Monthly Archives: December 2016

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ecigs

And more nice liquids

I’ve been writing some stuff today about switching to vaping at New Year, instead of making yet another resolution to quit smoking that you just know will be broken by the second of January. Along the way I got to thinking about my own switch, which seems like quite a while ago now. In fact it was quite a while ago – just short of four years. When I bought my first e-cigarette I knew almost nothing about them except that they were safer than smoking (and it’s amazing how many people still won’t accept that little fact), and I had absolutely no idea about the variety of equipment and flavours that existed even then.

Anyway, I walked away from my local vape shop with an eGo-C kit and a bottle of liquid that claimed to be Marlboro flavoured. It wasn’t, of course – cigarette flavours never taste anything like the originals – but it did the job. It  didn’t do it spectacularly, though, so pretty soon I looked at upgrading. That’s when I got my first mod and started experimenting with flavours. I now have a small collection of box mods with various things to sit on top of them . At the moment I’m mostly using a pair of Limitless tank atties – an original RDTA and a Classic Edition, which is a larger version of the new Gold – but I have assorted conventional tanks and a couple of drippers as well. I also have a reasonable assortment of liquid to feed it all with. My all-day vape is a DIY vanilla pipe tobacco, because I’m a penniless freelance writer and DIY liquid is cheap. However I do get my hands on some classier juice sometimes, and that’s what I reach for when I want to sit back and really enjoy myself.

Well, that was a slightly long-winded introduction. What I planned to say is that someone gave me a tankful of liquid the other day, and it’s really rather nice. It’s Cola & Gummy, by Cosmic Fog, so you’ll probably be able to guess that it’s a sweet flavour. Specifically, it’s those chewy cola bottles with the fizzy sugary sprinkles on them. Not only is the flavour spot on – Cosmic Fog have even captured the fizzy sensation, too. I have no idea how they do that, but it’s definitely there. Cosmic Fog are a California-based mixer and that’s usually a good sign; the state’s government might be anti-vaping, but its citizens have embraced the hobby with enthusiasm and it has a world-class industry making high end liquids. This is one of the nicest I’ve tried, and the branding is classy too.

I’d never tried Cosmic Fog liquids before, and I have to say I was really impressed with this. So much so that I’ve splashed out and ordered a couple of bottles as an end of year present to myself. It’ll probably be a few days before they arrive, because thanks to the current exchange rate it was cheaper to order them from a UK shop than a German one, but never mind. There are quite a few Cosmic Fog UK dealers, but in the end I settled on Vapelux, because I’ve heard good things about them. They also sell the Limitless tanks, which is a big plus as far as I’m concerned.

So for now I’m going to enjoy the rest of my Cola & Gummy, while I wait for a fresh supply to turn up. My postman better be ready for another week of stalking.


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Steam Potion – What e-liquid SHOULD be like

Not that long ago I had a bit of a rant about some of the dumb branding that’s prevalent in the e-liquid industry. I’m sick of seeing bottles that violate intellectual property law, or feature the sort of cartoon characters that play into the hands of nanny statists and their incessant bleats about targeting children. E-liquid is an adult product and should be branded as one. Which is why I was so pleased when a full set of Steam Potion liquids landed in my letter box a few weeks ago.

Steam Potion is a new liquid company, specialising in fruity dessert juices. They have five flavours so far, but I’ll come back to that. First, I’d just like to compliment them on their branding. Their labels are understated, almost retro, and in my opinion extremely classy. As the name suggests they’ve gone for a steam train motif, which carries over into the names of their liquids. I think that gives them a very nice up-market touch; steam locomotives symbolise a golden age of rail travel, when a train was a sophisticated and elegant way to get around.

Anyway, here are what their bottles look like:

steam potion e-liquid

You’ll notice that I’ve put a pretty heavy dent in four of them, but not the fifth. I’ll explain in a minute, I promise. Anyway, these are low-nicotine dessert liquids, and those who know me will be aware that I usually go with high-nicotine pipe tobacco flavours. So why am I vaping what’s almost the polar opposite of what I normally prefer? Well, that’s simple – they’re awesome.

In the interests of full disclosure and all that boring stuff, I was sent these liquids as thanks for writing some product descriptions. That led to quite an amusing conversation in itself, when the boss at Steam Potion asked me what nicotine strength I usually use. “24mg,” I replied, “But 18mg is fine if that’s your strongest.”

For a moment, all was silence.

“Uh, what sort of gear do you use?” he asked, obviously wondering why he’d had the bad luck to track down the only maniac in the world who’s still using an eGo-C.

I picked up my trusty mod from the desk and lovingly stroked its battered steel flanks. “A Uwell Crown on an RX200,” I said.

The silence came back. It hung around a bit longer this time.

“I can send you some 6mg,” he said finally. “By the way, is your throat made of asbestos or something?”

Anyway, the liquids were a gift, for which I’d like to say a big thank you to Steam Potion, but I did offer to write something about them. “If you do, be honest,” I was told. “Say what you really think.” So I will, probably to nobody’s great surprise, and the first thing I’m going to say is that I wish these were available in a higher strength – even a TPD-friendly 18mg/ml would be great. Alternatively, if Steam Potion sold flavour concentrates I’d happily buy those and mix my own, because the contents of my freezer are definitely not TPD-friendly.

rx200 wotofo ice cubed

I like these flavours so much I bought a dripper just to use with them

Still, I’m a realist. We have to take life as it is, not as it would be in a world with more nicotine, so 6mg it was. To give the liquids a fair chance I decided to try them in a dripper, which would compensate for the low strength by cranking the vapour production up. They’re all high-VG liquids, too, which is ideal for dripping. Unfortunately the only drippers I actually owned were an elderly Tobh and a positively ancient Igo-L, so I splashed out on a Wotofo Ice³, which seemed like it should be cloudy enough to do the job. In due course that arrived – not too quickly, because I got it from FastTech – and I set it up with a pair of Clapton coils and some fluffy stuff. Resistance came in at 0.4Ω, and I started with the power set to 50W (but went up a bit from there). Then I tried all the liquids, so I should probably stop waffling and tell you how that worked out.

Puffing Billy

The original Puffing Billy is in London’s Science Museum, because it’s the world’s oldest surviving steam locomotive and therefore pretty historical. Steam Potion, appropriately, picked the name as their first (and flagship) liquid, which is a blend of assorted berries with a vanilla background note. I’m not sure exactly what berries are in there, but I strongly suspect one of them is raspberry. In any case they’re sweet and  deliciously cool, which contrasts nicely with the warm vanilla. My bottle of Puffing Billy is among the emptiest of the set, because quite often I’ve made it to dinner time then realised I’ve been vaping this all day. It’s very, very nice.

Stephenson’s Rocket

Robert Stephenson’s famous 1829 locomotive was painted yellow. Steam Potion’s version is banana flavoured. Bananas are yellow. That seems fair enough to me.

Actually there’s a bit more going on than just bananas. The main flavour is a banana cream, which is always going to be a hard act to follow. This one has strawberries in it. There isn’t a lot left of the Rocket either.

Trans-Siberian

This is a cereal flavour, with loads of milk and a dollop of cream on top. I have to say, up front, that I don’t like it much. This isn’t the liquid’s fault, though – it’s mine. Trans-Siberian has a really good malty cereal base and the milk is done perfectly. The problem is that I can’t stand milk, which is unhygienic and comes out a cow’s bottom. If you do like milk I suspect you’ll really enjoy this one.

North Star

With North Star, named after one of Stephenson’s later engines, Steam Potion race right back into my flavour comfort zone. North Star is a strawberry ripple blend and it’s truly awesome. The strawberry syrup is rich and sweet, and the vanilla ice cream sets it off perfectly. Like the Puffing Billy, this one is a really delicious all day vape.

Midnight Express

It’s a toss-up whether this one or Puffing Billy is my favourite from the range. Midnight Express is probably the most decadent Steam Potion liquid – an ice cream sundae, crammed with bananas then topped with rich, dark chocolate sauce. It’s perfectly balanced, avoiding the trap of being too sweet to vape all day, and it really is pretty spectacular. I’ll be buying more of this when I run out, which is likely to be quite soon.

So there we have it – five dessert, or at least sweet, liquids, with a strong bias towards vanilla and fruit flavours. If dessert vapes are your thing I would definitely recommend you try Steam Potion. They’re the sort of responsible company that deserves our support, but more importantly than that, they really are good. Good enough that I’m enjoying vaping them at a quarter of my usual nic strength.

Steam Potion are a new company, so to get things moving they’re offering a rather nice discount now. Visit their website and use code xm30 to get 30% off. Buy another two bottles and they’ll throw in free UK postage. That’s not a great help to me, because I live in Germany, but I know the bulk of my readers are UK-based.

Once again, thanks to Shahid at Steam Potion for sending me these liquids. I’m thoroughly enjoying them.

These bottles are nice enough to hang on your tree. So I did.

These bottles are nice enough to hang on your tree. So I did.


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Black Note liquids gain TPD approval in 15 EU nation

Black Note is proud of our position as a responsible and forward-thinking company, and we constantly work to deliver the best products and most professional service to our customers. We want our liquids to be available for as long as you want them, and to give the best possible vaping experience. That means we seek to comply with all applicable laws and standards, both in the USA and internationally.

As the next step in our journey we are pleased to announce that Black Note liquids are now officially notified under the Tobacco Products Directive (Directive 2014/40/EU) in the following 15 countries:

  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

Our full range is now available in a 10ml bottle size that fully complies with TPD regulations, and we have completed all the necessary steps to gain approval under the new rules. The TPD is a challenging piece of legislation that makes it difficult and expensive to gain approval; sadly that’s likely to reduce the choices available to vapers in the EU as manufacturers trim their ranges or leave the industry altogether. The good news is that Black Note will still be here, supplying the finest naturally extracted tobacco flavours.”