Last Updated on June 20, 2016 by

Founder’s Reserve™ – Spinfuel eLiquid Team Review

By Tom McBride with Jason, Julia and Keira

Founder’s Reserve™ is an ultra-premium eliquid (smoke juice) that is aged in real, honest-to-goodness whiskey barrels. These wood barrels are aged with bourbon whiskey, a flavor that shows up in abundance, and serves to make Founder’s Reserve™ one of the most flavorful, full bodied and smooth vape experiences we’ll ever enjoy. Even if you’re not a tobacco eliquid vaper there is a good chance this unique blend will rock your world. It certainly did ours.

The tobacco and bourbon flavors reveal a new step in the evolution of the art of ejuice creation. But that’s not all. Founder’s Reserve™ is a PG/VG based eliquid that still produces enormous amounts of thick, aromatic vapor, and delivers a most pleasing throat hit. In fact, a Founder’s Reserve™ throat hit is like a caress at the back of the throat, delivering a rich, solid bump with a touch of tenderness. Feel it once and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

The perfect flavor blend and the exquisite vapor production come together to provide a vape experience the likes of which you’ll find hard to believe. With Founder’s Reserve™ Johnson Creek has achieved a special, unique, and bold flavor that is both velvety smooth and authentically tobacco, with just the right amount of sweet bourbon to give it character.

Sounds like I’m pitching like an Ad man, doesn’t it? I know, I’ve reread the above more than a few times and yet, with every vape I find new ways to describe this very special smoke juice. Founder’s Reserve is everything I’ve been searching for in a tobacco eliquid, and although there are others that I love to vape, this one stands above them, like Spartacus in the Arena.

However, despite my affection for Founder’s Reserve™, is it an eliquid that every vaper will love? No, it is not. This whiskey barrel aged tobacco blend is not a candy, fruit, drink, or bakery eliquid that so many vapers love, including the members of this team; it is a mature, serious, and extremely mature flavor. A flavor long sought by myself and other tobacco lovers in the vape community. Other eliquids, even those from Johnson Creek, has gotten close, but Founder’s Reserve™ grabbed the brass ring. And for now, it towers above all others.

Vapers still looking for the ultimate tobacco and whiskey blend now have the opportunity to experience this pinnacle achievement by Johnson Creek, and to witness the advances in both the science and the art of creating an impossible eliquid. Founder’s Reserve smoke juice proves Johnson Creek is still Johnson Creek, the maker of discriminating ejuice of the Gods. – Tom McBride

The Particulars

As we go to press we must sadly inform our readers that pre-orders for Founder’s Reserve™ have sold out. Those of you that saw John Manzione’s video review for Founder’s Reserve and took action to place an order right away will begin receiving Founder’s Reserve™ on the 12th of February. Readers of this team review can visit Johnson Creek on the 12th to get an order in for the next batch. Founder’s Reserve is so limited that customers can only purchase two bottles at any one time.

Founder’s Reserve™ is available in 30mL bottles with nicotine level choices of 0.6% (6mg) and 1.0% (10mg). A bottle of Founder Reserve™ is $29.95, or $1 per mL, as John suspected it would be. If there was ever an eliquid worthy of the $1 per mL price, it is this one.

Founder’s Reserve™ bottles are marked with a handwritten bottle date, and are personally signed by Christian Berkey, the Founder of Johnson Creek.

Points of Interest

  • Founder’s Reserve™ contains PG and VG
  • It is Made in America
  • All ingredients sourced from American companies
  • Pre-orders should deliver by launch day (Feb. 12th)

Johnson Creek’s Flavor Profile

As with every eliquid from Johnson Creek, their flavorists assign a value to the Vapor Production, Throat Hit, Flavor, and Sweetness. Founder’s Reserve™ has been assigned the following values:

Vapor Production – 8 out of 8

Throat Hit – 6 out of 8

Tobacco Flavor – 8 out of 8

Sweetness – 2 out of 8

The Team Review

Founder’s Reserve™ BottleAll but one of the values assigned by Johnson Creek are identical to our own findings. The one difference is in the ‘Sweetness’ value. As a team we deemed Founder Reserve™ to be a 4 out of 8. The bourbon notes struck Jason and myself as well-aged, full-bodied bourbon sweetness, the kind of sweetness that demands that bourbon be sipped, slowly, and left on the tongue in order to experience the smooth, rich and sweet flavor that only a good bourbon can deliver.

Jason – 5 out of 5 Stars – The special, one of a kind rich tobacco and bourbon flavor of Founder’s Reserve™ is something I thought impossible to create. Since the moment I first vaped what little I had it became an eliquid that must be a part of my daily rotation. As much as I love this impossible juice, and as easy as it would be to make it my all day vape, I have made the difficult decision to enjoy Founder’s Reserve™ in similar fashion to that of a great cigar, or a fine wine, or even the best bourbon I can afford.

Just as a tumbler of Jack Daniels is a joy at the end of each day, Founder Reserve™ is more like a tumbler of Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon Whiskey, my favorite bourbon whiskey for years. Blanton’s is known to bourbon connoisseurs for its extraordinary smoothness and clean finish, it’s the balance and fine texture that makes it the prize it is. I love Jack Daniels, but I adore Blanton’s. In the same way, I love several tobacco eliquids from various vendors, but like Blanton’s, Founder’s Reserve™ is that something special, for a reward of a job well done.Spinfuel Choice Award for Founder's Reserve by Johnson Creek

Julia – 5 out of 5 Stars – I could tell the moment I took my first drag from a full Kanger Subtank Mini sitting atop my Joyetech eVic Supreme set to 30w, that Founder’s Reserve™ was as special as John and Tom believed it to be. Yet, as much as I love that special touch of bourbon and nutty notes, it is, after all, a rich tobacco blend.

Crafted better than any other I’ve known, it still cannot replace my favorite non-tobacco all day vapes or special occasion eliquids that fill my collection. I will recommend to every vaper I know now, and in the future, Founder’s Reserve™ as a work of art in the tobacco category. But for me, as much as I would enjoy saying it is MY favorite all day vape, it will not become a member of my collection, nor will it become a part of my rotation. All in all I vaped nearly 5mL of Founder’s Reserve™, enjoyed every bit of flavor and vapor, but that was enough. Chai Tea, Key Lime, and a great ‘vanilla custard’ are my choices for my vaping, not tobacco, and certainly not tobacco that is clearly aged in whiskey barrels. Perhaps my tastes do lean toward the familiar.

Regardless of MY personal preferences if any eliquid deserved 5 stars from Spinfuel, it is this one.

Keira – 5 out of 5 Stars – Knowing Jason’s love of bourbon whiskey, and his near constant vaping of tobacco eliquids, I knew just from watching John’s video on Founder’s Reserve™ that he, and Tom, would adore this juice. But, unless you are a true tobacco eliquid connoisseur, you might find Founder’s Reserve™ a little too rich, a little too bold.

This might sound childish, but in my opinion Founder’s Reserve™ is a “grown up” eliquid, one that will appeal to a grown up palate. Vaping this full-bodied, soaked-in-bourbon tobacco eliquid is nowhere near as enjoyable to me as vaping blueberry pie, a banana pudding, or even my all time favorite, Gingerbread Chai from Ginger’s eJuice

Founder’s Reserve™ is in a class of its own when compared to other tobacco eliquids, that much is obvious. I enjoyed my limited time with Founder’s Reserve™ because I could taste every nuanced flavor, and every rich note of sweet bourbon whiskey, the dry nuttiness, and the smooth, sweet Virginia tobacco, but in the truth of it, I would rather have been vaping gingerbread chai. It is an award winner, certainly, but a flavor that my youthful taste buds cannot truly appreciate. Julia told me, in a private discussion, that Founder’s Reserve “is not to be trifled with”, and after I stopped laughing I knew what she meant. Founder’s Reserve™ is a serious, artful masterpiece, and it is easy to respect what Johnson Creek achieved. But if you don’t vape tobacco eliquids you won’t want to vape Founder’s Reserve™.


Founder’s Reserve™ deserves the Spinfuel Choice Award, and it has been awarded one. However, each year, as the talent of eliquid makers become more and more refined, excellent eliquids are becoming more common. The entire eliquid sector of the vape community has grown, both in number and in quality. After 3 years of reviewing them I expect an eLiquid brand to know what’s it doing in order to produce great juice, full of flavor, abundant in vapor, with clean pure taste and aromatic clouds. Having said that, Johnson Creek has not only done all of that with many of their eliquids, they have elevated eliquids with Founder’s Reserve™. It is not a common thing to have reached the pinnacle of what eliquid can be when blended with the right hands, and the right talent. Founder’s Reserve™ is no ordinary 5 star tobacco eliquid; it is much more.

Recommended by the entire team for tobacco vapers, Founder’s Reserve™ is a rare achievement in the art of eliquid

Tom McBride, with Jason, Julia and Keira