Not only is taste subjective, taste is just one criterion involved in picking the best brands of e liquid. Readers with limitless financial resources can vape the most expensive juices all day long, but craft juices are more frequently out of stock and outside of regular people’s price range.
In order to be fair, this list contains affordable and gourmet liquids, but they are all made in the United States. My top five 5 e juice brands are VaporFi, Halo Purity, NicQuid, Five Pawns, and The Standard.
The Top 5 E Juice Brands
This company from Florida shares the same safety credentials as NicQuid and Halo (below), but the price is a little lower and VaporFi encourages creativity among customers.
Their Blend Your Own section invites clients to choose up to three flavors and combine them into a complex or simple selection. Some of those blends have become flavors in their own right, enhancing your opportunity to create sophisticated styles out of single flavors and existing combinations.
They have 30,000 possible flavor combinations, so you will never run out of choices.
Top sellers right now are Irish Coffee (with bourbon, espresso, and cream) and Watermelon Mojito. Affordable VaporFi e liquid is sold in a plentiful number of styles.
They have also recently introduced their Artisan Line, which has sub-ohm vaping and cloud chasing in mind.
Shop Vaporfi E-Juice: http://www.vaporfi.com
Halo’s e liquid could fall into either category because of the craftsmanship that goes into the creation of each one.
It’s not unusual to see their label next to Space Jam Robo Fuel, Villain Vapors, or CRFT on vendors’ shelves. Their policy is to present more than 20 juices, but not to get excited and create 120. Only rarely does a new one join existing members of the menu.
Most flavors feature a traditional element such as tobacco or menthol, sometimes both. Few of their flavors are dessert-style sweets either, a fact appreciated by mature taste buds.
Their slightly sweet blend of vanilla, caramel, and tobacco is entitled “Tribeca.” Longhorn is a fire-cured mixture reminiscent of cigar flavors like Corojo and Cavendish.
Shop Halo Juice: http://halocigs.com
Smokeless Image carries NicQuid. So do several online and street-level vendors conscious of quality and cost.
You will find their brand sitting side-by-side with top-shelf performers, a bit like Halo. Both companies also share something else in common: their juice is created under lab conditions using USP ingredients.
NicQuid makes 4 e juice series: Bliss (dessert), Blast (fruit), Burst (menthol), and Blend (tobacco). A description of Midnight Express likens this flavor to a realistic cigarette tobacco. Biscotti will remind you of an Italian bakery where roasted-almond biscuits are still warm and ready to dip in your coffee.
Shop NicQuid Juice: http://nicquid.com
Buy this boutique brand if you can find it in stock, but don’t be surprised if the well is dry.
Many of their flavors are gone as soon as they hit shelves and their Californian creators can hardly keep up. That is in spite of the price: about $27.50 for 30 ml.
A description of Castle Long gives readers a taste of the culinary craft that goes into making juices that sound a lot like cocktails at a high-end bar. Kentucky Bourbon is combined with toasted coconut, roasted almond, Madagascar vanilla beans, and caramelized brown sugar.
Note the specificity here: not any bourbon or type of vanilla bean. Choices convey more than a base flavor but the way that ingredient has been treated: caramelized or toasted, for example.
Shop Five Pawns Juice: http://vapordna.com and save 10%**
Discount: ** Use coupon code DNA10
Even if these juices turned out to be duds, the bottles are works of popular art.
You will probably like their flavors, though: mixologists pay close attention to detail and only release a handful of blends. They rarely introduce anything new.
The goal is not to load a menu with choice but to present only the very best, all of it original. The unique Frankenvape blends kiwi and marshmallow. Curious Jorge presents a bounty of creamy banana. A 30-ml bottle sells for around $22.
Shop The Standard Juice: http://vapordna.com and save 10%**
Discount: ** Use coupon code DNA10
Juice For Big Clouds And Sub Ohm
Sub Ohm vaping is a style which leads to the creation of enormous clouds. Enthusiasts take part in competitions and there are awards for the thickest and largest clouds.
Events are held at vape stores around the country, but you do not have to be competitive with others to enjoy the challenge of building bigger, better clouds and tasting warming, more flavorful vapor for your own sake.
How to Build Thick Clouds
Part of the process of building a vapor trail is to operate equipment designed for the purpose. Run a variable watt mod and select one with the capacity for at least 40W. It should accept atomizer resistance below 0.5 ohms.
The second part of the process is buying e-juice of a satisfactory blend for sub-ohm builds. It will have to contain a lot of vegetable glycerin; perhaps max-VG. Vegetable glycerin is the thicker juice; the one which imparts the most sweetness and creates clouds. PG (propylene glycol) produces throat hit and is thinner. Vapers and mixologists find it is most suited to tobacco flavors emulating the real smoking experience (pipe, cigarette, or cigar).
VG Juice Flavor Profiles
For this reason, your major sub-ohm e liquids are dessert flavors. Custards are popular. So are fruits, candies, and pastries. Sweets in general will lead you to the clouds.
Several vendors produce two lines: one for clouds, the other for regular coils. Some gourmet juice companies focus on high-VG blends in particular, either because they prefer this more natural substance over PG or to support the cloud-chasing community. Once you are sub-ohm vaping, there is very little room for tobacco flavor.
High-VG Vapor Vendors
Kind and Velvet Vapors are both VG-juice producers, but health is their biggest concern, not sub-ohms. Firebrand creates a dripping juice. A VG-only series at Johnson Creek has received solid reviews. Charlie Noble e liquids are predominantly VG products. Vista Select and Driptonix are cloud-chasing e liquids. VaporFi has added an Artisan, high-VG series to their menu. Cloud Science is another one. You notice that they are usually in glass bottles with dripping caps. Namber, Str8Six, and Alloy are just a few more.
Don’t restrict yourself to US juices; there are several very good ones from the UK. Expect to pay at least $12 per 15-ml bottle (about 80 cents per ml) unless you order a subscription and receive discounts. Customers don’t know what juices they will receive but can specify their preferred PG/VG ratio.
Customize your E Liquid
Several companies such as Vista Vapors and Mount Baker Vapor allow vapers to select their preferred ratio of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. They can opt to vape mostly PG, a 50/50 blend, or max-VG. This way they focus on what matters to them: balance of throat hit and vapor production, more throat hit, or lots of clouds.
More About Vape Juice
The FDA is currently looking into regulating the e cig industry, particularly companies that make e juice. They are interested in regulation for many reasons, and one of them has to do with quality.
In the early days particularly, red flags were raised where companies, in their ignorance, used unsafe flavorings and colorants to make juice. They mixed e juice using food safe methods or no standardized procedures of any kind, but these were not adequate for bottling e juice and using nicotine.
No one is suggesting these businesses were willfully trying to cause harm, but that’s the trouble: without regulation, how does anyone know what is harmful, what’s not, and why? Other issues arose to cause the furor that now exists, but something good has come out of the controversy: awareness.
Customers now know that it’s best practice to ask pointed questions about the juice they are thinking of buying.
If companies cannot satisfy their concerns, it is probably best to consider shopping somewhere else.
While it sounds great to order e liquid from a culinary artist running a small business and mixing juice fresh, gourmet for every customer, there are good and bad aspects to that approach. The best e liquid brands combine style with the high standards that protect their patrons.
While the FDA has not approved e juice or e cigs, they have approved some laboratories for use as mixing facilities. VaporFi’s establishment is FDA-approved according to their website. Halo makes the same claim as does Volcano and Dream E Vapor.
Mister E-Liquid invites customers to learn more about their lab facilities online. Vapin Plus also uses an FDA-approved lab. You can be sure their equipment, air purity, and other measures contribute to a safe end-product.
Food-Grade and USP-Grade Ingredients
A lot of companies can only say that their ingredients meet certain standards. They use just food-grade flavoring you could buy yourself from a grocery, confectionery, or baker’s supply store. USP stands for United States Pharmacy.
USP-grade ingredients in e juices are vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol (or not, depending on a company’s standards). The same companies as I’ve already listed above use USP- and food-grade ingredients as do many other businesses in this industry.
It is unusual for e juice makers to use organic, all-natural ingredients. These are more expensive and most people aren’t clamoring for them. If you feel strongly about inhaling only organic, natural e juices, take a close look at the ingredients in your food. You could be surprised at what you’re eating or you could surprise others with the total absence of artificial paraphernalia in your diet.
Where does your nicotine come from? If you buy e juice from Mount Baker Vapor, Virgin Vaper, or Velvet Cloud, it’s sourced from somewhere in the United States. This might mean your e liquid contains a tobacco product: nicotine is frequently extracted from tobacco leaves. Then again, it’s an all-natural process, and you can at least be certain of US standards for growing tobacco.
All e liquid ingredients can be purchased from US companies but they might come from foreign countries. VaporFi’s glycerin, for example, is made from Malaysian Palm, but that’s great for people with nut allergies. Malaysian Palm Glycerin is considered one of the best.
At least buy US-made e juice. It’s easier to determine how it was made and what went into juice made here than determining foreign standards.
What Is PG And VG In Vaping Liquids?
E-juice is made from a base liquid, flavoring, and possibly nicotine. That base liquid is comprised of PG and/or VG, usually a blending of both. PG stands for propylene glycol. VG is the abbreviation for vegetable glycerin.
This is the thinner of the two liquids and responsible for throat hit. If an e liquid is supposed to mimic cigarette tobacco, then it should contain a substantial amount of propylene glycol: at least 50%, but possibly more.
Being thinner than VG, PG is more suitable for coils found in beginners’ products like cartomizers and some clearomizers. Thicker juice clogs coils. Propylene glycol is considered a food-safe ingredient by the FDA and is found in numerous processed foods. It is also used to produce fake smoke at parties and haunted houses and is found in pharmaceutical products such as nebulizers.
This thick plant liquid is what gives e juice its sweetness and thickness. If you don’t need much throat hit or you are concentrating on cloud production, your e juice should contain plenty of it. In fact, many e-juice companies make lines especially dedicated to the preferences of cloud-chasers operating high-watt box mods. They are partial to dessert flavors like custard, cinnamon buns, and fruit candies.
Vegetable glycerin is also a food-safe ingredient approved by the FDA. There are various forms of vegetable glycerin. The safest for people with allergies to peanuts is Malaysian palm glycerin. You will also find VG in household and personal cleaners like shampoo and dish soap.
USP, Kosher, Organic
Your base liquid should at least be USP-grade: US Pharmaceutical-grade. This means it is an approved product. Organic base liquids are harder to come by, but will generally add a premium to your product. Most USP bases are also kosher. You can buy your own PG and VG as well as nicotine and flavoring to make e juice at home.
You will also notice a surge in production of juices designed for RDAs. Known as “dripping liquids,” they contain more vegetable glycerin than propylene glycol to make them thicker. Cloud chasers love it.
Are you more interested in flavor complexity than all of that background detail? Perhaps you think it is overkill to be so particular about lab conditions and are willing to trust that a real e juice artist will be careful.
In this case, the following firms might or might not satisfy all requirements, but the main thing they offer is great tasting products. If they create grape or banana flavored e liquid, it’s never as simple as that. Culinary flair causes their versions to stand out from the rest.
Suicide Bunny has been lauded as one of the best e liquid brands available for a few years. Pip’s line of juices is small but high-quality, including her Mother’s Milk. In the eyes of some vapers, this is the standard against which all strawberry-cream styles are judged.
Five Pawns constructs juice of such complexity it sounds like sophisticated cocktails you should drink, not vaporize.
CRFT only makes a few e liquids which is typical of gourmet lines. One of them is the amazing Trail Mix which not only tastes like nuts and fruits but is so authentic that some consumers can almost feel the density of seeds on their tongues.
Cosmic Fog, known by the smiling cloud wearing sunglasses, makes half a dozen flavors which have become synonymous with quality and fun. Gummy Cola will put vapers in mind of real candies flavored like cola, right down to the “chew.”
Vanilla Custard by Vaper Caper possesses layers of flavor: vanilla in real egg custard plus hints of sweetness and spice. Numerous versions of custard or cream e juices exist, some egg-y, others milky; many with vanilla, others featuring fruit or spice.
Locomotive Joe takes the humble cup of “Joe” and turns it into something amazing. A lot of cheap coffee vapes taste artificial, like instant coffee: not this one.
Cucumber-mint has become a vaping trend. This cool, refreshing all-day vape is available from the Vapor Chef. Their Coolcumber Melon also contains honeydew melon, an elegant complement.
Plenty of these companies are too small for online sales so they sell to distributors of fine juices like Giant Vapes. Some are big enough for direct sales. Subscription companies buy enough bottles from these firms to sell them cheaply in monthly sample packs to their customers.