Johnson Creek KILN House Genuine No. 22
– Tom McBride and John Manzione
Yesterday morning our UPS driver shows up with a package from our friends at Johnson Creek Enterprises. Inside is a brand new bottle of KILN House Smoke Juice. It’s called Genuine No. 22. Instead of the normal review process I thought it might be interesting to tell you of the events that transpired after the arrival of this new KILN House smoke juice, including of course, mine and John Manzione’s reaction to Genuine No. 22. If you can spare a minute or two we’d love to know what you think about this new type of review, so leave a comment below.
Fresh out of the bottle Genuine No. 22 is a transparent… brilliantly transparent, silky smoke juice that glides down the eyedropper with an elegance reserved for only the finest of e liquids. The crystal clear liquid seems to be alive, glistening as it slides down the dropper and into the clearomizers. Like other KILN House smoke juice, Genuine No. 22 has a luscious texture, rich and sophisticated.
No. 22 is Number 3
Genuine No. 22, is the third smoke juice from the new Johnson Creek line called KILN House. It is a PG-Free smoke juice, thicker and silkier than the KILN House Silverthorn I had been enjoying for a few weeks now, which is a PG/VG mix, and about the same thickness and texture of Gold Reserve. Since all KILN House smoke juices are, and will continue to be, strictly tobacco-based, Genuine No. 22 lives up to that commitment is ways I didn’t expect.
As I type this, Genuine No. 22 is not yet available on the Johnson Creek website, and I have no idea when it will be. By the time this review is published it just might be available though. I have asked Dave to check on that when he’s ready to publish. If it is, he will link to it at the bottom of the review. (Indeed it is available now. Head over and pick up a bottle! – Dave)
KILN House Particulars
There is no reason to expect the size or pricing of Genuine No. 22 to be any different from the other two KILN House smoke juice, so you can expect the 15ML size to run $9.95 and the 30ML (the size I have here) to run $19.45. Nicotine strengths are 1.1%, 1.8%, and 2.4%.
The Unboxing of KILN House Genuine No. 22
The first thing that hit me upon removing the cap (after a vigorous shakeup) was the aroma coming from the bottle. It is a nutty, woodsy aroma, without any chemical or artificial scent. Now, having said that I should also say that with a makeup like this, a non-PG, thicker smoke juice, it is imperative that you shake it up more than you might do with thinner, PG/VG smoke juice. The nutty aroma is much more prominent with a good shake. Any heavy VG e liquid that isn’t shaken up before opening will release a slight VG scent. It’s not in itself unpleasant, but neither is it natural.
I am reminded of a very rich tobacco experience with Genuine No. 22, just as I am with any other tobacco flavor carrying the Johnson Creek label, including Johnson Creek Original, Red Oak, and KILN House. Genuine No. 22 is closer to a tobacco cigarette flavor profile than KILN House Silverthorn and Gold Reserve though. No doubt that this one, the third KILN House, was developed for vapers looking for that type of experience.
Additionally, I knew in the first minute that Genuine No. 22 was going to work as an all-day-vape for most tobacco vapers, precisely because of its ‘cigarette’ profile. It sure works for me.
“Is It Any Good?”
As I reached out to some friends of mine who also enjoy tobacco vapes to tell them about this upcoming new KILN House smoke juice (without mentioning the name of course), they all asked the same question, “is it any good?” – I told them, “It’s Johnson Creek, it’s a KILN House blend, of course it is, but you’re asking the wrong question.”
The better question would be “Will I like it?”, because, let’s face it, as a uber-premium label Johnson Creek doesn’t make ‘bad’ smoke juice. There is only one valid reason for not liking a Johnson Creek flavor, and it has nothing to do with the juice itself, but rather everything to do with your own likes and dislikes.
In order to feel about Genuine No. 22 the way I feel about it you have to like/love tobacco smoke juice. If you’re into fruity vapes, or sweet vapes, or any other non-tobacco flavor you probably won’t like Genuine No. 22, or any of the other KILN House blends, because they are all very serious blends of very special tobaccos. If you do like tobacco blends then chances are very good that Genuine No. 22 is going to be an amazing vaping experience.
Genuine No. 22 is so incredibly good, yet startlingly different than the previous two KILN House flavors in a couple of ways. I had to call John (Manzione) and have him join me for this review because… well, first, I knew he wouldn’t want to miss this one, and second, I wanted to be absolutely sure that I didn’t go overboard with the review. I also didn’t want to miss anything important because of my tendency to get over excited when I find a great new tobacco vape.
A classic, superior tobacco vape is rare, yet it is exactly what I search for as I run down all the best tobacco flavors from as many e liquid brands that I can afford. I’m always looking for the ultimate tobacco vape. I’m not saying that Genuine No. 22 is the ultimate tobacco vape, but it is the best I’ve had to date.
Before John arrived I had filled one of JC’s new 1.8ohm Canteen clearomizers for his JC Vea, knowing that John would want to start out with the Vea and then move on to other hardware.
After John spent several minutes enjoying the vape with the Vea we filled a couple of X.Jet’s clearomizers, as well as a Aspire BDC Vivi Nova, grabbed a couple of Vision Spinners and the iTaste 134 Mini, and went about enjoying this new smoke juice for the next couple of hours, switching from one setup to another randomly.
The KILN House Genuine No. 22 smoke juice came with an empty 5ml plastic bottle and when it was time for John to return home last night I filled the bottle and let him take some with him. We arranged to meet up again this morning, around 8. He walked into the office a little while ago with an empty bottle, held it out to me, and said, “More please?” I laughed and said “Still that good huh?”.
Going through the usual morning duties, John and I didn’t say a lot for a while. Only when the routine things were completed and out of the way did we move out to the screened patio, with a cup of coffee and our Genuine No. 22. I asked John point blank; “Well, what do you think now that you’ve had a whole night with it?” With my new MacBook Air (11”) flipped it open and on my lap, I bought up a blank page with ‘Pages’, and waited to hear what he had to say.
An e Liquid Reviewer Profile
When you review e liquids for a living you vape a lot of different flavors, so many PG/VG ratios, various nicotine strengths, and so on, and you can’t help but build up a kind of ‘wall of resistance’ after a while. So, when you happen across a good e liquid you’re able to be less emotional and more analytical. I think this is not only a natural progression for someone that does this for a living, but a necessary skill that allows you to be critical, yet fair.
Because a good reviewer of e liquids can be analytical and less emotional, when it comes time to write about them, you can tell your readers how much you enjoyed it, how they too will probably enjoy it, but when you’re done with the review you’re ready to move on to the next one. There just isn’t enough time to savor the moment these days; once you’re finished with one review, you’re off to the next and that’s the way it has to be.
In addition, vaping a good juice, one with lots of flavor, producing big clouds of vapor, and, oh I dunno, providing a really nice vape, you learn to recognize the possibility early on that this or that particular juice is going to become one of your regulars. Yet, you want to relate this to the reader with a matter-of-fact attitude. Sometimes that’s impossible.
So far this year, and roughly the last 3 months of last year, it is more surprising to me to find a bad vape than it is a good one. That speaks well for the industry, I believe, because the truth is e liquids are getting better and better. If you look at the last several e liquid reviews, both team reviews and solo reviews, the number of high scoring flavors have grown dramatically over the same period in 2012. To stand out in the crowd now an e liquid has to be better than ‘good’. It has to be spectacular.
Genuine No. 22
From Johnson Creek – “Genuine No. 22™ is a proprietary blend of flavorings composed of Virginia, Burley, earthy nuts and sweet grain notes. This smooth flavor is neither overpowering nor underwhelming and is a fantastic offering on the Kiln House line. Genuine No. 22™ is a PG-free flavor with a mild sweetness and perfect balance of natural tobacco.”
Sometimes, nothing can prepare you for an e liquid that is so right, so spot on delicious, and it takes you by surprise. All the e liquids I vape today, in my own collection, are 4 stars and above, so happening across a flavor that is literally ‘off the charts’, like Genuine No. 22, can throw you for a loop. I relayed this sentiment to John before he answered my question. He allowed it to sink in, he thought about it for a few more minutes, and then said this:
“Discovering a rare smoke juice like this one (Genuine No.22) is like opening the door to your house without knowing that on the other side is a surprise party waiting to happen… just for you. That huge surprise, that enormous feeling of goodwill, and the overwhelming tug on the heartstrings that fills you with life, is one of the best feelings you can have. Best of all, it’s something you don’t expect. A fantastic vape can be that way sometimes…
Last night, with a fresh clearomizer of fresh Genuine No.22, I thought it was a 5 Star flavor immediately. That in itself isn’t surprising; the previous KILN House smoke juice flavors were 5 Stars too. So last night I placed Genuine No. 22 at the same level, a solid, tobacco vape from Johnson Creek, worthy of the Spinfuel Choice Award. Then, this morning, with half of my X.Jet Spider still full, I woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee, and began going through the morning email. A few minutes in I took my first drag from my Spinner/X.Jet setup and I was shocked by how much better it was after a night of rest in my X.Jet. Somehow, Genuine No.22 had gotten even better. A bigger, and more satisfying throat hit, bigger and thicker clouds of vapor, and a deep, dark, nutty-flavored tobacco flavor that was so satisfying that I actually stopped going through the mail and just kicked back and vaped for a while…
I thought the Gold Reserve was an amazing success at bringing out a true tobacco leaf flavor, and Silverthorn was this incredible, dry, non-sweet tobacco that had become a legend among tobacco vapers even before the KILN HOUSE remake, but man, Genuine No. 22 goes beyond both of them to this new, Superstar level. I think it represents the best of Johnson Creek’s talent for creating superior tobacco blends. If you agree then yea, Genuine No.22 gets the Spinfuel Choice Award, easy. What in the world will they do for an encore?”
So, John agreed with me. I thought he might.
I wasn’t around for the previous KILN House reviews (I took a leave of absence), but I did pick some up not long after John and John reviewed them, and both Gold Reserve and Silverthorn ‘KILN House Edition’, are now part of my everyday vape rotation.
If you’re a fan of KILN House now, you might feel like these e liquids are made for the exact type of Vaper you are. You too might think that the KILN House line is unlike any tobacco line out there. Each of the three are special, high-end smoke juice made for truly discerning Vapers. That’s not to say they are exclusive in any sense, they’re widely available and cost the same as every other Johnson Creek smoke juice, but there’s something special about them. Johnson Creek had to create a new line for these blends. They have the Johnson Creek ‘stamp’ on them, but they go further then ever into the realm of superior tobacco blends.
The Wrap Up
John and I tried to whittle down the hyperbole (you should have seen the rough draft), and I hope we managed to contain the sheer excitement we felt over this amazing new KILN House blend. Vapers of tobacco e liquids simply must try Genuine No.22 for an authentic tobacco experience in a smoke juice they won’t soon forget.
Despite being PG-Free Genuine No. 22 has a spectacular throat hit, gigantic flavor, and more vapor than the other two KILN House blends (and that is saying a lot). I believe Genuine No. 22 will appeal to any vaper looking for that expensive cigarette vape as well. It’s not a Winston or Marlboro profile, but it is a bit like Benson & Hedges, or some other expensive cigarette profile. It also works extremely well as an all day vape, providing flavor, vapor, and throat hit all day long, without losing anything after hours of vaping. Genuine No. 22 is a superstar of tobacco blends, and, as John indicated above, a Spinfuel Choice Award Winner.
Buy a 30ML bottle if tobacco blends are your thing. I cannot recommend it any higher.
Tom McBride, with a special appearance by John Manzione