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It has been a while since we last visited Hurricane Vapor. The way in which this premium eLiquid company has taken off in the past year or so and gained an incredible following proves how right we were all those months ago when we told our readers just how amazing these South Miami eLiquids are.
Brimming with flavor, every one of these carefully handcrafted storm juices have delighted vapers all over the world. Now, finally, we can once again revisit these masters of the Latin-tinged eLiquids to tell you about a new Pina Colada juice and a new Apricot Horchata. You won’t want to miss these two.
Too much hyperbole? Maybe… Then again…
…We’ve always had a bit of soft spot when it comes to Hurricane Vapor, ever since Tom was finally convinced that a ‘tobacco flavored eLiquid’ could deliver the goods. He was vaping on the HV storm juice called “Sunshine Cured Tobacco”, and the rest of us were swooning over Mango Milkshake, and Papaya Milkshake, (among others). Soon after, our love of HV Storm Juice grew and grew… each new eLiquid bringing more flavor, more vapor, and a wicked sense of satisfaction and relaxation that can only come from eLiquid that allows you to take in the whole vape experience and understand the attraction to certain brands and certain flavor profiles. In each new storm juice there would always be a Latin connection that was more than the name of the juice, it was part of the Hurricane Vapor DNA.
If you’ve yet to experience storm juice from Hurricane Vapor I urge you to take a look at one or more of our reviews to see what you’ve been missing. When it comes to authentic and original flavor with a touch of Miami Cuban culture, nobody does it like Christian Vargas, head mixologist, and his beautiful wife Lisa.
Today we bring you our impressions of a brand new Caribbean Pina Colada and a unique, and mysteriously concocted Apricot Horchata.
Previous Horchata Disaster
Horchata is not really native to Cuba or Miami, its more like a Mexico or Spain and other Latin American country drink. In its natural, non-eLiquid state it’s a milky drink made with ground almonds, tiger nuts, and/or rice. Hurricane Vapor has tweaked the recipe a bit by including sesame seeds and barley. Admit it, it sounds really awful, doesn’t it?
When I learned that we would be spending time with something called Apricot Horchata my heart sank. The first time with a Horchata-influenced eLiquid almost put me off vaping completely. I mean it was a nasty, nasty vape. Horchata has a very weird flavor, to me and a few other team members, but if you happen to like the taste of real Horchata (almond milk and rice?) you will be amazed at what its like in vapor form, and if you hate the taste then you’ll despise it even more as a vapor. And let me tell you, I despised it something fierce.
My teammates know my feelings about Horchata, and they know they wouldn’t be able to hold me back if Hurricane Vapor produced anything close to what I had some 18 months ago.
I can hate the flavor yet still speak highly of the eLiquid, if it is made well, high quality juice made with pure ingredients. And the truth is Hurricane Vapor does make high quality, first-rate storm juice, using the best ingredients that can be purchased, they’ve always worked that way, and tens of thousands of vapers around the world know that. Even though it could score well, if Apricot Horchata tasted bad, I had to talk about that aspect of it too.
The Review Begins
With me today are Tom McBride, Jason Little, and my little baby duckling, Keira. We spent 32 hours, almost exactly, with both eLiquids. Using our own hardware, which we’ll go over as we discuss each of the eLiquids, we went about our business vaping as we normally would.
The first eLiquid we will discuss is, of course, the Apricot Horchata.
Apricot Horchata – A Spinfuel Choice Award – “Enjoy this special blend of Fresh Apricots and creamy Horchata; a traditional beverage from Spain, made of ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice, and Barley. If you have been searching for unique vapes, look no further.”
Julia (me): I decided to go with an X.Jet Spider and the new Vision Spinner II (review coming soon) for this one. The reason I chose an X.Jet Spider is that it would deliver an accurate flavor profile, plenty of vapor, and if there was a throat hit hidden inside that juice the X.Jet would let me feel it.
I filled the Spider and set it aside for almost 10 minutes, longer than normal, but Apricot Horchata is on the thick side, so I wanted to make sure the ‘hidden coils’ in the X.Jet Spider would be completely saturated before I began vaping.
Verdict – I truly hope you believe me after that horrid description of my past experience with Horchata above, but guys, I’m telling you, this storm juice is incredible! Whatever it was I tasted last year certainly wasn’t this eliquid.
Apricot Horchata has an intense flavor profile. Its sweetly-spicy, (that means spicy with sweet overtones in Julia-speak), along with a creamy note that gives it a rich, full-bodied flavor reminiscent of a warm vanilla rice pudding. The character is completely original, unlike anything I’ve tasted before.
The apricot flavor is there as well… you don’t mistake apricot for any other fruit. Because of that, I would say this is a direct cousin to Papaya and Mango Milkshakes from Hurricane Vapor, albeit a cousin with an edgy personality.
That silky Latin-milkshake notes form the base of this eliquid, and it is that flavor that reaches inside and covers your tongue with tiny flavor molecules being absorbed into the right taste buds. On top of the Latin milkshake is the apricot, a sweet, ‘earthy’ fruitiness. Both flavors are rolled up in a sweet spicy layer that seems to drill ‘in and through’ the other flavors, melding into something totally unique, yet with identifiable components. Honest to God, a solid 5 Stars. No one is more surprised than I was.
Tom: Listening to Julia talk about why she might not want to experience the Apricot Horchata was funny as hell. She went on and on about how weird it is, how it isn’t a flavor that should be tasted in vapor form. As far as Julia was concerned, the fate of Apricot Horchata was not good.
After she actually tasted Apricot Horchata, after we watched her vape it, and love it, it was even funnier. Sometimes when you tell someone what something is made of they come to it with a predetermined mindset, they will either love it if the ingredients sound good, or hate it if the ingredients sound bad.
Apricot Horchata’s sesame seeds, rice, barley, and almonds, sounds terrible to Julia. Lucky for her Apricot Horchata didn’t taste anything like she thought it would.
I imagine that if you took all those ingredients above and mixed them in a blender it would be awful, but using the magical flavorings that represent each of the ingredients above is a whole other story.
If you’ve already vaped Hurricane Vapor’s Papaya Milkshake or Mango Milkshake then you have a pretty good idea what to expect here. Substitute the Mango or Papaya for the Apricot, throw in some spices, and there you go. I’m surprised they didn’t call this great eliquid Apricot Horchata Milkshake
I vaped Apricot Horchata with a Kanger AeroTank Mini, which I had just received from 777 eCigs, and being able to take control of the ‘pull’ gave it an amazing flavor.
The two dominate flavors for me was the spices and the apricot. I love dried apricots so that might be why. Apricot has a dark, earthy fruity tone; it’s an untraditional fruit flavor. The spices are a pleasant surprise and from the description I didn’t even think it would have a spicy element.
The creamy milkshake flavor is sweet but light, although you shouldn’t expect the same kind of ‘creamy’ component that you might expect in something with “creamy” in its title. All in all, this is a delicious vape, and one I would definitely vape again and again. I’m not 100% convinced that I would add it to my rotation right now, though I am sure it is one for my collection. Apricot Horchata would be a perfect vape after a Spanish dish, or as an evening vape. Some may even love it a dessert vape, in the tradition of a spicy rice pudding. 5 Stars
Keira: Wow, I did not expect Apricot Horchata to be this good. In fact, after listening to Julia last night go on and on about how she was not looking forward to spending a whole day with it I was expecting something horrid. This storm juice is anything but. It’s one delicious juice!
Being from South Florida I have had many different kinds of rice pudding, bread puddings, and even banana puddings with a Spanish flair, I knew that flavor instantly. Horchata is, by itself, kind of spicy, so for me, the apricot was an unexpected pleasure on top of something I already knew and liked. Apricot Horchata is a sweet rice pudding vape with apricot notes dancing in and out of the spices. Some of us interpret that rice pudding flavor as creamy, but it’s not so much creamy, it’s the sweet rice base.
I vaped this with my beautiful red brass ZMAX, a gift from you know who, with an Aspire BDC Viva Nova. Clean flavor, no aftertaste, and bumping it up to 4.2v (dual coils, 1.8ohm) I warmed up the vapor and it was even more delicious. I highly recommend warm vapor for this one, just like real rice pudding is better when warm than it is cold, out of the frig, like my dad likes it. 5 Stars
Jason: My thoughts on Apricot Horchata are fairly easy to explain. “Anyone who likes spicy vapes is going to love Apricot Horchata”. Thankfully the Horchata doesn’t taste foreign, or strange. It’s a familiar flavor, directly related to Hurricane Vapor’s Mango Milkshake if you ask me, only with spices to give it a nice twist. The apricot is apparent, which I really thought was good idea, and when you put it all together what you get is a multi-layered, expertly done, evening/dessert type vape. I liked it, I enjoyed it, and it’s just not something I would have normally vaped. If I didn’t do this for a living I’m absolutely sure I would not have purchased it when I buy my Vanilla Sky or Mango Milkshake, and I would have missed out time and again.
I used my new Sigelei 20W (Tom talked me into it) and a Nautilus, pushed it to 11.5W and wound up with very warm, very thick vapor and massive flavor. Highly recommended. 5 Stars
Next up is a new Pina Colada, an eLiquid we’ve been waiting a long time for from Hurricane Vapor. Because this brand does a Latin twist on all their flavors we knew that if they turned their attention to a full-blown Pina Colada they could do wonders with it. Pineapple, coconut, and a shot or rum sounds simple, so why do so many brands never get it quite right. Let’s see how Caribbean Pina Colada fared with the team…
Julia (me): And here it is, at last. A Caribbean Pina Colada from the Miami clan of eLiquid artists. Three main flavors, pineapple, coconut, and rum, that’s all it takes to make a Pina Colada. But a good Pina Colada takes time, practice, and plenty of patience. And it seems Hurricane Vapor knew that, which is why it took them so long to release it.
Loading up an X.Jet Spider on the first night with these new flavors, I let it sit for a few minutes and then started vaping. On the third drag I was finally convinced…another bust. I gave Keira a look, because she was also vaping it, and because she wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing she playfully flipped me off and returned to her book. “Hey!” I said, “Not nice!” Anyway, the pineapple was a little too sharp, a bit too tart, and it was overwhelming the coconut and rum flavors. I was so disappointed. If anyone could do it, Hurricane Vapor could.
I unscrewed the Spider from the battery and set it down on the coffee table and went ahead and moved on to the Apricot Horchata. I didn’t try the Pina Colada again until the next morning, about 10am. I took another drag, and then another and another. “Where is that sharp pineapple?” I thought. As it turns out, this Pina Colada just needed a night of fresh air. I vaped that 1.8ML in about 3 hours, and went back for more.
Hurricane Vapor’s Pina Colada, after it sat over night, delivered a very down to earth vape, with a silky and sweet coconut flavor as a base, a tamed pineapple comes next, and then that small jab of rum…small, but you can almost taste that alcohol pinch. It was utterly delightful, on par with the best. Highly recommended, but you’ll need to open the bottle up after shaking it, and let the air mingle with it for a few hours, preferably overnight, that will tame the tart pineapple and leave you with a sweeter, calmer pineapple flavor. It’s the difference between fresh cut pineapple and gourmet pineapple slices that are slightly sweetened. 5 Stars
Tom: I’ve had many Pina Colada’s in my time, and most recently a few Pina Colada eLiquids, so I know what to expect. Julia has it mostly right about pineapple being the most important component of a good Pina Colada. Coconut is easy, anybody can make a coconut eliquid, but it takes a good sense of taste to know how much pineapple to use, and whether or not to sweeten it further. I think Hurricane Vapor did an excellent job making their version of the Pina Colada eLiquid.
Using a Kanger AeroTank on my iTaste 134 Mini I set the wattage to a simple 8W, and closed down the air holes for a nice tight draw and vaped away. This produced a nice rich vapor, only slightly warm, and the flavor was huge.
The pineapple did have a bit of tartness left in it before I had the chance to allow some air to interact with it, which was okay, and the rum gave me quite an unexpected jolt of flavor. I played with air holes on the tank some and found what I think was the Pina Colada sweet spot. You have to admit that more control over your vape is becoming more important than ever.
I don’t like airy draws at all, so it was important to make the draw somewhat tighter, but it wasn’t as tight as I sometimes like it to be with a deep, dark tobacco vape. Because of that I’ve decided that Hurricane Vapor’s Pina Colada will probably deliver many different flavor profiles and vapor levels to many different vapers. I think that’s a good thing, it can be molded to accent whatever component of the flavor you want. For me, that means more coconut than pineapple on most days, and more pineapple on others. An excellent vape. 4.75 Stars
Keira: The first night with these two new flavors I had decided to start with Caribbean Pina Colada, as did Julia. However, it didn’t really work out with Julia so she switched to Apricot Horchata but I stayed with the Pina Colada.
I was reading a new compilation of sci-fi apocalypse stories by some very good self-published writers like Huge Howey, an author John turned me on to with WOOL, while vaping the Pina Colada. After about 15 minutes or so I had a little difficulty concentrating because every drag was so full of tropical flavors that it grabbed my attention more than the book did, and it is a very good book!
I decided to stop reading for a while and instead I listened to Julia go on about the Apricot Horchata, she was so surprised that she actually liked it. I propped my pillows, stuck the extra one under my knees and just kicked back and relaxed, vaping this perfectly lovely tropical mix. Eventually, we were both enjoying our respective flavors so much that we turned on the TV and just enjoyed our time with them.
Once again I was using my red brass ZMAX, only this time on top was a new SMOK DCTank, a cartomizer tank that really gave Pina Colada a lot of depth, a richness it wouldn’t have in a clearomizer. I’m not saying one tank was better than the other, but cartomizers and clearomizer give differing flavor profiles. Hurricane Vapor’s Pina Colada is definitely a winning recipe, a Storm Juice you must try if you like tropical flavors.
Jason: Caribbean Pina Colada by Hurricane Vapor is vastly different from their Apricot Horchata, naturally, and I knew that it had the potential to be either a fantastic tropical vape or just another pineapple and coconut eLiquid. So I chose my hardware carefully. My aim was to get the most accurate flavor profile that I could, so I rinsed out a new tank I had been using and vaped with that and a new Vision Spinner II. (Note – Jason used the recently reviewed Aurora BFT Dripping atomizer tank)
The tank has a 1.8ml reserve tank underneath the atomizer. It’s not the easiest thing to use but it does deliver very accurate flavor for whatever juice you use. I had used it a couple days before for a G2 Vapor eLiquid and the flavor was incredible.
I’ve heard all about Julia’s consternation about most pineapples being too tart or tangy, and honestly, to me, that’s just what pineapple tastes like. Some are sweeter than others, some are more tart than others, and it just doesn’t matter much to me.
Vaping Pina Colada with the dripping atomizer was a fantastic, though short-lived, vaping experience. After a couple of vape sessions I changed out the tank for something I could use for more than 5 minutes without fiddling with it.
The rest of the time with Pina Colada I had used my Sigelei 20W and an AeroTank. There’s nothing like being able to control the “pull” of your vape. The AeroTank allowed me to set up vape sessions that delivered thick vapor and plenty of pineapple flavor, laced with coconut and layered with a touch of rum. Hurricane Vapor’s Pina Colada is a tropical flavor that anyone who likes tropical fruits will love. 5 Stars
John Manzione: Last year I flat out asked Hurricane Vapor to make a Pina Colada storm juice. Finally, they did, though it had nothing to do with my request. And it is a fantastic tropical vape.
The one thing I look for in any Pina Colada is a well-blended mix of coconut and pineapple, rum isn’t necessary to me, but it certainly didn’t hurt. You should be able to taste both flavors independently, but it should also offer a blend of the two (or three), a subtle flavor that has the sweetness of coconut milk with the tanginess of pineapple, and this one has it nailed.
Over the last year or so I vaped plenty of Pina Colada’s from several different brands and I’ve noticed that when a recipe is heavy on pineapple the vapor production isn’t as thick or flavorful as it is when coconut takes center stage. Here, in Hurricane Vapor’s recipe, I wouldn’t say that neither flavor took center stage.
When I vape tropical flavors I prefer to vape them with a cartomizer, or more recently, with an X.Jet or Aspire coils. I also like using long-wick clearomizers or Vivi’s with tropical juices, and definitely with Pyrex glass. I do not like the way tropical eLiquids taste using the type of coils found in Kanger products, or God forbid, a metal drip tip. The acidic elements in anything tropical don’t mix well with metal.
I vaped Caribbean Pina Colada with two tanks at the same time. One was a SMOK DCTank (cartomizer) and one was an Aspire BDC Viva Nova. The carto-tank delivered slightly more coconut flavor while the Vivi delivered slightly more pineapple, and I don’t have a clue as to why. Both were terrific, but different. The verdict? 4.75 Stars
Hurricane Vapor can be relied upon to deliver a fantastic new flavor 99.9% of the time. In fact, I think the only time they missed the mark was long ago with a chili-powder recipe, (if I remember correctly). That eliquid was bright red, and it was quite intense. Way too intense for me. Other than that one misfire they put out some of the best tobacco blends, fruity blends like Mango Milkshake, and a fantastic coffee blend, ‘Cuban Coffee’, an eliquid that every coffee vaper must try. What I’m saying is that Hurricane Vapor doesn’t belong in the corner; they have the ability to reach across the flavor spectrum and deliver excellent eLiquids in any ‘genre’.
Today’s Apricot Horchata will go down as the most surprisingly delicious eLiquids we’ve tried this year, while their Pina Colada is a solid tropical vape that will have tropical vapers beating a path to their door. It’s been a while since we’ve seen new flavors come from the house of Hurricane Vapor, and now we know why, they were intent on putting out two great new flavors, not just rush them out the door.
Hurricane Vapors prices their eLiquids at $9.99 for 15ML, $17.99 for 30ML, and 60ML for $32.99. For premium eLiquid these prices are excellent.
Advice: If you like one of their Storm Juice flavors it pays to pick them up in 60ML bottles, where the “price per ML “ is a very low 52 cents.
As for buying advice, that’s pretty easy. If you’re looking to try something different, but with familiar ‘key’ flavors that are sure to please, try the delicious Apricot Horchata, don’t let the word Horchata keep you away like it almost did me. If you’re looking to find the “one” Pina Colada that gets it just right then you simply must try Hurricane Vapor’s version, because if anyone can nail Pina Colada, its Hurricane Vapor
Till next time!
Julia Hartley-Barnes, Tom McBride, Keira Hartley-Barnes, Jason Little