A Spinfuel e Liquid Team Review
Dan Chandler, lead singer for platinum-selling rock group Evans Blue and super group Fight or Flight, and Justin Price, owner of successful vape establishment, The Vape Room Discount Vapor Lounge in St. Louis, MO are co-founders of the premium line of e liquids we review today, Backstage Blends. Unlike some celebrities that sell the rights to use their names on certain products or brands, Dan is very much hand’s on when it comes to Backstage Blends. In fact, Justin and Dan meet frequently to run the business and guide its future. With Justin’s experience in the vape industry, together they have created something pretty damn special. Make sure to read our INTERVIEW with Dan.
Now, being a celebrity can get you in the door, only a quality product can keep you in the game. Sometimes a celebrity name can even make it more difficult to stay in the game, and I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to this review, the fact that the lead singer of one of my (and Keira’s) favorite bands, we scrutinized the e liquids closer than we might have otherwise. Though that’s not entirely fair, we felt it was better to be a bit harder on a high profile company rather than be accused of playing the celebrity game. In the end, you can be the judge on whether we presented an accurate review or not.
In case this is your first Spinfuel eLiquid Team Review you might want to pop over to our Protocol page to see how we approach our reviews and what methods we use to gauge the e liquids. Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you.
Briefly, scores can range between 1 and 5 points. Quality of ingredients, accurate flavor profiles, consistent flavor, and vape satisfaction are the primary values under consideration. A Flavor Score was recently added to the Team Reviews in order to provide some subjectivity to the reviews with respect to the team member’s enjoyment of the flavor and vapor of a particular e liquid. A 1-point score means the e liquid is basically unvapeable, 5-points means the e liquid is sublime.
For this review our team spent 72 hours vaping Backstage Blends exclusively, using the following vape gear:
Julia – Vape Forward Vaporflask Stout and the Ceravape Cerabis ceramic tank.
Tom – Sigelei 213 and the Horizon Krixus
Jason – Vape Forward Vaporflask Lite and the VF Tank
Kiera – eLeaf iStick 200W TC – eLeaf Lyche Tank w/ NotchCoil
Backstage Blends are sold in 30mL glass bottles with dropper for $16.99 on the official Backstage Blends website. These e liquids are carried in vape shop locations in the US, pricing ‘may’ vary according to location and tax laws. See Interview for current shops that carry the brand.
Brand Score Overall
Brand Quality – 5 Points out of 5 Points. All e liquids created by Backstage Blends meets or exceeds high quality ingredients, all have accurate, though minimal, flavor profiles, all provide a consistent flavor from tank to tank, and all e liquids provided vape satisfaction. Backstage Blends is very much a premium label, and the decision to try or not to try should rest solely on the reader’s desire to try certain flavor combinations.
Metal Milk – A Spinfuel Choice Award Winner
“Dan’s Favorite! Smooth and Creamy Strawberry-Blueberry Custard with Graham Cracker Crust and Whipped Cream”
Julia: Flavor Score – 5 – Now I understand why Dan Chandler loves this all day vape. It is truly spectacular stuff. A creamy beginning with a nice combination of sweet ripe strawberries and a sweet creamy blueberry, everything that makes an all-day vape so consistent for so long. Easily added to my rotation.
Tom: Flavor Score – 5 – It takes warm vapor (wattage or temperature) for the graham cracker flavor to show itself at the tail end of the exhale, and that’s more than fine. With a beginning and middle flavor mix of blueberry custard and a strawberry and cream, this all day vape couldn’t be any better than it is.
Kiera: Flavor Score – 5 – The blueberry custard lays the foundation of this marvelous vape. Your senses will be overwhelmed with a smooth custard blueberry and a strawberry-and-cream blend that you’ll wonder why this recipe has laid in wait for so long. Metal Milk is a true original. I hope they guard the recipe closely.
Jason: Flavor Score – 5 – While I believe this is an excellently executed recipe that delivers exactly what it’s supposed to, despite enjoying it as much as did, I’m not sure I’ll add this to my rotation. I guess you might say that too much of a good thing might make that good thing less special. The ultimate blueberry custard meets strawberries and cream, with a delicious graham cracker finish. Good stuff!
“Ripe Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Peaches and Blueberries All Perfectly Sweetened”
Julia: Flavor Score – 4.5 – When I have those moments when I need a fresh fruity vape I look for flavors like this one. I’m happy to report that each of the fruity flavors are ripe and sweet, with no ‘tang’ to the finish. Strawberries, peaches, and blueberries shouldn’t work, not really, but it does.
Tom: Flavor Score – 5 – I may not want to vape Vice every day, but for those times when I search for something lighter and brighter, I will come for Vice over pretty much anything else. It’s funny how these flavors are distinct, yet they go together better than you might think. It’s not often when you can take a sweet ripe peach flavor and blend it with either blueberry or strawberry, but they did just that and it is damned impressive.
Kiera: Flavor Score – 4.5 – Vice tasted nothing like I thought it was, but what matters is that the flavors worked. You see a lot of strawberry and blueberry blends, many are fantastic, but adding a peach flavor to mix is playing with fire. No creamy or custardy end notes this time, just ripe, sweet fruit that’s just right.
Jason: Flavor Score – 4 – I enjoyed this blend enough to stay with it till the end of the allotted time, but then I was fine with putting it away to go to the next flavor. As a morning vape this didn’t work for me, as an afternoon vape it was the perfect choice, but then in the evening it turned into a flavor that didn’t quite work for me. In the morning and evening it seemed that the strawberry/blueberry flavor was in full force, it was only in midday that the peach flavor showed up in any real force. Might have been flavor fatigue, might have been something else, but the end result is a solid 4 points out of 5 for flavor.
“A Refreshing Raspberry Lemonade with Tropical Fruit Garnishes”
Julia: Flavor Score – 3.5 – Backstage Blends did a good job with a raspberry lemonade, unfortunately for me, it was a raspberry lemonade. The effect is a rounded raspberry flavor being smacked in the head with a tart lemonade… just not my thing.
Tom: Flavor Score – 4.75 – This raspberry and lemonade thing isn’t new, but it seems Backstage Blends found a way to blend the two without allowing the lemonade tartness to overwhelm the raspberry. Not easy, but a very pleasing vape in any case. For hot days, or humid nights, this is the one you should break out and vape.
Kiera: Flavor Score – 4 – It is so easy to bury the raspberry when you attempt to add lemonade to it, which is why raspberry and tea make a much better beverage than lemonade and raspberry. Backstage Blends took their lemonade and walked it right up to the edge of the cliff, but it didn’t go over. The strong pull of a full flavored raspberry held it back. If you want a raspberry and lemonade vape that actually works, try this one.
Jason: Flavor Score – 3.75 – I kept thinking this was just a raspberry and lemonade flavor, and one I could push the wattage with and still maintain a nice blend of flavor. But, every single time, at the tail end of the vape, I would get this flavor sensation of tropical flavors. I couldn’t explain it and when I went to Tom to ask him about it, he looked at me and asked if I had read the flavor profile. I told him that I thought I did, and then he asked me to read it again. “…Tropical Fruit Garnishes”
Yep. That explained it. I’m thinking maybe they should have kept the tropical fruit out of it, but Tom thinks it’s the component that gives this one an edge, and he likes it. Flavor is subjective, and this is a good example of that.
“Sweet Peanut Butter Custard with Ripe Banana and Whipped Cream Topping”
Julia: Flavor Score – 4.5 – I was so sure I was going to hate the flavor combo in Metal Head. Peanut Butter and Bananas? No way. But, I’ll be dipped in whipped cream, this is a delightful vape. Not one I would vape every day, but certainly once and a while. If you like peanut butter and bananas, this is one you simply must try.
Tom: Flavor Score – 4 – While I did vape this Metal Head for many hours and enjoyed every minute, there was not enough banana in it to make it something I would add to my rotation. However, Backstage Blends did wonders with the sweet peanut butter flavor and a whipped cream top note.
Kiera: Flavor Score – 5 – I loved Metal Head! To me, this had just the right amount of peanut butter and bananas, and that creamy finish was like putting a bow on each exhale. For the peanut butter and banana vapers, and you know who you are.
Jason: Flavor Score – 4.75 – I almost gave Metal Head a 5-point score for flavor, but I wanted, and expected, to taste that whipped cream at the end, and it just wasn’t there until I pumped up the wattage to produce a very warm vape. That said, I don’t think I would make a correction in the recipe because I let several friends take a few hits of this blend and they loved it. I definitely liked it, but I wanted that creamy finish.
Serum – A Spinfuel Choice Award Winner
“The Original Classic Orange Cream with Hints of Butter Rum.”
Julia: Flavor Score – 5 – Whenever I see the flavor ‘orange’ in an e liquid description alarms go off in my head. Orange is a very difficult flavor to work worth. However, Backstage Blends didn’t have any trouble at all. This is an eliquid that presents with a very pleasant, sweet orange/cream flavor and a dash of sweet and smooth Rum. Delicious, and very much an all-day-vape.
Tom: Flavor Score – 5 – Got to admit, Serum may be their first effort, but it is a smash hit as far as I am concerned. Not a bit of bitterness or rancid orange peel or citrus, just a sweet orange cream with an end note of sweet rum on the exhale. Superb!
Kiera: Flavor Score – 5 – In all the years I’ve have reviewing the best e liquids no brand has ever treated orange flavoring as good as Backstage Blends. A beautiful all day vape with sweet notes of orange and rum; this is going into my rotation for a good long while.
Jason: Flavor Score – 5 – Certain flavors are always pre-judged in my reviews, and most of the time I’m right. This time, I missed completely. I got the orange notes all wrong; Serum is not a citrus flavor; it is instead a creamy orange vape with sweet rum notes. Fantastic, and an all-day-vape.
Backstage Blend is a terrific brand with a whole lot of potential for the future. The wide range of flavors here today, from a creamy orange that we all loved, to a stark and tart fruit blend, these guys know where they are taking this brand.
Brands that don’t have the expertise that Justin Price and Dan Chandler bring to Backstage Blends would produce these same flavors with disastrous results. To present these flavors in a smooth, high VG bed of friendly, well, they were all first class blends.
As the head writer for this review I’m not the least surprised that Serum and Metal Milk took home Spinfuel Choice Awards because they are two examples of how to make great e liquids. Many of you will give your own awards for each and every flavor in this review, and it will only depend on what makes your taste buds sing. Backstage Blends is a solid premium brand, and we all look forward to future flavors from this burgeoning brand.
Julia Hartley-Barnes, Kiera Hartley-Barnes, Tom McBride and Jason Little, the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team.