The Mt Baker Vapor eLiquid Review – A Sequel
Our first review of Mt Baker Vapor drew so much attention that a sequel was “greenlit” within the first week of the publication date of the original. It was inevitable. (November 12th, 2012)
We strongly suggest that if you have not yet read the first review you do so before reading this one. The reason? The selection of flavors in this sequel consists of less ‘mainstream’ flavors and more niche flavors. When you offer more than 200 flavors you’re bound to come up with some that will have fewer fans, or at least fewer opportunities to vape these less mainstream blends. That doesn’t take anything away from the quality of the eLiquid however, far from it. It simply means that for newbie Vaper these flavors might not be the best eLiquids to start off with. But like anything else, I could be wrong.
Mt Baker Vapor has a very large fan base. People’s opinion of MBV is either incredibly positive or indifferent; we couldn’t find anyone who disliked Mt Baker Vapor. From the vast number of flavors to their ‘below wholesale’ pricing, Mt Baker Vapor’s fans are like an army of loyalists, and the Vapers that seem indifferent have an almost begrudgingly neutral opinion. It’s like they want to say something nice about the company but for one reason or another they want, or need, to play the part of a contrarian instead. You know the type.
A Little Recap If You Please…
MBV offers three (3) bottle sizes, 15ML, 30ML, and 50ML. The base price for their 15ML size is $4.99 ($5.99 for the Signature Line), a 30ML bottle will set you back a mere $7.49, and the large 50ML size will lighten your wallet by $10.99. (The 50ML price has increased by 60 cents since our first review). As you can imagine, MBV probably sells more 50ML bottles than 30ML.
Nicotine levels remain the same as before; 0MG, 6MG, 12MG, 18MG, 24MG and a whopping 36MG. While in the November review we selected 18MG as the standard nic-level we have, as a group, lowered our nicotine level to 12MG. We continue to buy certain flavors from MBV on a regular basis and can say with some assurance that MBV eLiquids suffer no degradation in flavor at lower nicotine levels.
Customers can choose up to 5 extra ‘shots’ of flavoring (25 cents per), and the PG/VG ratios are abundant, 100% PG, 80/20 PG, 65/35, 50/50, 20/80, and 70% VG and 30% Distilled Water. MBV also offers a “Max VG” option, which takes the VG level up as high as they believe it can go without destroying the consistency of the flavors. With options like this you can pretty much custom design your eLiquids. Note* When someone from Spinfuel places an order with MBV they order a 50/50 PG/VG blend and 1 extra shot of flavoring. We found that MBV at 50/50 is a great blend for use in Tanks, both cartomizer based and wick based.
The eLiquids obtained for this review were all 80/20 PG/VG. The mix date was 1/24/13. The vaping period for the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team was February 8th, 9th, and 10th. Each eLiquid had reached full flavor by the time we began our 72-hour vaping. During that time, MBV eLiquids were the only eLiquids used by the team.
The MBV Flavors
16 Flavors were reviewed this time out, all of them chosen by the team.
- Pumpkin Cookie
- Tidal Wave
- Candy Bar
- Vanilla Custard
- Chocolate Frost
- American Tobacco
- Cake – Yellow
- Caramel Candy
- Bananas Gone Nuts
- Sweet Cream
- Cookies and Cream
- Brown Sugar
- Vanilla Tobacco
- Get Razzled
The Team And The Hardware
All the hardware used in the review was purchased from MyVaporStore, Spinfuel’s official supplier of vaping supplies.
Julia Barnes (me) – Lead writer – ZMAX Rev 2 and a Joyetech eVic
Jason Little – Lambo 4 and a Joyetech eVic
Tom McBride – VAMO
Keira Hartley – ProVari mini
Jon Locke – Provari
Because the eLiquid delivery device (cartomizer, clearomizer, etc.) can make a big difference in the taste, vapor production and throat hit, each of us was issued the same devices this time around. They were:
Boge 510 SR (Standard Resistance) Cartomizers
Boge 510 LR (Low Resistance) Cartomizers
Kanger EVOD, MT3, T3 (with ego to 510 adapters)
Various Tanks (using dual coil and single coil cartomizers)
STV Vivi Nova’s (both 2.4 and 2.8 ohm)
Vaping satisfaction and enjoyment differs because of the nearly unlimited factors involved. For instance, your favorite flavor and/or blend might taste completely different in the morning, as your ‘wake up’ vape, then in the mid-afternoon, evening, social setting, or so forth. When you adopt a particular flavor, blend, and supplier you can learn pretty quickly when, where, and how you vape your favorite flavors. These factors need to be taken into consideration during reviews like ours.
The 72-hour vaping duration helps us discover the true nature of a particular flavors. We make every attempt to vape each flavor under a wide variety of circumstances so that we can give you our honest feedback.
Clearly taste is subjective, but reading the ‘opinions’ of a 5-member panel hopefully gives you enough information to decide whether or not you want to try that flavor or pass on it. Finding the one or more member(s) of the panel who have similar likes and dislikes as your own enhances the chances that you will discover a great new flavor to add to your rotation. Don’t rely on the Star Rating alone, read the comments I’ve selected from the team members.
The notes I am given by the team, along with the amount of time we spend in a group environment talking about the company, the flavors, and the vaping circumstances is a hundred times more than what I distill and present in the review. What you read are the comments that I hope will give you the most insight into the team members and their relationship with the eLiquid flavors. It sounds more complicated than it is, just know that each comment is there for a reason.
How We Score
Each member of team gives the lead writer, in this case me, his or her own scores and are then added up and averaged. Team members can use any number or fraction of a number from 1 to 5. Individual scores like 3.87 or 4.62 are collected and averaged. We wind up or down to the nearest ‘quarter point
Components – We score for the following characteristics; flavor intensity and accuracy (F), vapor production (V), an initial throat hit (T), complexity (C), and success, or presence, of flavor nuances (N).
Look for the following under each member’s comments:
F: (flavor) V: (vapor production) T: (throat hit) C: (complexity) N: (nuance)
An excerpt from an upcoming Spinfuel Feature…
Initial Throat Hit – We can no longer give as much credence to ‘throat hit’ as we once did. A throat hit, accurately described, is akin to that first drag of an analog cigarette after an extended period of time between cigarette breaks. For instance, the first cigarette of the day is often the best cigarette of the day because of the ‘hit’ in the throat being at its most powerful. As the day progresses that throat hit lessens until it disappears.
The same is true for vaping. While we do score for that initial throat hit, we also change flavors often enough that the initial throat hit can get lost in the shuffle. Vaping Flavor X for half a day and suddenly switching to Flavor “Y” without an extended period of “no” vaping is going to cloud the throat hit of flavor “Y”. Got it?
Complexity – There are basically two types of eLiquid flavors, single flavors or multiple flavors. Putting it as simply as I can, a single flavored eLiquid has no complexity value. Pineapple is pineapple; peach is peach, and so on. When flavors begin to be blended, i.e., “Pineapple + Coconut” or “Peaches + Cream” flavors become more complex. An eLiquid Artist is able to combine flavors in ways that create a better, or new, flavor. Depending on the complexity of the blend, that new flavor is either complex or highly complex.
Nuance – Nuance is very hard to score when the eLiquid vendor doesn’t explain what the flavor’s goal is. There are an unlimited number of chocolate complexities for instance, is the eLiquid Artist shooting for a dark Swiss chocolate with hazelnut overtones? How about a ‘Georgia Peach and Heavy Cream’ goal rather than ‘peaches and cream’? Nuance is the specialty of premium eLiquid Artists. Nuance doesn’t just happen, it is not by accident, and it can takes months to get it exactly right.
Lastly… There are many Vapers in the community that care little for complexity or nuance. Many look for a tobacco flavor that matches the experience of smoking analogs. There are others that have simple requirements; strawberry should taste like a strawberry, period.
There are vaping devices, like a ProVari, that can provide extremely accurate voltage on a very consistent basis, and there are devices that have no more sophistication then to push heat out the connector. Some vapers care very much about what device they want to use. The Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team take these devices very seriously. From the sequel review of Mt Baker Vapor onward the team has decided to ditch the use of anything under the level of a Variable Voltage APV.
And then there are eLiquid Artists who are geniuses when it comes to the art of combining flavors. Like the great chefs in the world who are able to combine ingredients in such marvelous ways, an eLiquid Artist is able to combine ingredients that propel their flavors onto a whole different leve
And then there are eLiquid vendors that buy the least expensive propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and flavor concentrates and, using a simple recipe app, type in a flavor and mix the recipe accordingly. The difference between an eLiquid created by an eLiquid Artist, and an eLiquid created by a simple craftsman, is startling.
Some people care very much about what they are inhaling and others do not. While the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team considers themselves to be true eLiquid connoisseurs, they do not limit their vaping to only eLiquid Artists when it is for review purposes. That said you would not see a member of the team venture away from the Liquids created by the true Artists when they are vaping for pleasure.
The majority of Spinfuel readers “seem” to care about the same things we care about. For us, vaping is more than a way to satisfy a nicotine addiction, it is a way to experience amazing tastes, a way to bask in the exotic blends of the most complex combination of flavors, it is a way to discover a completely new experience that adds an enriched and powerful understanding of what it means to “taste”.