By Julia Barnes and Tom McBride
Nicopure Labs, maker of eVo eLiquids, not to be confused with eVo Liquids at evovapor.com, contacted Spinfuel by way of Twitter about doing an eLiquid review. One thing led to another and we’re publishing the results of that review below.
This review is quite different than any other e-liquid review Spinfuel has done in the past. For one thing, Nicopure is a wholesale-only company, selling their line through various outlets around the country. They have no official website, though one has been under construction for a while, and we did not receive a pricelist, product description, or company history. We did receive an “Introduction” page the other day when we requested a press kit, and it contained a lot of information about how their eLiquid manufacturing is first-rate and all that. Here are the most pertinent parts of that introduction page that I have paraphrased for the sake of brevity :
Since 2009, Nicopure Labs has been providing some of the largest electronic cigarette companies in the industry with the highest quality e-liquid base available. Working behind the scenes for years, Nicopure Labs is now pleased to offer a collection of our own American Made e-liquid. eVo has four different collections, Tobacco, Menthol, Cafe and Harvest with a current total of 36 premium eLiquids. Nicopure Labs uses only United States Pharmacopeia (USP) grade ingredients and FEMA GRAS flavorings, and our e‐liquid base is developed to current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) in our FDA registered laboratory.
The above has also been posted in various vaping forums, along with an offer to send out free samples to the first 100 people that claim them. No strings attached, nothing to worry about, Nicopure will send them out and that’s the end of it. It was, and remains to be, a huge marketing push to get these eLiquids into the hands of vapers. Since they are strictly wholesale the idea, I assume, is to get vapers interested and then have them act as agents on behalf of Nicopure so that they, the vapers, will ask their vendors to carry the line. It’s pretty smart. EVo eLiquids are already showing up on some vendor websites.
Nicopure as also sent out hundreds of samples to various YouTube eLiquid reviewers as well, from the semi-famous (in the vape community) to the ones that receive around 50 or so views for their videos. Again, a pretty smart, and bold, move.
Before we get into the specifics of the flavors we reviewed, a total of 13 in all (eVo offers 36 flavors in all), I need to say something that I’m sure Nicopure isn’t going to like, and some of you might not appreciate it. However, if I don’t say it now I will always regret it, especially if I turn out to be correct in my analysis.
So here goes…
Is Nicopure the future of eLiquids? By that I mean, will large corporations like Nicopure, who will invest millions of dollars in setting up laboratories with the safest equipment and the strictest standards to produce eJuice, come into the e-cigarette industry and crush the small mom-n-pop companies, or even the mid-level companies like Johnson Creek and Mountain Oak Vapors, effectively taking over that part of the industry?
Are there backroom meetings going on between big government and big corporations where the government will structure these so-called “deeming regulations” over e-cigarettes and eLiquids so that the only source for eLiquids will be large corporations like Nicopure? It sure looks that way to me.
Nicopure is a large wholesaler of eLiquids seeking to be sold in vape shops, both brick and mortar and online. They are sending out tens of thousands of dollars in samples (and postage!) to hundreds of people in order to gather a legend of fans that will insist that the people they are buying their eLiquids from start selling Nicopure eVo line.
The 13 samples we received have been here for a few weeks now, and in that time we’ve vaped them and talked about them, and yet we know little to nothing about the company. That strikes me as strange.
But, I don’t think for a minute that what they are saying isn’t true; I believe every word of it. And that’s the point. I’m all for quality standards in the eLiquid business, and strict enforcement of some decent regulations that will protect consumers against eLiquid companies that make their ejuice in the kitchen sink, but what I am not ready for, nor do I ever think I will be ready for, is to have the entire industry run by a few large corporate entities who will produce eLiquids that appeal to the lowest common denominator in huge amounts.
After spending time with Nicopure products I have a strong suspicion that we have invited in a Trojan horse.
A Trojan Horse
What I love about a good number of eLiquid companies is the artistry they have in making the best eLiquids in the world. White Leaf by Mountain Oak Vapors, MeeseTracks by FanceeJuice, Vanilla-Anything from Ginger’s eJuice, Twas Brilig and White Rabbit from Alice in Vapeland, Kona Milkshake from Virgin Vapors, Sticky Buns from Mt Baker Vapor, Sweet Potato by The Vapor Girl, and a handful of others are eLiquids made by, as John would say, “the Flavorists”, real artists spending hundreds of hours on perfecting the perfect “whatever”, and they represent everything that is unique in this industry. We must not allow them to disappear at the hands of Corporate America.
There is nothing inherently wrong with Nicopure’s eVo line of eLiquids, nothing at all. I have no doubt they are manufactured safely. I also have no doubt that they are also manufactured in huge vats. I very much suspect that the recipes have been formulated to appeal to the widest number of vapers. The flavors, the eLiquids, are soulless. They are generics.
Don’t get me wrong, as generic eLiquids they are pretty damn good, well, some of them are. Some of them are too perfumery, some of them are awesome on the first few drags and then become unbearable 10 minutes later, but for the most part they are acceptable generic eLiquids.
Maybe I’m way off base. I hope I am completely wrong. Or maybe what’s happening here is what happened in tobacco industry when it came down to just a few major tobacco companies making dozens upon dozens of different brands….
Nicopure has been supplying their ‘base’ solution to many e-cigarettes companies who use them to create eLiquids for use in prefilled cartomizers. Now they want to sell their own line of eLiquids.
Then again, maybe I should just shut up and do the review. I will, but I had to get this off my chest if only to give you some context for the review below.
On With The Review…
Since we received sampler-sized bottles, 10ML, we assigned Tom McBride and myself to do the review. The reason Tom is helping out on this review is because several of the flavors we review below are tobacco flavors, and seeing as how Tom is a master of tobacco flavored eLiquid he was the obvious choice.
In general terms, eVo eLiquid flavors profiles are without personality, but are intensely flavorful nonetheless. The eLiquids are 100% American made and American sourced. The packaging is more than acceptable, plastic bottles with a wraparound label consisting the name, size, nicotine strength, batch number, and best used by date. All the things you want on an eLiquid bottle.
Every flavor we reviewed had plenty of flavor. Most of them were authentic and true-to-form. The viscosity of the liquids is middle of the road; not super thin, not super thick. We had no issues with dripping them into cartomizers, clearomizers, and various tanks.
We are scoring them in the usual manner, the 1-5 Star method, with 1 Stars meaning it is basically unvapeable and 5 meaning it is a great flavor, excellent recipe, and the best in its class. Since all but 3 of them were 10ML bottles there was just enough to spend a couple of days in all.
Since there is no website to draw information about each flavor we’re left with no official description. We cannot tell if they’ve come close to their stated flavor profile because there is no profile, but we’ll manage.
These flavors are listed in no particular order.
Maraschino (Cherry Pipe Tobacco?) –
Julia – 4.99 Stars A really good, deeply flavorful pipe tobacco vape with a nice touch of cherry. Vapor output was magnificent and the throat hit was excellent as well. If you like pipe tobacco vapes you could love this one. It is easy to see where EVo/Nicopure’s strengths are, it’s in their tobacco flavor juices.
Tom: 5 Stars – For a light cherry, full flavored pipe tobacco eLiquid there isn’t anything better than this one, at least not that I have encountered anyway. I loved vaping it and would love to get more. The vapor output was as huge as taking a big drag from a fully stuffed, fully lit tobacco pipe. This was one flavor that should have been sent in a 30ML bottle. I hated to run out of it. I did manage to take a cartomizer and fill it up before it was gone, and I have sealed it in a plastic bag and will save it for future use. Maraschino is a homerun.
Julia: 3.99 Stars – I had high hopes for Caramel Coconut and I was crushed when it didn’t live up to its first 10 minutes of vaping. Caramel Coconut has a lot of caramel and coconut flavoring, the first few puffs are delicious. Out of this world delicious as a matter of fact. Then the artificial flavors kick in and all of a sudden its not very good at all. So disappointed, I thought I had found another diamond in the rough to add to my rotation. Great vapor production, good throat hit, it had everything going for it.
Tom: 4 Stars – The initial taste of this caramel and coconut concoction is awesome. You really taste a sweet and heavy coconut, the vapor production is excellent, and the throat hit was the best of the bunch. But after a bit of vaping it just begins to lose the caramel and coconut sweetness and delivers a nasty artificial flavor, an almost ‘flavorless PG’ eLiquid.
Julia: 3 Stars – A lot of spearmint flavoring went into this juice. That was a kind of a smart move because from what I know from talking to people about spearmint flavors is that there are loads of spearmint recipes out there in the marketplace but they all shy away from the flavor concentrate and use it sparingly. Nicopure did the opposite and loaded it up with Spearmint. If it hadn’t been for that the weird menthol kick it also has I would have really liked it.
Tom: 2 Stars – This is a not a good juice. You can definitely taste the spearmint but then they ruin it with cheap menthol. The kind of menthol that goes up through the nose and stays there. Very unfortunate for me because I am looking to add some good spearmint to my rotation and I thought maybe this one had a chance, but it doesn’t. In my opinion menthol and spearmint should not be mixed.