Table of Contents
Evolve eLiquids Review
The people behind ‘Evolve’ pride themselves on providing quality, American-made e-Liquid. This team of tobacco and pharmaceutical industry professionals formed ‘Evolve’ in order to bring a new, high grade, eLiquid to Vapers all over the United States and beyond.
The owners of Evolve are professionals that understand chemistry, formulation, and, because the need will come soon enough, FDA regulation. They claim the highest level of expertise, technological leadership, and attention to quality and customer service. Through research & development, extensive testing, and innovation they are dedicated to providing a superior product by providing consistency throughout the product pipeline and ensuring that their customers enjoy the highest standards of a quality product at a reasonable price.
Sound familiar? If you’ve visited their Facebook page it will. The above paragraphs originate from the copy on their Facebook page, rewritten in the proper ‘tense’ for this review. No need to reinvent the wheel, ya know?
Because ‘Evolve’ is a brand/company we’ve never dealt with directly (before the interview), we can only offer you our personal experience with their eLiquids. However, seeing the quality of the product firsthand we can say that we certainly have no reason to doubt the information above. READ OUR INTERVIEW HERE
Atomized Labs, AKA Evolve eLiquid
Evolve eLiquid consist of 5 very carefully crafted flavors. Some are better than others, in our humble opinions, as you’ll see. But all have one characteristic in common; imagination. These five flavors presented here today are uncommon flavor experiences, created in order to reach for something new, a taste sensation you’ve probably never experienced before. They have succeeded with all five, though not all five were ‘hits’ with the team. In any case, the work involved in creating these five flavors has had to be an enormous effort.
The Review Process
The members of the review team are scattered across New England, and one in Arizona (Welcome John!), so for this review we had 15ML bottles shipped to John Castle directly from Evolve, and 15ML bottles to our Florida Headquarters. Those 15ML bottles were then shipped to me, Julia, to Boston where Keira and I siphoned off our share and shipped the rest to Concord NH for Tom. We spent 72 hours with the eLiquids; wrote up our findings, our experiences, and then I proceeded to build the narrative that you are now reading.
The circumstances and the equipment used by the team members were left up to the team members. There was a lot of variety in hardware choices, and plenty of time, location, and vaping conditions by all team members that you should have no problem in deciding if any of the five flavors are worth your vape dollars.
Specs – Options – Price
As of this writing Evolve is available in 15ML plastic bottles only ($10.95 for 15ML), each with an easy-flow drip tip. The bottles are soft and squishy, making it very easy to fill a clearomizer, cartomizer, and anything else with very little effort. I liked that. The bottles are the deepest black we’ve ever seen in a bottle, and the labels are all very sophisticated and well designed. (As is there main website at whyevolve.com). There is elegance with the Evolve eJuice, lending itself an air of sophistication that I found pleasing to the eye.
The two people behind Evolve are down to earth, passionate, and creative people with a real desire to create the best tasting juice they can. Some people will be feel good about the professional look and feel of the product, while others may feel some discomfort by thinking that the eLiquid in the bottle is a mass produced, character-free product. Tom referred to the bottles and the website as being “overly designed”, whatever that means. Perhaps he will explain it below. On a personal level, I was extremely satisfied with the design elements and feel the whole concept of Evolve reveals the seriousness of their efforts.
Having said that, good eLiquid is not about fancy bottles or cool labels, or even creative names. It’s about great flavor, terrific vapor production, and the best throat hit possible based on the formulation and the nicotine strength. Good bottling, creative design, and the illusion of a much larger company works to some extent, and that may get you an initial sale, but only great taste and great performance gets you the encore of repeat business.
Well, enough chitchat, let’s get on with the review.
John Castle: A preliminary note regarding certain qualities all of the sampled eLiquids have in common: The nose has a perfumery, almost soapy character I really didn’t care for. This didn’t abate entirely, though it did fade a bit with the steeping time I allowed for these liquids. I do know that, on at least a few of the eLiquids I sampled, the perfumery characteristic materialized only on the nose and not in the flavor.
Tom: Unlike John, by the time I received the five flavors any sense of a perfume aroma had dissipated. The bottles had been opened several times, and the juice inside was divvied up on more than once occasion. I have a feeling that this is the reason I was able to vape a ‘well-steeped’ eLiquid, whereas John’s experience from directly from the broken seal of the neckband shrink-wrap to the cartomizers and clearomizers. My recommendation, should you encounter what John did is to steep them some more, removing the cap numerous times.
Julia: John’s attention to the “nose” is rather a new concept to me, in the sense that I never really based the flavor, vapor, or throat hit by the aroma, or “nose”. But John’s points are valid, and moving forward it will be something I will pay more attention to. While the bottles of juice came to Boston with the seals intact they did spend a couple of extra days steeping in the sealed bottles and a couple more in unsealed bottles. My experience was much like Tom’s in that there was no measurable perfumery scents in the eLiquids I vaped.
Cool Candy Passion – A sweet, tropical blend of passion fruit with a hint of menthol for a subtle, cool throat hit. – Evolve
Tom: The labels on the bottles provide a lot of information, and it is vital information for any premium vendor. But the one thing it does not have is the birth date, or mix date. I wish I knew when these flavors were mixed and bottled because the flavor changes came hard and fast.
Cool Candy Passion is a perfect example of what I mean. My vape experience with this one was vastly different from my first time to my last time. It started off awful, nothing like I had envisioned a cool candy flavor would taste. But, once it found its identity it became a delicious vape reminiscent of Juicy Fruit gum, only better.
When you start the name of your flavor with the word “Cool” I would expect a menthol or minty flavor, but there was none of that. I would add this to my rotation. 4.5 Stars
Julia: Tom is spot on right when he describes Cool Candy Passion as a juicy fruit gum flavor. While I totally enjoyed it, from the vapor and throat hit to the flavor, it’s just not that special to warrant losing a spot in my rotation and putting this one in. But, it needs to be said that this is a great tasting vape, just not as special as I had hoped, especially after vaping a couple of the others in the five flavor review. As for the passion fruit; perhaps the big flavor is indeed that of passion fruit, seriously I just don’t know. 4.5 Stars
Keira: This Cool Candy Passion is a sweet vape with incredible amounts of vapor. One thing we haven’t discussed is that we are vaping 24mg nicotine, and the throat hits are massive in the other four flavors. Strangely, Cool Candy Passion didn’t have the same intensity in the throat hit, so I’m thinking that 18mg or 12mg the throat hit would be minimal at best. But as a sweet vape that provides all the vapor you want; it’s a solid choice. 4 Stars
John: I did my testing on a very basic combination in order to get the same experience of these liquids as someone using an eGo/Halo Triton/Johnson Creek Vea type of PV. I tried them on an un-Kicked Magneto in both Kanger 510 XL cartomizers and Aspire BDCs.
Based on the “Cool” in “Cool Candy Passion”, I was expecting menthol with this eLiquid. I didn’t detect any, which was a welcome surprise, as I am personally not really a menthol kind of guy. Neither am I terribly familiar with real passion fruit; I may lose a little foodie cred in so saying, but I didn’t have an analog baseline to which I could compare the flavor here.
What I got from Cool Candy Passion was a very nice refreshing fruit flavor that reminded me of a summer drink. Throat hit was strong and sure, which I like. Vapor output is substantial. Overall, a very pleasant new addition to my palate. 4.0
Raspberry Ice – A bright, ripe Raspberry that has been sweetened and blended with a mild menthol note. The ice provides a smooth, yet very cold, throat hit. – Evolve
Tom: This one got much better after sitting in my tank for a day. Upon first filling the clearo and setting the voltage to a safe 3.8v (single coil Boge cartomizer in a Texas Tuff Tank), this hit hard, much more menthol than raspberry. Then, the next day, leaving the voltage where it was, the sweetness of the raspberry come forth and presented itself as a menthol version of a sweet raspberry vape. This is not a flavor I would add to my rotation, but I enjoyed it for several hours. 4.25 Stars
Julia: Very big raspberry flavor here. While I have become somewhat accessible to menthol this year, I thought this one did a good job providing a sweet raspberry flavor with the contrasting coolness of menthol. Vapor was good, not the best of the five, and the throat hit was pretty damn big. My only issue with Raspberry Ice was that it made me cough when I took large drags from my ZMAX/DCTank setup. Otherwise, I can see a lot of people enjoying it if they’re looking for a raspberry vape with an icy punch. 4 Stars
Keira: I love a good raspberry flavor, and Raspberry Ice had solid raspberry notes, but the menthol in this one made it too difficult to sit back and enjoy a lazy vape. There is no doubt in my mind that fans of Raspberry Ice will be legion, but it is much too rough for me in the menthol department. 3.75 Stars
John: I would have to say that Raspberry Ice was the eLiquid in this lineup that impressed me the least. I hate to say that, I really do. I’ve had some raspberry flavors that have really blown me away, but Raspberry Ice just isn’t one of them.
While throat hit and vapor are excellent — as they are with all the eLiquids in this lineup — the nose and flavor just didn’t thrill me. The nose on this one hit me with the strongest sense of “perfume”, and the flavor seemed way more candy-like than organic.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid vape; it’s just not one that’s going to find its way into my rotation. 3.5
Blueberry Dream – A delicious, freshly picked blueberry flavor finished with creamy, candied fruit. – Evolve
Tom: Blueberry Dream is not what I expected. The blueberry isn’t very ‘blueberry’; it’s a creamier blueberry-ish type flavor, as though I were enjoying a bowl of blueberries and cream, not a candied fruit blueberry. An absolute delight, but unexpectedly so. Tons of vapor from this one, a medium throat hit considering the nicotine level, and the perfect vape for early to mid evenings when relaxing is the word of the day. 4.5 Stars
Julia: This flavor is one of the creamiest blueberry vapes I’ve had in a very long time, perhaps of all the time I’ve been vaping. Some blueberry flavors can hit you over the head with a tart blueberry flavor and some can disguise the flavor of blueberry until its nothing more than a hint of the fruit and mostly sugar. Blueberry Dream strikes a critical balance, creamy blueberry where the blueberry is more pronounced on the exhale, and the sweetness on the inhale. Like the balanced flavor, the throat hit was deep yet gentle, and the vapor was so massive that its one of the only eLiquids I would vape “for” the vapor more than anything else. 4.75 Stars
Keira: Blueberry Dream does not taste like fresh-picked blueberries. Fresh picked blueberries have a certain tartness to them that this juice does not have. Instead, what you get is delicate mixture of cream and blueberries, with a nuance you don’t even notice at first. What I mean is that during the first few minutes the blueberry flavor is light, delivering more sweetness than blueberry, but after several minutes the flavor begins to flip on you, the blueberry essence begins to come through more and more, while the creamy flavor continues to mix in, creating a truly deeply satisfying blueberry and cream vape. This one was my favorite flavor to vape, and I didn’t expect that. 4.75 Stars
John: Blueberry dream is probably my third-favorite flavor of the lineup. Not being a voracious devourer of real blueberries, when I looked at the name on the label, I thought, “Meh.” But when I finally screwed on a carto of it onto the Magneto and took a nice, long drag, ‘meh’ turned into ‘wow!’
The flavor and nose of this one are sweet and creamy, with an unmistakable blueberry profile. It doesn’t quite pack the pronounced flavor of the Southern Pecan or Cool Candy Passion, but it’s there strongly enough to be satisfying. 4.0 Stars
Vanilla Bourbon – A strong tobacco drizzled with caramel, combining a sweet vanilla and a mellow bourbon flavor with velvety after-tones. – Evolve
Tom: Alright, I am not a bourbon drinker, so I cannot attest to the flavor of bourbon. I don’t know if that makes my review of Vanilla Bourbon valid or not, but I will say that this is an extraordinary eLiquid. So deeply flavored, so original, complex, and all the rest of the platitudes one can muster when vaping something that lights up all the right places in the pleasure center of the brain.
There’s just something about this juice that is almost guttural, mean, menacing, and so completely satisfying and tasty that I couldn’t get enough. In fact, because the nicotine level was higher than I usually vape I was faced with the risk of over vaping. It was a real struggle to stop myself and switch to a 12mg juice I have left from my 12mg days. (I’m at 18mg now and loving it).
I have vaped more vanilla flavors then I care to remember, and although this is a vanilla blend I barely recognized the vanilla, so I imagine what I taste in the thick vapor is vanilla ‘bourbon’. But at this point, I don’t care; this is the kind of eLiquid that has my name on it. 5 Stars
Julia: This one is a tough one, especially compared to the other flavors in this review. The flavor is so strong, so original, so in your face that I think you’ll either love it or…. not love it? It is strangely intriguing, with a complex flavor profile that draws you in and makes you pay attention.
You know how most times while you vape you’re enjoying the flavor but you’re also multi-tasking, reading, writing, whatever, you’re enjoying the flavor and vapor, but not in a way that prevents you from doing other things. For me that was not possible. Vanilla Bourbon made me focus on the vape, nothing else. Impossibly delicious, in ways that are difficult to explain. 4 Stars
Keira: I think the only alcohol-based eLiquids I’ve had were blends like Pina Colada or Sex on the Beach, not straight up bourbon or other types of whiskey. That’s what makes Vanilla Bourbon such an amazing flavor. How do you deliver the flavor of bourbon without the underlying flavor of booze? With Pina Colada and others you don’t taste a real rum flavor…you taste coconuts and pineapple. But with Vanilla Bourbon you taste what has to be called bourbon. That is just plain weird. It is also pretty amazing. To Julia, who claims to not be able to taste the vanilla, I think she does, she’s just overwhelmed by the much stronger flavor of bourbon.
If you’re looking for one of the strongest flavored eJuices out there this one has to be in the top three. Best of all, it gets better and better the more you let it breath in the clearomizer. 4.75 Stars
John: And here we are at my favorite eLiquid from this batch. I’m a Bourbon drinkin’ man, and I like to think that I’ve got a pretty good palate for it. So what does a bourbon aficionado think of Vanilla Bourbon?
Well, I was so excited to try this one that I filled up a carto the first day. The first hit I took was a beautiful, smooth, flawless rendition of… get this… walnuts. That tempered my excitement enough to have me let it be for a few more days.
When I came back to it — ah, yes. There was the vanilla bourbon. Pretty good bourbon, too, reminded me of a good middle-shelf staple like Maker’s Mark if one was to mix it with, say, cream soda. As was true across the board with these liquids, throat hit and vapor output was immensely satisfying. This is one I’ll definitely be putting in rotation. 5.0 Stars
Southern Pecan – The flavors of a crisp and buttery pastry combined with a deliciously rich, sweet, dense, and chewy filling that is loaded with pecans. – Evolve
Tom: An outstanding eLiquid! Loved the buttery pastry flavor mixed with an authentic pecan taste. In all honesty the first time I vaped this one I was put off by “something” I can’t even remember, but going back to it several hours later it had become an earthy, sweet, pecan delight. Tons of vapor and a wicked throat hit, Southern Pecan won’t be what you expect by the name, but give it a try anyway, it’s a unique approach to a nutty vape. 5 Stars
Julia: I would feel fine rating this eLiquid 5 Stars except for one thing; this one took too much time to settle down. Evolve is the first eLiquid brand where every flavor took time in the cartomizer/clearomizer/tank to find it’s place, and this one took the longest time to find it footing. My first experience with Southern Pecan was a hard-hitting flavor that I could not identify as pecan, all I remember of it was a hard throat hit. But the next morning, picking it up and vaping it as my first vape of the day became a luxuriously rich and creamy pecan pastry, delivering a deep and satisfying flavor with huge clouds of vapor and a wicked deep throat hit. 4.75 Stars
Keira: I enjoyed Southern Pecan from the first drag to the last. To be completely fair, I did fill up a clearomizer and tossed it in my nightstand drawer and left it there overnight. It could very well be that the Juice Fairy came by and sang it a lullaby, but whatever it was mellowed it out and delivered a deep pecan flavor. In the morning I lifted Julia’s arms and legs off me, rolled over and reached into the nightstand drawer and attached the clearomizer to my Vision Spinner and began vaping it. I knew then that all it needed was a little time and a little breathing. Southern Pecan is an original, unique take on a nutty vape, and it has earned a place in my rotation. 5 Stars
John: Southern Pecan would be my second place winner for favorite among these eLiquids. Having spent part of my childhood in the south, I’m well acquainted with the decadent joy that is pecan pie, and this eLiquid really took me back to that.
The nose and flavor both are deep and rich. Combine them with the excellent vapor output and wonderfully firm throat hit, and you’ve got yourself a winner. All day vape? Probably not, it’s too rich for that. But after dinner treat? Yes, you bet. 4.5 Stars
John Castle: Don’t get me wrong; they’re all fine vapes, and I’m sure that many people will find room for every one of these flavors; but they just don’t strike me as being anything like (several) premium (brands). Here’s why:
There’s too much artificiality in the nose on each one; the packaging, while attractive, is not on a premium level — I realize how superficial that makes me sound, but there it is — and the flavors, while competently executed, don’t offer the complexity or presence that premium flavors do.
The noses on premium eLiquids speak of organic rather than artificial flavors, certainly never of perfumes, and the flavors themselves are rich and complex. Without intending any slight against the brand under review, these eLiquids simply strike me as a solid, competent but every day vapes akin to shopping at Albertson’s or Fry’s (ordinary grocery stores for those who don’t know those names) while premium eLiquids are what you’d expect to find at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods (higher-end grocery retailers, again for those who aren’t familiar with the names.)
So are these liquids good? Yes. Good they are, but I simply can’t in good conscience describe them as premium. Perhaps with time and good business, they will rise to that status. They just haven’t yet.
Tom: It had to have been hard to develop five distinct flavors to launch a brand with, but these guys did a great job covering as many bases as they did. There is no confusing the flavors, each one was built from scratch with their own identities, they are not extensions of each other or variations on a theme. I liked that about Evolve.
I think the brand has terrific potential, but I believe this will be a brand that will require a generous amount of steeping. The flavors, all five, got better as they aged. In the end, each one has their own identity, their own signature, yet they fit together as a team of flavors very well.
Julia and Keira: All five flavors are individuals with no connections to each other, besides the brand. Evolve eLiquids are heavy on flavor, very heavy on vapor, and the 24mg nicotine level sure delivered massive throat hits. We are excited about comes next.
But, this is important. We went into this review not knowing when the juice was mixed. For whatever reason Evolve will be a brand that requires a healthy amount of steeping. Whether that comes from Evolve, steeping on the premises before they ship, or whether it comes from consumers storing them in a dark closet or drawer, we cannot emphasize enough that when these flavors were freshly opened they had a flavor signature that was very disappointing. Given time however they became excellent eLiquids with lots of flavor. We strongly recommend a healthy dose of home steeping.
Right now Evolve is only available in 15ML sizes for $10.95, which is on the high side, but other sizes are coming soon and perhaps the price per ML will come down. We cannot criticize one brand for it’s $10.95/15ML pricing and not another, they may be fantastic eLiquids, but $10.95 is a lot to pay for 15ML. If their 30ML bottles are priced at $20-$21 dollars it will go a long way. There is no way to know what kind of margins Evolve is working with, but we would be much more excited about the brand had they launched with a $7.95 price point, or even $8.95.
Evolve has a lot to offer, but whether or not you find them indispensable will definitely be an adventure only you can take.
There certainly isn’t a shortage of eLiquid vendors, and when you consider the quality of the ingredients, the professionalism and care in which the flavors are developed and tested, the number of viable vendors decreases quickly. Evolve offers only a few flavors right now, picking a couple of them to try will let you know sooner rather than later if this is a brand you’ll add to your collection.
Let us know what you think. Sound off in the comments; do any of these flavors sound appealing? Have you tried them yet? Will you? Remember, our reviews are permanent; when you add your impressions to our review you help others down the road.
Julia Hartley-Barnes, Keira Hartley-Barnes, Tom McBride and John Castle. – December 10th, 2013.