Strix Elixirs New Flavors Review February 2014
As promised, Strix Elixirs is out with three (3) additional flavors this month… Monkey Strip, Butter Shot, and Vanilla Bogart. Each one is distinctively different, and each carries with them the unique skill we’ve already come to expect from the team that brought us eLiquid like Blue Honey. There is no mistaking the excellence, flavors, and exacting recipes that go into every flavor from Strix Elixirs, so sit back, relax, refill or refill your clearomizer, and read on…
For particulars about Strix Elixirs, bottles, sizes, nicotine choices, and so forth take a look at our comprehensive review of their starter line of flavors.
Julia was first to vape these new pre-steeped flavors before she and Keira left for Ireland. My own time with the three eJuices below was just late last week while recuperating from a fall off a roof. Julia left behind her notes and while I was building this review we did a bit of texting back and forth just to make sure I was able to capture her true impressions and thoughts about these new choices.
As always, both Julia and I spent quite a bit of time vaping these new flavors, with varied equipment, including the new iTaste 134 Mini and the iClear X.I clearomizer (glassomizer). We were able to spend time with them in the early morning hours, mid-afternoon, and early evening, because as we all know, our desires for certain flavors waxes and wanes throughout the day. Even the weather can affect how we might feel about a particular flavor, even how it can taste different, so in order to really get to know any eLiquid flavor you have to vape them in as many ways as you can, especially if others are going to put any weight in what you have to say.
Strix Elixirs – “Don’t let the licorice scare you away; our beta testing produced great results from licorice friends and foes alike! A provocative blend of creamy ripe banana and sweet black licorice, this is Stacey’s all-day-vape. This vape has a sweet licorice flavor on the inhale and a creamy banana finish with lots of clouds.”
Julia: 3.75 Stars – Strix Elixirs has a fantastic banana flavoring and they know just how to use it, however, with Monkey Stripe they went a little too ‘left field’ for me. While vaping this with an X.Jet clearomizer I passed it around to several of my lady friends the night I started this review. Most of them adored the banana and licorice blend. The ones that liked it, loved it, and the ones that didn’t love it thought it was just a little too strange for them. I think Monkey Stripe is going to be one of those flavors that have to be tried before you know whether you’ll like it or not. You can’t really go on someone else’s opinion when you’re talking about something so utterly original. Has anyone even thought about a banana and licorice combination before?
My take on Monkey Stripe was about as simple as can be; the licorice kept getting in the way of a really good banana vape. The throat hit was excellent, no doubt caused by a hard-hitting licorice, and the vapor was truly something, but it was that combination that kept throwing me off balance and kept chiding me about not being able to grab ahold of the creamy, full-bodied banana flavor and keep it. There is definitely room for licorice flavors and banana flavors, and many Vapers, according to my friends, are going to love it.
But for me, this is a flavor I will vape on occasion. It would make a fantastic choice for those days or nights when I can’t decide what flavor I want to vape. Just fill a cartomizer with Monkey Stripe, start vaping it and you’ll either stay with it for the night, or it was push you toward one of your favorites in the bullpen. At least, that’s how it works with me.
Don’t misunderstand me; this combination of licorice and banana is a serious flavor, but not every flavor is going to click with every Vaper.
John: 3.75 Stars – I think Julia’s friends, particularly the ones that loved Monkey Stripe’s licorice and banana blend, is proof positive that this one is going to be one of those “you love it” or “not right now” kind of flavors. I would love to say that the licorice notes are very light and not very noticeable, but to me they were noticeable.
Monkey Stripe comes with a sharp, flavorful licorice slant to it. A flavor that almost made my head jerk back with a voice in in my mind shouting, “Wait, what did you just do!” Licorice does that to me, unless it’s Twizzlers, then at least I know its coming. The creamy banana finish however, was a successful way to end each drag.
Monkey Stripe has a big throat hit, massive vapor, and an unmistakable flavor profile. It didn’t work for me on a personal level, but I know by witnessing others vape it that the idea of licorice and banana can be magical. Maybe my taste buds are too set in stone, but the bottom line is that this is one flavor you just might love, but it’s not for me.
Butter Shot – A Spinfuel Choice Award Winner
Strix Elixirs – “Butterscotch fans unite! Say hello to your new all-day-vape!”
Julia: 5.0 Stars – I don’t even have to guess here, John is going to love this one as much as I do. Who doesn’t love butterscotch, am I right? (yes I know, plenty of people) There is just something about a ‘good’ butterscotch eJuice… the oh-so-creamy-thick-velvety weirdness that is butterscotch, with more vapor than you’ll know what to do with, and a solid throat hit that makes you want to keep on vaping way past your bedtime.
I don’t know the actual recipe for Butter Shot, but if I had to guess this is a premium butterscotch flavorings with small vanilla notes and a tad of a caramel finish, all mixed into one of the smoothest sailing butterscotch eLiquids I’ve had in a long, long while. Buttery butterscotch that doesn’t try to be anything other than the best creamy butterscotch vape, Butter Shot knows how to deliver. If you’re one of us, a butterscotch aficionado, you can’t miss this one.
John – 5.0 Stars – I let this review of Butter Shot sit over the weekend because I was trying to decide if Butter Shot was a 5-Star juice or a 4.5 Star juice. I vaped a lot of it, more than usual during the review because I wanted to be certain I wasn’t handing out 5 Stars just because I happen to love it.
I wanted to learn more about it before deciding, and I wanted to feel and taste the intricacies of this velvety smooth, lusciously rich butterscotch flavor. On the one hand Butter Shot could simply be a one-note marvel, a near-perfect recipe of fine butterscotch flavor. On the other hand there could be more to it than butterscotch alone. As it turned out there are certain notes that appear at times and disappear at other times. Before I could lay down my final score I had to know why this was happening, if it was me or if it was the character of the juice.
I did find out, just this morning, and the reason I did was because I had read Julia’s notes about Vanilla Bogart. It occurred to me that there are times when I might vape a certain flavor for several hours with just small breaks in between and when that happens my ability to detect all the delicate flavor notes, or to taste all the different layers of a flavor, changes over time. My taste buds get dull, and that is exactly what was happening here with Butter Shot. There was no doubt that Butter Shot is an awesome butterscotch vape, but it isn’t until I spent time away from vaping it that I was able to properly discern all the other, intricate little tweaks that Strix Elixirs has done to this recipe that I realized this was, indeed, a 5 Star juice.
Strix Elixirs – “A co-star of our signature tobacco, “The Bogart” …with a splash of vanilla.”
Julia – 4.75 Stars – I loved, absolutely loved, Bogart from our last review with Strix. But what you probably don’t know is this, it took me a couple of days after that review to really learn the in’s and out’s of this marvelous tobacco vape. There are so many layers to a good tobacco flavor and Bogart has more than its share.
So, what better way to stretch that incredible flavor out into new territory then to combine it with a premium vanilla flavoring (to name just one) and release a fully realized vanilla tobacco vape? It was a good call, and one Strix executed it well.
As much as I love a good vanilla vape, and a good tobacco vape as well, for some reason I kept wanting to put it down and go straight for the Bogart instead, at least at certain times of the day.
When you vape Bogart, Strix Elixir’s renowned tobacco flavor, you will get that rich, almost overwhelming notes of what makes Bogart so original in this combo-flavor, and I suppose it will come down to how much you want to deviate from that pure tobacco goodness to judge whether Vanilla Bogart will have a permanent home in your rotation or not. For myself, most times I couldn’t help but think about why am I wasting time with a Vanilla version of Bogart when I could just go ahead and vape Bogart and be done with it. And, you know, it remained that way until the 3rd morning of my time with it.
That 3rd morning I had woken up, wondered downstairs into the kitchen where Keira was making breakfast and when I walked up to greet her in our usual fashion I noticed she had a nice vape going. So instead of wrapping both arms around her I slid one of my arms up and inside of hers in order to pull her new Spinner and X.Jet (copying John’s ‘perfect vape’ of a white Vision Spinner and blue X.Jet Spider) toward me so I could grab a quick drag from it. I instantly recognized Vanilla Bogart as the juice in her clearomizer, but wow what a difference the time of day can make. That sweetness of vanilla bouncing up against the dark tobacco richness of the original Bogart just floored me!
To make a long story short, we shared her X.Jet for the entire breakfast (no, we didn’t vape and eat at the same time), and it was heavenly. Vanilla Bogart is my preferred “morning” tobacco vape since that day. The best way to enjoy Vanilla Bogart is to have ‘Bogart’ on hand as well. That way when you want a real sweet kick to an all-day tobacco you can vape Vanilla Bogart and when you want that unique tobacco that is Bogart you can switch between them.
John: – 4.5 Stars – I’m not the great tobacco connoisseur that John Castle, Tom McBride, or even Julia (she can be when she wants to be), but I do love a great tobacco flavor. I just don’t spend all day every day with tobacco flavors. So for me, Vanilla Bogart is actually a better, well, maybe not better, tobacco flavor, one in which I can spend more time with than the original Bogart.
While I loved to vape Bogart (as well as other tobacco flavors) there would come a point where I would tell myself that I’ve had enough tobacco flavor for one day and now would be a good time to switch it up to something sweeter, or fruitier, or even a bakery flavor. With Vanilla Bogart I get to have my tobacco and my sweet flavor-cravings all in one vape.
Vanilla Bogart missed out on 5 stars from me for just one reason; I think the vanilla could have been creamier, denser, more pronounced. But, that’s just me and I know there are Vapers out there that love vanilla tobaccos more than any other kind. While there are Vapers like me who want more vanilla than tobacco, there is far more that want vanilla to be a sort of buffer for a tobacco flavor. For those Vapes, Vanilla Bogart was born.
Conclusion and Buying Advice
While talking over the finer parts of this review Julia and I knew that the expertise Strix Elixirs shows off by releasing not just three new flavors for January/February, but three completely different flavors, all with their own personalities and quirks, shows just how much these two people know about eLiquid flavors.
There is this level of confidence in what they are doing, and by flexing that confidence by releasing a banana and licorice, a vanilla tobacco, and pure butterscotch eLiquid flavors tells us all that these guys are playing for keeps.
They know what they are doing and there is no getting around it, when Strix Elixirs wants to release a new flavor they are going to do it without a net. They will take the risks, like they did with Monkey Stripe, and they’ll dare mess with a tobacco “masterpiece” like Bogart, and they’ll know when its time to release an easy-going, nice and smooth ‘sweet’ vape like Butter Shot. Diversity lives at Strix Elixirs.
So, what about that buying advice? Hmm…
A 10ML sampler bottle (and come on, 10ML is a sampler size) for $5 is a great way to introduce yourself to any of their eLiquids. But, when you discover flavors that you really like, the $14 price tag for a 30ML bottle is very comfortable. I would like to see Strix Elixirs put together a set of 5ML bottles of their entire line of flavors as a true “Whitman’s Sampler” product, for a super low introductory price, and then have 15ML and 30ML bottles as their standard line up. In fact, I’d like to see all eJuice vendors do this. What a great way to introduce your juice, don’t you think? And each time a vendor adds a flavor to their lineup the price of the “set” would go up a couple of bucks.
Also keep in mind that Strix Elixirs sells only pre-steeped juice, so you won’t need to wait to realize the full flavor of any selection when they arrive via vapemail. And with same day and next day shipping anything you order will arrive before you know it.
There is only so much room in any one persons vape rotation, and with so many choices out there, with more to come almost every say, its difficult to know which flavor or which vendor you’re going adopt and make your own. But the exploration of eJuice flavors and vendors is a big part of the whole vaping ‘hobby’. Just as Foodies like to explore new foods, Vaper’s enjoy trying new flavors, or variations of those flavors,
Even if you’re already booked up with your favorites it pays to explore and discover new and amazing juices from premium vendors like Strix Elixirs. I think you owe it to yourself to indulge a bit now and then, or at the very least pick up a couple of these new flavors and see if they will make the grade. I’m betting they will.
John Manzione and Julia Hartley-Barnes