The Juice Judge: Clever Vape, Fluid, FanceeJuice, Avail, Vapor Shark

The Juice Judge

Juices are rated on a scale of 1-5 based on flavor, vapor production and throat-hit.


Clever Vape’s Brooklyn Pop

Clever Vape’s Brooklyn Pop, presented in a glass eye dropper bottle with an eye-catching label, won me over before I even tasted the juice. I am a sucker for unique labeling and packaging and Clever Juice has provided a strong case in this area. Brooklyn Pop, true to its description, is a refreshing cola juice with a subtle black cherry tone. It tastes fresh and light and may become a staple in my juice rotation.Vapor clouds were gorgeous and satisfying on this 50/50 mix while throat hit was above average. You can grab a 30ml bottle for $14.99 or flavor boost it for an additional $4 at


Flavor=5, Vapor=5, Throat Hit=4

Fluid’s Tangsicle

Fluid’s Tangsicle is a tasty orange dreamsicle juice that is more reminiscent of Hi-C than Tang with a cream accent on the backend, most noticeably on the exhale.If you like orange this juice is pretty tasty. Some folks at the table found the orange a little overpowering while others found it spot on in terms of its name and description. Our tester bottle was a 50/50 mix of PG/VG and vapor clouds were large and chewy. Throat hit was average. A 30ml bottle costs $15.99 and vapers can select PG/VG mix or add menthol at no additional cost at


Flavor=4, Vapor=5, Throat Hit=3

FanceeJuice’s Cloudarita

It took a little bit of vaping and some at the table never got it, but this juice does taste exactly like a lime margarita. The flavor is there, but at first it was a little faint. Toward the end we could nearly taste the salt on the end of the drip tip. This was an overall very tasty juice and receives high marks in the flavor category. Vapor production was stellar with voluminous clouds pouring from a fresh cartomizer. The only area it was average in was throat hit. On their website vaper scan select cloudiness, (PG/VG mix) and they also offer a margarita box where you can get a big juice of Cloudarita and blueberry, lime, watermelon, strawberry and mango mixers to mix a perfect margarita in the atomizer.FanceeJuicetouts their juice as premium e-liquid, and it costs $20.99 for a 30ml bottle.


Flavor=5, Vapor=5, Throat Hit=3


Avail’s Piña Colada

If you like Piña Colada and getting caught in the rain … I can’t recommend getting it from Avail. This juice tastes like it’s large batch created, rebranded and resold. In a word, it’s gross. It only tasted marginally like coconut to one person at the table while others mentioned that it was unvapeable. Vapor production is average and we cannot say why as the bottle did not represent the mix of PG and VG. Throat hit was nonexistent. Their site currently is in launch status and has no pricing information.But, you can view their other juices, which are hopefully better, at


Flavor=1, Vapor=3, Throat Hit=1

Vapor Shark’s Ice Tart

Vapor Shark’s Ice Tart is a mentholated Pixie Stix juice. The jury is out on this one as the menthol is not very fresh or crisp and fades very quickly while the Pixie Stix flavor is very muted. Vapor production is average and the bottle did not represent the mix of PG and VG. Throathit was average for a mentholated juice. While vapers can choose the level of nicotine on the site it does not appear you can select the mix of PG/VG. A 30ml bottle is approximately $14.99 and is sold at


Flavor=3, Vapor=3, Throat Hit=3

2015 Vaping Year in Review

February 10, 2016



Words and photos by Leigh Oates

While it is a daunting task to cram a year’s worth of industry development into a few hundred words, I have gathered what I believe to be the highlights of 2015’s Year In Vaping, from news to hottest products, trends and more.

FDA Deeming Regulations—2015’s Biggest News
The FDA is closer than ever to ruling on electronic cigarettes. The final deeming regulations were submitted to the White House Office of Budget and Management in October of this year. A copy of these documents was obtained by a group known as TVECA, the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, which then made the Table of Contents of the document available to the public. Vendors are preparing for tobacco applications and other registration rules, and the future of e -cigarettes seems uncertain as of press time—unless the 2007 grandfather date can be changed. Bill HR2058 seeks to do just that—change the grandfather date for the FDA’s regulations, and vapers are urged to advocate for this bill. If the grandfather date can be moved forward to 2014, 2015 or even when the final deeming regulations are expected to take effect in 2016, electronic cigarette products would not have to go through the costly process of proving “substantial equivalence.” The PMTA, or Pre -Market Tobacco Application, is expected to be a nearly impossible hurdle for vapor products to pass without piles of scientific measurements, data and evidence about the safety and health effects of the product. And, without concession on the date, is likely to eliminate most of the products on the market due to the extremely high cost of gathering this information. What, exactly, those deeming regulations will be is a question to be answered in 2016, but for now, the vaping industry watches and waits.

Innovations in Vaping Technology 2015

Here are a few of the innovations in vaping technology from 2015.

Temperature Control Devices
And, with them, nickel wire and titanium wire for coils. Temperature control offers a way to vape with less danger of harmful chemicals that come from dry burning the cotton wick. TC mods allow vapers to control how hot the coil gets based on the type of conductive wire used.

Sub-Ohm Tanks
In 2015, it seemed like a new sub -Ohm tank came out every week. This innovation meant that you don’t have to build your coils to enjoy sub -Ohm vaping. Sub- Ohm tanks and regulated mods make it easy to do safely. Even mainstream vapers enjoy the benefits: bigger clouds and lower nicotine vape e-liquid. Replaceable coil head units make sub- Ohm tanks easier to manage than most rebuildables.

Top-Fill Units
The Crown tank, the Triton and the Smok TFV4 all break the market with top -fill technology, among others, such as the Melo 2. One of the first in demand top-fill units, the Crown tank, got major attention at expos and trade shows in 2015. Other major manufacturers caught the idea and quickly followed suit. Vapers love it for its ease of refilling, especially since sub -Ohm vaping uses more juice, making the top -fill tank a major convenience factor for vapers.

Drip-Tip Airflows
Such as the Triton and the Assassin tank from Atom Vapes. Top-mounted airflows cool the vapor coming from high-heat, sub-Ohm tanks and provide for a more comfortable vape.

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Pre- Built Coil Heads Under 0.5 Ohm
Build resistances seem to get lower and lower! The Arctic, Starre, Atlantis and Subtank follow the sub- Ohm build trend by offering coil heads in the 0.4 Ohm -0.15 Ohm trend.

High- Wattage Box Mods
150 watts and counting! Mods such as the Snow Wolf, Sigelei and IPV4 offer super- high wattages from multiple external batteries. These mods can handle the lowest builds and biggest power demands and were popular in 2015.

Hottest Products of 2015

Subox Starter Kit
The Subox gets recognition as bringing a complete sub -Ohm starter kit suitable for intermediate- level vapers. Much like the eGo One starter kit, the Subox and Subox Nano are complete, out -of -the -box, sub -Ohm kits. The sub- Ohm trend has been fully assimilated into the mainstream with these mods, making them easy to use, complete and attractive.

Joyetech TC Mods
The eVic and eVic VTC Mini are only two examples of the many temperature -control devices released this year. Joyetech stands out for its approachable operation and consistent manufacturing. These TC mods allow the user to adjust the max temp of the coil for safety and flavor purposes.

Aspire Products
Aspire climbed the charts in 2015 with the Pegasus, a nifty mod with a charging dock, and the Atlantis series of sub -Ohm tanks, as well as some items geared toward mouth -to- lung vapers, the Aspire ET S BVC clearomizers.

Vaping Trends of 2015

Complex Builds
Many of the vaping trends of 2015 are linked. Beautiful Instagram “coil porn” photos with intricately twisted builds and clapton-wrapped coils were developed as vapers desired to go super sub -Ohm. The hobby has truly become an art. Simple clapton coils are easy to D.I.Y. with a power drill, but manufacturers also dove into the clapton trend in 2015.

2015 —The Year of the Premium Juice Line
In 2015, it seemed like everyone and their momma had a premium juice line. Juice lines tend to run pretty similar, a high VG blend in glass bottles, offerings of about three to seven flavors, with a catchy theme to bring them all together on the marketing card. As the industry moves toward stricter labeling and bottling standards, including clean room e -liquids, I predict that some of these pop- up e- liquid lines will not be able to meet consumer standards.

Top Vaping News Stories of 2015

Vaping found to be 95 percent less harmful than smoking in a study released by Public Health England:

TSA rules: You can’t check your e -cig on a plane, due to fire hazard: citingfire threatn451816

Vape Expo NJ First Vape Expo shut down by the local health department for violation of Clean Indoor Air Act:

Vape shops closed by raids across Malaysia: shops closed by raids in malaysia/

ATR Reports Half of America’s States Seeking E-Cig Taxes

Photo by Americans for Tax Reform

Photo by Americans for Tax Reform

While 2014 saw 15 states trying to place a tax on vaping products, at the end of 2015, half of America, along with the District of Columbia, was on board to do the same. Paul Blair, state affairs manager at the Americans for Tax Reform, predicts more in 2016, according to

Blair told the Daily Caller that taxing e-cigarette products “is not about public health but is instead about protecting the government’s revenue stream from smokers.” Blair said that since smokers pay a large tax, “switching from smoking to vaping could hammer the coffers of state governments, giving lawmakers an incentive to make switching increasingly unattractive.”

Minnesota, North Carolina, Louisiana, Kansas and the District of Columbia have already passed vaping product taxes, while measures have been filed in Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

Scenic Vapers: #CloudCheck Promotes Vaping in Nature

February 9, 2016


Photo by Tyler Price (@Dripping_Balls) Vince Nero (@the_ohmie_vin) – in picture Cranberry, Penn. Spitfire Tank/Decimus Mod from Praxis Vapors (@praxisvapors)

Social media sometimes brings people together in ways that we least expect. Friends, followers and likes originate from all over the world, and many people become acquaintances and even close friends without meeting face-to-face. In July 2014, Ian Silver (@Yogi_Wan_Kenobi_Sov) and Tyler Price (@ Drippin_Balls) first met on Instagram when running into each others’ similar photography styles and love for nature. These passions are what led them to create Scenic Vapers, and almost a year later, the pair’s original goals are staying true to form.

From the beginning the main goal was to inspire other to get outside and enjoy the beauty that this world has to offer and the exercise that comes with it. They knew that they loved what they were doing and there had to be others out there who shared the same loves.

Ian Silver, or Yogi, lives in Sedona, Ariz. A self-proclaimed nerd and Star Wars junkie, he also is an avid hiker, yoga practitioner and healthy lifestyle promoter. He started his journey in the vape game about a year and a half ago when he and his girlfriend Aimee (@natty_vapes) wanted to find a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes. They went to a local shop and picked up the Smok Magneto and IGO-W. Since then, it’s been a whole new world. He started building immediately and fell in love with all aspects of vaping, including the community. He found himself promoting online and doing reviews for companies, and he now works at a local shop called Magic Mist as a sales rep and promoter for Fogg Society (@FoggSociety) and is captain of Team Royal Wires Arizona (@teamroyalwires_az). He and @natty_vapes have a juice line called Chakra Joose (@chakra_joose) and he is proud to be a part of the Society of Vape competition team (@TeamSOV).

Tyler Price has been cigarette free for almost two years. He started off with a Volcano e-cig and a cartomizer, and from there with the help of forums and friends and a lot of curiosity and practice he gradually made it into mechanical mods and atomizers. This whole journey has been more than he could have ever hoped for, and he feels blessed to have gotten to meet and get to know so many members of the vaping community.

Both Silver and Price have consciously chosen a healthier lifestyle, and they feel that Scenic Vapers gives people the motivation to want to get out and explore all of the beautiful places around them while being active and enjoying life. They aim to promote a healthier lifestyle and living life to the fullest. What they really enjoy the most is being able to get a glimpse at what others from so many different parts of the world get to see on a daily basis. While they feel they are on the right track due to community response so far, neither will quit setting goals for the Scenic Vapers movement. The biggest unexpected challenge, after all, is the wind.

Photo by Tyler Price (@Dripping_Balls)
Logan Wells (@mr_subohm) – in picture Ohio Pyle State Park, Penn.
Bad Drip T-Shirt (@baddrip)

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To submit your photo to Scenic Vapers #CloudCheck for VAPE submission consideration, follow @VapeMagazine @ScenicVapers @Drippin_Balls and @Yogi_Wan_Kenobi_Sov and #VapeMagazine #CloudCheck and #ScenicVapers on Instagram. For the VAPE pictorial column, photos must be in high resolution, but for the IG page everyone has the chance for a feature.

Black Reserve Rolls Out Red Carpet with Lifestyle-Based Brand

February 8, 2016



By Alyssa Stahr
Photos courtesy of Black Reserve Vapors

Jason Winkler is an entrepreneur who started in concert promotions at the age of 19, working with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Big Sean, DJ AM, Travis Barker, Paul Oakenfold, Wiz Khalifa and many more. From there he took his experience in the music business and marketing to help brands such as Uber build recognition in Southern California. He was able to pair brands with certain events and trend setting musicians to help create a buzz. Winkler brings a creative outlook on how to launch brands and is able to bring influential strategic partnerships to the table that gives companies the upper hand. At age 24 he helped launch a tech company called Liquipel. In one year the company won numerous awards such as Best Of Show at CES and The Edison Award. Once Liquipel had the respect from the tech world, Winkler wanted to spread the brand to the masses. In the next six months he set out to bring influential partnerships to the company. He wanted to make Liquipel a lifestyle brand, not just another tech company, so he signed partnerships with Pharrell Williams, WME and Steve Aoki. Most recently, Winkler and his business partner saw an industry that had no cool factor or lifestyle to it, so they brought that with one-of-a-kind packaging, clean flavors and creative content creation to Black Reserve. Winkler and his team have paired Black Reserve with some of the most recognizable names in music and sports, from throwing a launch party with performances from Rick Ross and Wiz Khalifa, to having Rampage Jackson do a signing at their booth at ECC.

Graftan Darnall has a background in product development, business architecture and design. Starting with the sale of a successful entertainment equipment rental company, he has worked on many product development, application development and branding projects. He holds patents for inventions in both consumer and commercial product space and considers product design his passion. Since 2012, he has been featured in major publications for his inventions and ventures. Darnall heads and co-heads all product development and brand strategy for Black Reserve, and manages business operations for Brand One Corp and client partners.

Cody Soto, an Orange County and Los Angeles resident, found his place in the world of marketing at a very young age. With his entrepreneurial mindset and the drive to succeed, he knew he would find great success in all business endeavors he explored. His first success was his position as brand ambassador for Orange County-based tech company Liquipel. As brand ambassador for Black Reserve, Soto has successfully signed professional skateboarder Nyjah Huston. Alongside celebrity endorsements, Soto has a successful past in the promotional space sponsoring events, campaigning with celebrity partners, and maintaining client relationships. Currently Soto also oversees brand strategy as marketing officer/partner for Brand One Corp.

While three may be a crowd in some cases, it’s not in the case of the three creators of Black Reserve: Jason Winkler, Graftan Darnall and Cody Soto. One of the first to discover lifestyle branding in the e-liquid industry, the three entrepreneurs always are working to find new ways to innovate and market their products differently than the all rest.

VAPE: You’ve all three been entrepreneurs in other businesses. How did this translate into getting into the e-liquid business?
Jason: We’ve all come from building lifestyle brands, and Cody and myself have been working on different products for the last several years. We started in a tech business that we helped to start called Liquipel, and what we did with that was kind of take that from a standardized tech business to more of a lifestyle brand by getting people like Pharrell Williams involved and Steve Aoki and making them partners, so that company was more looked at as something that you could bring music and fashion and function into a technology like waterproofing cell phones. So, that’s our key to do with any products that we get involved with is trying to find that ‘cool’ factor and to relate to our market. Graftan had been working with Cody on other products as well and he connected me and Graftan together, and from there we formed Black Reserve about a year and a half ago. We’ve been partners ever since, all three of us.

Graftan: We were getting into mods and hardware, and we started realizing that there was this big opportunity in the e-liquid … and really coming out with an e-liquid that’s known for its quality and cleanliness. So, we took our knowledge of

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creating a brand and our passion for the vape community and the vape market. We really wanted to make a quality product in the market. We saw that there wasn’t a lot of classic bottle e-juice at the time, and a lot of things weren’t standardized. So, we wanted to bring that standard to the e-juice market and really create something different.

Jason: We really saw in the beginning of this industry that brands were kind of taking that approach of ‘hey, let’s print our name on a bottle make a good flavor and see what happens.’ No one really took the approach of ‘Hey, let’s try to build a brand,’ like a lifestyle brand and we feel like we were the first ones to kind of pioneer that. Even though our juice didn’t really launch right away, we got out there and we got the designs out there and we got the vibe of Black Reserve kind of in the market before we launched. And now we’re seeing a lot of companies kind of take that same approach and we’ve had a lot of companies tell us, ‘You guys inspired us to go a different route with our bottling and our content that we create and the way that people get involved.’ The key thing for us is to have the influential photographers that Cody brings to the table, and a really strong community in the vape scene, and taking the new kind of vibe to our brand. Now we’re starting to see that throughout the board and we’re proud of being kind of the first to do that.

VAPE: How do you view the lifestyle and celebrity aspect of a brand? I feel like a couple of years ago celebrities did not want to be seen vaping, and I feel like that’s kind of changed over the years. Do you feel that way too?

Jason: I really do feel that way. About two years ago, at that ECC, we were the first company to bring celebrity to ECC, so we had French Montana and Rampage, we [had a DJ] in our booth the whole time, so we really brought UFC, celebrity and music to an industry that celebrities were really kind of fearing. We used our relationship to kind of let them know, ‘Hey, this is a new industry, this is a growing industry and you should be a part of this industry before everyone jumps on board.’ That resonated with them early on, and I think by leveraging our relationships from working with them in the past and being involved in the music scene kind of helped us open the door for that. I do feel like there was kind of a convincing phase that we had to go through with a lot of these people. Cody’s really a strong point on that as well; really tight in with the content creators with the rap side and the DJ side is really what we’re focusing on right now.

VAPE: They say three’s a crowd. But it’s not with you. Why do you think the three of you work so well together?

Graftan: We’re all three are absolutely very different. We bring different skill sets to the table; we don’t overlap; we complement each other on everything. While Cody’s working on one thing, Jason’s working on another and I am too. Luckily we’ve been able to work together in a way where we don’t step on each other’s toes and we help each other with everything.

Jason: A lot of times too Graftan has to wrangle us all in, and he’s kind of the guy that makes sure everything executes on time. Cody and myself are all over the place trying to build new relationships, trying to find different avenues for the brand, and Graftan kind of pulls it all together and makes sure that we point it in the right direction.

VAPE: Take me back to the beginnings of Black Reserve. How did that idea come about and what was your inspiration?

Jason: We didn’t see a package or a high-quality brand out there, and our idea for it was let’s make the, and it’s kind of corny to say, ‘ace of spades’ of the vape industry. Or let’s make something that everybody wants to have and be a part of and not just a flavor that we make, but a brand that we recognize and feel that we want to be a part of. So, kind of building that cult following in a high-end fashion kind of way. That was our concept for Black Reserve from the beginning. We were sitting in a bar drinking and talking and that’s how it came about.

From there we thought up different packaging concepts and like I said content creation that would make sense for the brand, kind of built the whole entire story and the image before we even created the juice. We had an idea for flavors, but we know that if we created such a high-end package and brand that our juice would have to stand up to that. We created the brand, the packaging and we were like, ‘Hey we want to make sure that our juice is perfect.’ We don’t want to be that product that has great packaging and they buy it once and they don’t want to buy it again. We spent a lot of time after that testing. The reason we took so long to release our product is that we spent a lot of time sending out different flavors throughout the market to over 100 stores and having blind testing on our flavors. We tested hundreds of flavors to make sure we found the best flavors to launch with. That’s what really been able

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to ensure our success, and that’s why we’re one of the top selling brands in every single store we’re in right now.

VAPE: Can you talk about the trial and error process that went into choosing the three flavors?

Jason: We used a starring system. We did internal testing; we whittled down from about 100 flavors to about 20 flavors we really liked and then we sent those out to partnering stores, people who are really supportive of our brand, and we did a lot of consumer testing in-store with people who were looking for new juice to buy. We got the feedback a few different ways. We asked them some questions about the juice, if they would refer it to a friend, if it was an all-day vape, and then we had a star rating on how good it was. From there we were able to look at what the highest rated ones were and use that as our educated guess as to what the market wanted.

VAPE: Do you look at it as an all-day vape then? Is that your consumer focus?

Jason: We do, but we like to mix it up. We have a couple of flavors that are really rich and are very tasty and they won’t necessarily be an all-day vape, but they’re that flavor that you can sit back and really enjoy.

Graftan: I think one of them is an all-day vape and the rest are more of an enjoyable, savory vape.

VAPE: Do you have plans for expansion of the line?

Jason: Our fourth and fifth flavors that are coming out very soon, we’re actually very excited about. We can’t tell you yet what they’re going to be. One is definitely going to be an all day vape. We’re going to be focusing on seasonal flavors for 2016.

VAPE: How did the idea of tinted black glass, chrome colored top dropper filler system, and raised metal embossed labels come about?

Jason: We came out with all these designs and packaging that there when really there was nothing out there like that on the market. We wanted to create something different and raise the bar in terms of packaging and the branding and the look of something that would be on the shelf. We found an all-new system for dripping with the dropper and then we went about using metal labels to really give that bottle the pop. You can actually feel the labels, and it’s something when you hold in your hand it’s like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool and it’s nothing like what I have had before.’” That was really important to us not only to recreate something from our vision, but something that was different and to raise the standard on what was on the market.

Graftan: In the middle of our process we had those silver caps, but then the law passed where they had to be childproof, so we switched to our black caps. The cool thing is by February you’ll be seeing that we’ve developed our own childproof silver dropper caps that will be coming with the bottle, and the look will be revised to what it was.

Jason: It was important to us to care about the safety of the consumers and children and be compliant.

VAPE: How do you feel you’re prepared for upcoming regulations?

Jason: We’ve really positioned ourselves with our manufacturing, our testing, even recreating all of our own flavors to position ourselves in the market and in the eyes of the government, as a leader. It’s taken a long time, a lot of R&D. We’re planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

Graftan: We also have a really strong partnership involved that is really on the forefront of lobbying for this and being more involved on that side of things. We’re prepared with the people that we work with to make sure that we’re able to handle whatever regulations happen in the future.

Jason: A lot of people are in this business for a quick buck, and we’re trying to build a brand that lasts. It’s kind of a ballsy statement, but when there’s five or 10 companies left, we hope we’re one of them.

Graftan: We want to build a staple brand that you’ll know.

VAPE: Anything else to add?

Jason: We want to get the point across that we are a brand that is really involved in the music scene, the arts scene and photography. We are talking that culture and helping spread vape into the mainstream market through our avenues that we’re really tied into.

Cody: Our goal is to educate non-vapers. When we do these lifestyle shots, and it’s new to people and they don’t know what it is. We want to grab an audience—if you don’t know anything about vaping, come in to vaping. We just want to get all aspects of different industries and bring them into vaping. Like you know how Monster Energy sponsors a skateboarder, sponsors a professional snowboarder, it’s getting to that thing now where companies are sponsoring the best trick guy in the world, sponsoring athletes. It’s going to turn into that industry. Black Reserve is taking the first steps with it and kind of leading the way for that time to come. There’s going to be a lot of cool things that are coming up.

Jason: The reason for that is we want the community to know that we’re trying to spread the word in a unique way where it reaches the masses, and that’s the purpose that Black Reserve is doing this for. We want to grow this industry into something that is helping people quit smoking and using our outlets to do so.

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