Midweek Critique – 1/14/20
Many of you know that I regard flavor being the most important aspect of the vape experience. The flavor is what drives the entire experience, and without it, you barely have a vape. What’s left is just a soft mist of VG and nicotine. So flavor is needed to really bring out the “satisfaction” and “satiation” of the vape. And in the video I polled you all, who answered with 90% agreeing that the flavor is the most important part. Unfortunately, its the flavor department where the Reflex fails. It’s an excellently built pod device with a temp-sensing control unit to ensure you never burn your coil. This alone is amazing, and I love knowing that I can drag my pod for as long as I need, and it won’t scorch my cotton.
I love the aluminum build, I love how balanced the device is in the hand. But I do not love the flavor. In fact, there really isn’t flavor at all. I’ve mixed around 20 different recipes in this device. All at differing potencies and percentages. Nothing worked. The best vape I got was a simple menthol blend at 25% total flavoring and 1% Super Sweet. Even this produced only the slightest of notes. Not something that I would call “satisfying”. So at $120, I cannot recommend the Evolv Reflex in its current form. If they are able to work out the flavor, then I’d be all over it. But as it stands, there’s so many other far, far better options for far, far cheaper.
Sanctum is back on the chopping block this week with (I think) his 3rd recipe. This time he’s coming at us with a lemon, custard, cake recipe. One of the things that initially worried me about this mix was the addition of FE Lemon and CNV Lemon Cream Wafer. I find that FE Lemon is a bit on the “Pledge-y” side, with its lemon flavor being a bit too natural. Almost like you squeezed lemon juice and rind right into your e-liquid. And on top of that, I find that CNV Lemon Cream Wafer brings an odd cardboard-like off note that’s really hard to ignore. I’ve tried working with that ingredient so many times, trying to force myself to enjoy it – mainly because it smells like heaven – but to no avail. So seeing both of those ingredients in this mix set me back a bit.
Nonetheless, this is a fantastic Lemon Cream Bakery blend. Very reminiscent of the many “Dinner Lady” clones out there, this mix brings a bit more of a sweet lemon profile upfront. In regards to my issues with those ingredients, I find no off-notes or any real issue with them in this mix. The lemon is bright and sweet, almost candied, and sits right on the top of the mix as the star of the show. This is then followed by a nice creamy, slightly buttery finish. There’s a touch of bakery on the end, but this is something I wanted to see more of. It’s just a bit thinner on the finish, than I hoped. If this mix is able to produce a more dense finish, I find it will help sell the “cake” aspect a bit more while also bringing in that much needed texture. But overall, it’s a tasty, fun, lemon cake that you should certainly try out.
3.5 / 5
Remzi – Blueberry Waffle & Ice Cream V3 (Winner!)
I get a lot of these types of recipes. A very ambitious mix that disregards balance in favor of “more”. They usually end up a muddled mess and less-than impressive. So I was skeptical when I first saw this recipe. But much like the previous mix, I was pleasantly surprised. This is also a FANTASTIC recipe. Remzi brings a lot to the mix, utilizing TFA & HS Blueberries with FA Lemon Sicily as the main fruit note, followed by a Pancake/Waffle bakery body and a vanilla ice cream finish. And yes, I was able to taste all these notes in this mix.
The blueberry blend here creates a bright, sweet, candied blueberry. To me its more of a sweet syrup than a “compote”, mainly because there’s not much natural flavor in it. This is then followed by a pancake/waffle body that is light and not as thick as I wanted, but certainly present. And its topped with a vanilla ice cream, that I take more as a whipped cream. Nonetheless, the balance does provide all these notes, and it does so in an accurate way. There’s no off-notes, nothing offensive. It’s just a pleasant vape. But my favorite aspect of this mix is this lingering “breakfast” note that sticks with you after the vape. This really sells the authenticity of the mix and helps pull it all together. If you’re looking for a waffle or breakfast vape, this is a great one to check out. And to make matters even better, this was Remzi’s first ever public recipe. So give him a shout!
4 / 5