As anyone who reads my Blog regularly will tell you, I've been searching for the "perfect eLiquid". When I say "perfect", I don't mean an eLiquid that everyone agrees is the "best" in the world, I mean one that is perfect, inasmuch as it's made to taste exactly as what it's packaged to be.
Having read (or at least skimmed) dozens of reviews and comments about Grant's Vanilla Custard (GVC for the rest of this review), I decided that I needed to get a hold of some for myself.
One of the things that I have seen a lot of comments on, is that GVC tastes different, depending on not only what Voltage you're using, but also what kind of wick/coil you have as well. That can make reviewing an eLiquid like this quite challenging, but I believe that I'm up for the challenge!
Grant even offers up some helpful advice, that I'd like to share with you here:
So being that Grant took the time to write it, I'm going to take the time to heed his suggestion! I'll be using *2* different devices to review this. I'll be using my KamryTech X10 (which happens to use a silica wick) and I'll also be using my new Kayfun Lite clone!
Note: At the time of this initial writing, I only have the X10 to work with. I'll be adding the additional data once the Kayfun clone arrives.
Alright, so let's get down to business...
I will be testing this one using my VAMO 3, so that I can control the Voltage.I will be testing this one in my KamryTech X10 & Kayfun Lite clone.
I will be using a 2.5Ω ProTank atomizer head in the X10.
I will be using a 1.7Ω coil in the Kayfun.
Here are my rating criteria for judging eLiquids:
Testing Notes: 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? For more information on this topic please read THIS Blog post...
First of all, I want it to go on record, that this is now hands-down the single most expensive eLiquid purchase that I've ever made. I'm not particularly proud of how much I spent on this bottle. I did however utilize a certain logic when deciding though...
1. If I buy a 10ml bottle and I like it, great, I will have spent $8.00 on international shipping for a chibby bottle, that'll be gone in 2-3 days.
2. If I buy the bigger 100ml bottle, sure, it'll cost more, but my cost per ml will go down drastically (once you account for shipping).
So, with shipping, this puppy cost me just over $74.00...
All I can tell you, is this stuff better give me goosebumps on my goosebumps (if you catch my drift)! If not, this will be my single biggest bout of "buyers remorse" ever...
So, the package arrived with a note inside that explains that this eLiquid has been pre-steeped for 21 days. Also, look at the above image... It looks like the eLiquid is going to be a nice, golden color. Not quite the color of Boba's Bounty, but still a nice rich color. Yeah, it's an optical illusion. Oh, the picture is accurate, it's just that it only looks that color... while it's in the bottle. For those of you with a Pantone color scale, the actual color when put into a tank is closer to Pantone 461C as opposed to what you see above, which is closer to Pantone 153C. It must be a magical bottle! :)
Now, I just want to go on record by saying that I've read and watched numerous posts and videos regarding the complexities of this eLiquid. Because of that fact, I'm going to be very critical of HOW I report my experiences with this eLiquid. Based on multiple reports, people claim that this eLiquid tastes like garbage in a ProTank, which is exactly what I'll be using for the first part of this review! My only comment about this, is "Grant, please see what you can do, to improve the recipe so that it works more consistently with different devices".
My observations: The eLiquid appears to be much thinner than a 50-50 VG/PG blend. If I had a gun pressed to my head, without using it and because of it's viscosity, I'd claim it was PURE PG. In the bottle, the eLiquid has a very nice aroma; it has a sweet smell, almost like a Boston Cream filling smell. The tip of this 100ml bottle is brilliant! It has a sweet taper that almost looks like it'd be perfect for filling a Kayfun! I'll report back on that later.
So I loaded it into the X10, put in a brand new 2.5Ω ProTank atomizer head and began to Vape. ... ... ... ...hmm... ... ... Tastes gross....... Yeah.... Has a "plasticky" type of taste... Hmm... Vaping, vaping, vaping... After about 30 minutes of Vaping, it starts to transform a bit...
The very first thing I notice, is that there is a TON of "flavoring" in this eLiquid. So much so that you can actually FEEL IT all over the inside of your cheeks, on your tongue and teeth, everywhere! I don't even get that with Boba's Bounty, which is 100% VG no less!
The next thing that I notice, is that Vapor production in the X10 is awful. I've used Hangsen eLiquids which are mostly PG and I've gotten more Vapor from those. Next, I like to smell the UNINHALED Vapor, to see if that smells good. GVC does not smell good when uninhaled. It smells fine after it's been inhaled.
I ordered this bottle with 6mg nicotine, as that's my current need. To be quite honest, I feel as if there's not quite enough nicotine in this bottle. I couldn't estimate how much there was, but I noticed a moderate amount of nicotine withdrawal while using this eLiquid. Increasing my consumption is not resolving it either. Throat hit is underwhelming, much more so than any other 6mg eLiquid I've used. But that's fine for me, as I no longer depend on the throat hit to satisfy me. As long as the Vapor production and the Flavor are right, I'm satisfied. Of course since the Vapor production is so weak, we can now discuss the flavor...
As I mentioned, I watched a lot of videos and read a lot of reviews and I tried some of the suggestions of other people. First of all 8W is too much, so when I see someone suggest 15W, I just cringe! I tried GVC throughout the entire range of my VAMO 3 (seriously)... I went from 3V all the way up to 4.5V (anything more than that is just crazytalk) and quite honestly, anything higher than 3.9V made the eLiquid taste acrid! Anything below 3.7V made it taste poor. I found that the best spot for the ProTank heads @ 2.5Ω is between 3.7-3.8V.
BUT WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE???
Well, I love Vanilla Custard. I've had plenty of it throughout my lifetime (as well as Coconut Custard) and this does not taste like Vanilla Custard with a ProTank head.
If I had to say what it tasted like, I'd say that it tastes like a non-carbonated Cream Soda! Which I suppose is fine, because when I drank sodas, Cream soda was among my favorites! The interesting thing (and I just discovered this), apparently the USA variant of cream soda IS based on a "Vanilla Cream" flavor. I had no idea. What I am writing right now, was written 4 days after the preceding sentence and I can tell you that after the ProTank head began to break-in (perhaps 3-4 hours of use), the flavor stabilized and it started to taste pretty nice. What I'm really looking forward to, is using this stuff in a Kayfun!
So I am now in possession of a Kayfun Lite w/AFC (review HERE!). I have been using it for the past 24 hours with GVC in it... Upon first setting it up and filling up with GVC, I had much the same experience as I did with the ProTank. Tasted kinda plasticky, tasted kinda gross, kinda flat... And then all of a sudden, the flavor really starts to "open up"...
I'm using a 1.7Ω coil and I have the Kayfun on my VAMO 3... I'm very glad that I do, because I tried putting the Kayfun on a mech and @ 4.1V GVC really tastes foul. I'm currently Vaping GVC @ 6W, but it still performs pretty well between 5.5W & 6.5W as well.
The depth of flavor that the Kayfun is reproducing with GVC is really remarkable, especially when you consider that GVC is supposed to be a 50/50 eLiquid... I would say that there is perhaps a 30% better flavor using this, over the X10 with a ProTank head. There is absolutely no egg flavor (whole, yolk or otherwise) to be found within this eLiquid.
Ok, so now I'm able to give you my best review...
If you like cream soda, GVC is the flavor for you! It doesn't taste even remotely like a Vanilla Custard, which is kind of disappointing for me. The Vapor production is somewhat poor with this eLiquid, however the throat hit is right on target for a 6mg eLiquid... The smell of the exhaled eLiquid is not pleasant with the Kayfun either.
So the big question I have to ask myself, is this a good review and do I recommend it?
Well, I really like the flavor... True, it DOES NOT taste like what it says on the bottle and yes, its Vapor production isn't there... I'm convinced that it is not a properly blended 50/50, but it does have a good/lingering flavor and the throat hit is almost perfect, so we have a 3 out of 4 score!
I say this is a good review and I would only conditionally recommend this eLiquid...
1. If you live in the UK, your cost for this eLiquid becomes a no-brainer...
2. If you live anywhere else and you've got plenty of money to burn, get some...
But if you're a guy like me, who refuses to buy into the whole "consumerist society" that the US has been seriously pushing for the past 30+ years (and it's gotten worse in case you've been living under a rock), then spending $70+ on a bottle of eLiquid is highway robbery!
Just remember, if you get some of this eLiquid, be sure to use silica and BE PATIENT. Give your wick/coil some time to work-in and when the flavor starts to come through properly, you'll be happy...
So that's it for my first ever UK Made eLiquid review. Like most eLiquids, it's not without its issues. As always, if you disagree with anything that I've said in this review, just ignore me. If whatever it is you're using makes you happy and helps to keep you away from smoking the "nasties", then use it!
As always, thank you so very, very, very much for your continued support, thank you for your comments and thank you for Liking it, Tweeting it, Sharing it, +1ing it and telling your dog about it, etc... ;)
And don't forget, if you Follow this Blog (over in the right pane), you can be alerted every time I post a new review!
(images used are either mine or Copyright Grant's Vanilla Custard)