  Either do it right and get a lot of business or do it wrong and go out of business.  THIS is the American way.  There's no bail-outs for eJuice companies who fail to do a good job.  There's no trophies given out for failure.

Here are my rating criteria for judging eLiquids:

  • Taste - Does it taste like what it says it's supposed to taste like?
  • Lingering Flavor - Does the flavor have PRESENCE & does it last?
  • Vapor Production - Does it make lots of Vapor?
  • Throat Hit - Is the throat hit too weak, too strong, or just right?
One of the things I see all too often, is that "Flavor is subjective".  NO, your individual tastes may be subjective, but flavor is flavor.  I've never had a steak that tasted like chicken.  I've never had an orange that tasted like a banana.  I've never had a cup of coffee that tasted like Hawaiian Punch.  If you ever see me give an eLiquid a bad review, it's because they TASTE BAD and not because I don't like a particular flavor.  I don't care for the flavor of peaches and mangoes, so you won't see me review anything that contains those. Understand?

All eLiquids were ordered as 12mg nicotine strength and 50-50 PG/VG...
They will be reviewed in the order they were reviewed...



I've now been in possession of 2 batches of CCVapes eLiquid.
Review 1 will be in black / Review 2 will be in blue.

Melon Twist -  CCVapes describes this eJuice as, "Sweet, juicy Watermelon meets a flavorful Strawberry". I describe it as follows...  Barely noticeable watermelon flavor meets barely noticeable strawberry smell on the exhale.  I'd like to say that I liked this one, but I can't.  It "tasted" alright, but it didn't leave any lingering taste on my taste buds and it didn't produce any Vapor to write home about.  The throat hit was unexpectedly harsh for the nicotine level.

On a secondary note (and I don't have the kit to prove it), but I believe that they accidentally sent me 0mg nicotine instead of 12mg.  Early on in my Vaping experience, I discovered what Vaping 0mg did to me, so I'm well aware of what it feels like when I'm having nicotine withdrawal.  I can safely use 6mg with no ill effects, but this one was supposed to be 12mg and I felt like I was going to die.  I mention this, not to be rude, but to provide a warning that perhaps their QC needs to be monitored a bit more closely.


The second batch of this eLiquid was WORSE than the first.  Don't ask me how, but instead of there being next to no flavor, this time it tasted like FLOWERS.  I like flowers, but I never thought I'd want to Vape them.  Actually, I don't want to and I'm shocked that having been given a 2nd chance that this eLiquid is now worse.  Since the nicotine level seemed to be correct and throat hit was as expected for a 50/50 eLiquid, I suppose we can call this an improvement over the 1st batch.

Ballistic - CCVapes describes this eJuice as, "Ballistic Berry brings together Wild Blueberries, Tangy Boysenberry and Sweet Strawberry"  Honestly, I had a hard time differentiating this from the Melon Twist.  While there was no noticeable "melon flavor", I didn't really think this was too much different.  I can however confirm that I had no nicotine withdrawal from it.  Personally, I didn't care for this eLiquid either.  Little to no Vapor production and an unexpectedly harsh throat hit for the nicotine level left me disappointed.  If it doesn't leave behind any flavor on your taste buds, then I almost always vote no.


The second batch of this eLiquid was again worse than the first.  This has LESS flavor than the 1st and also less Vapor production.  The throat hit was much more tolerable this time, so again I suppose we can call this an improvement.

Grapevine - CCVapes describes this as, "Grapevine is a blend of Concord and Monukka grapes for a unique but familiar favorite".  I liked this one, as the flavor came through on both the inhale and the exhale.  I actually used this one longer than all of the rest.  However, it doesn't linger on the taste buds for more than about 2 seconds, so I won't be ordering this one again either.  Throat hit on this one was pleasant and what would be expected for 12mg nicotine with a 50-50 PG/VG base.


I was really looking forward to Vaping this one, as I really thought I could like this one if it had more of a lingering flavor.  Sadly, the flavor in this batch was next to non-existent and was the biggest disappointment for me.  Throat hit and Vapor production remained constant with the 1st batch.

Ecto Cooler - As I understand it, this is an eLiquid that someone else came up with and this is the CCVapes version of it.  CCVapes describes this as, "...bursting with tangy Tangerine and Sweet Orange".  Now a few weeks back I had tried another variant of an "Orange flavored" eJuice with disappointing results.  This one is disappointing for all the wrong reasons.  The first thing that got me about this eLiquid, is that the throat hit was RIDICULOUSLY HARSH!  I felt like I was vaping a 36mg nicotine mix.  As for the flavor, it tasted like what I call "fake orange", but not as bad as the fake orange flavor from ECBlend.  This one reminded me of orange soda, but again, 1-2 seconds after Vaping it, the flavor is G-O-N-E.  There's not even a faint hint that you ever Vaped it, aside from your throat being on fire from there being way too much nicotine.  As you can probably guess, this one won't be recommended either.


During my communication with the owners of CCVapes, I asked if they could send me another flavor instead of Ecto Cooler, as I didn't believe that they could make an orange flavored eLiquid that I could say that I liked.  I had them substitute it with Islander.

Islander - CCVapes describes this eLiquid as, "Sweet tangy pineapple blended with creamy coconut make up this tropical island blend. Similar to a Pina Colada but with a twist - we've added the perfect amount of banana".  I describe this as Banana and nothing else.  However this eLiquid gets a gold star for ONE REASON.  Out of every eLiquid I've received from them to date, this is the ONLY ONE that has PRESENCE!  Sadly, the flavor does not match the description.  The description leads you to believe that banana is the smallest part of this eJuice and instead it is the ONLY aspect that comes through.  I love bananas, but I don't normally care for banana flavored things.  If you like bananas, you'll really like this one.  At 50-50 PG/VG the throat hit was very mild and Vapor production was excellent.

Update 6/12/2013 - I'm not sure that I was clear enough on this one...  Out of all of the eLiquids I received from CCVapes, this one REALLY TASTED GOOD.  My criticism lied in the fact that this one was branded as "Pina Colada".  Like I said, I'm not one for "banana flavored" stuff, but this hit it right on the head for me.

Calypso - And for the final of the 5 (original flavors) we have what CCVapes describes as, "This is our fruit punch blend that's bursting with flavor! Pineapple, Apple, Orange, Guava, Papaya and Passion fruits make up a rich body".  I used this last, as I really wanted to be able to adequately distinguish this eLiquid from Ballistic.  All I can tell you, is this eJuice tastes almost exactly like Ballistic, except for the addition of the orange.  Throat hit was about what you would expect from a 12mg eLiquid, but Vapor production again was extremely poor.


Batch #2 of Calypso tasted identical to the 1st batch.  Throat hit was fine and Vapor production was considerably better.  The orange flavor is the one flavor that punches through all the rest.

Geneva (bonus) - The 2nd batch came with a bonus flavor.  CCVapes describes this one as, "A blend of dark Swiss chocolate, semi sweet and milk chocolates".  Now I really like chocolate, especially dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate.  I have a banana bread recipe that I make a few times a year and I use both dark and semi-sweet chocolates and all I can say is that my banana bread is ridiculously good.  When I  smelled the eJuice in the bottle, it reminded me of something I couldn't quite put my finger on.  As I loaded it into my tank and began Vaping it, I kept trying to jog my "flavor memory" in order to describe what it tastes like, because dark and semi-sweet chocolate is NOT what it tastes OR smells like.

And then it hit me!
Have you ever had those candies made by NECCO?  Dried out, scratchy tasting, chocolate-ish tasting candies?  My wife loves those things, I on the other hand do not.  They don't taste like any kind of quality chocolate and they certainly don't give you the mouth-feel of any kind of chocolate you'd want to taste.  Both throat hit and Vapor production were on par for a 50-50 PG/VG eLiquid and throat hit was a little bit harsher than expected, but not unpleasant.  This was the only non-clear eLiquid I received from them AND it took a complete rebuild of my RBA to get rid of the taste and smell.  I don't mean that in a negative way, it's just an observation.

Final Comments - I can respect everyone's desire to be their own boss and to have their own business.  From a packaging perspective, their bottles and labels look professional enough, but their product offering leaves a lot to be desired.  I'd really like to see CCVapes work on their flavors and descriptions as they couldn't be any further from what was expected.   I would also like to encourage CCVapes to work on their products and improve them.  If they can produce a reliable product that leaves a GOOD and lingering flavor with the perfect throat hit and Vapor production, then their incredible customer service, packaging and quick shipping will pay huge dividends.

NOTE: As most of my readers know, I've been reviewing my eLiquids with an RBA.  For this review I used my AGA-T2 with fresh coils and cleaned/blow-torched wicks for each eLiquid.  I also took this opportunity to try out my newly acquired Kanger ProTank.  Keep your eyes peeled for the ProTank review, but I'll share this much, both Vapor production and Flavor reproduction were just about identical between the two on the 1st batch.  On the 2nd batch of eLiquids I only used the AGA-T2 as they were so close (in all respects) the first time, so I didn't think I needed to double test them this time.




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6 comments:

  1. You must have numb taste buds...personally CCVapes is one of the best eliquids around and from the looks of some of the liquids you do like...I'm glad you didn't like them..it would be a disgrace to the CCVapes name to have you actually like them...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweetness Vapes,

      Are you serious?
      Is this the best method that you have of expressing yourself?

      I know that everybody and their grandma thinks that they have the greatest taste buds in the world; and to be quite frank, I do have an excellent set.

      You can *not* know what was in the bottles that I received, so your opinions on my review are moot.

      I considered removing this comment (due to it's non-friendly nature) and instead I've left it here to show the owners of CCVapes (and potential new customers) the caliber of some of their clientele.

      Let it be known, I have spoken to both of the owners of CCVapes on more than one occasion and even *they* respected my review. The comment you made is the perfect expression of the condition of your heart...

      I put this in every bad review:
      "If you like something that I say is "junk", that's great. Use it and enjoy it."

      It's sad that this wasn't enough for you...

      Thanks for sharing SV from South Dakota...

      Delete
  2. I think CCVapes might specialize in tobacco flavors. I for one have tried the Mystik RY4 and Beechwood flavors and had a very pleasant experience across the board.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just received Orchard Creek and AZ Sun Tea from CCVapes. Both are 6mg nicotine. They don't smell like anything and absolutely no taste from either of them. Its as if someone forgot to add any flavor lol. I thought it was weird when I opened up the bottle to smell the juice and there was no smell. Did a quick search online to get some reviews, and they seem fairly consistent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also forgot to mention, both bottles of juice are clear like water. I think iv read that they dont use food coloring, so that my account for the clearness.

      Delete
  4. I wish I read reviews! ughhhh... i just ordered 5 5ml bottles, 1- 5 ml bottle & 1 - 15 ml bottle. Im going to be pissed if they are gross cuz I spent over $30 & Im unemployed!! I wanted try something new... I've been vaping the same stuff for several months. TBC...

    ReplyDelete


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