Hot Weather Even Hotter Vaping Goodies
A clear blue sky with just the hint of huge white clouds seemed fitting weather for day one of the 2016 UK VapeFest.
Come to that the temperature was as hot as a coil in full flow giving the whole event a steamy feel to say the least – man it was HOT!!!
I arrived an hour or so after Vape Fest had opened its gates and already the huge numbers of stalls were attracting vapers from across the country. Even the first aid and security guards were sampling the wares!
Having never been to a vaping show or ‘fest’ before I decided to stick to the middle of the path and check things out before sampling the goodies and chatting to the vape vendors.
However that lasted all of 30 seconds as within a few steps a Hawaiian Lei Lei flower garland was hung around my neck courtesy of beach girl Konnie who suggested I might like to cool down with a free ‘Slush Puppy’ and taste a few juices.
Such was the queue at the tasting area I didn’t get a look in however the ‘real beach’ and deckchairs in the marquee looked tempting and I took a while to enjoy the reggae tunes pumping out – thanks TJuice – 13 Sins and Halycon Haze your tent rocked – literally.
On Me Head Son
You had to feel for the Juice Bomb Man – in that suit he must have been sweating! If you hit him on the head with one of his balls – tennis that is lol – you got a free bottle of their e-liquid.
He must have spotted a real dead eye former cricketer in me and I wasn’t asked to participate however I did sample their e-juices – stall two and I was immersed in Vape Fest!
With ten flavours to sample I spent a good ten minutes enjoying their fruity vapes – standout for me was their signature e-liquid The Bomb.
A gorgeous fruit cocktail washed away on the exhale with a gentle menthol – very refreshing on such a beautiful summers day.
I couldn’t help but notice the Juice Bomb stall was extremely busy most of the time I was there.
Green Hornet E-Liquids
My eye – more like nose – was drawn to the Green Hornet stand as the smells coming from it were divine.
As a fan of Jaffa Cakes I was more than a little excited to try their Velutina – a take on the cake…or is it a biscuit..?
It didn’t let me down – it was vaping Jaffa Cakes and I couldn’t help but noticed it was the flavour everyone was trying – as you can see from the photo above the sample is missing in action and seemed to be every time I lined up a shot!
A great little company and I sincerely hope more retailers order their e-juices they are simply wonderful and then some.
Vape Fest saw them launch x2 new flavours to their e-liquid stable – Mint Medley – a delicious menthol mix – and Manga Manga a fusion of mango and Japanese apple that was exquisite.
I’d like to have spent a little more time chatting with them however such was the demand I felt interviewing them was costing them sales lol – however I hope we can get hold of them for a proper juice review – more vapers need to taste them.
Token Vape – Delicious E-Liquids
Run by Plymouth vapers Ross and Rosanna Everleigh – Token Vape is one of those vaping success stories sadly threatened by the dreaded TPD.
“It could kill us” said Ross who started the business in September last year “However we’ll do all we can to keep going as this is our business.”
And what a business – Token Vape’s e-liquids are nothing short of genius with the mixing sheer perfection.
With x5 established flavours:
- Black Rice – blackcurrant and licorice
- Tatin Anglaise – apple tart – caramel and vanilla
- Sweet Salt – vanilla ice-cream sea salted caramel and waffle
- Kernow Tales – Cornish cream tea and Earl Grey
- Samic Berry – strawberries yogurt and balsamic vinegar
Vape Fest saw the company launch a new flavour Coil Nut Flakes – a stunning take on ‘crunchy nut cornflakes’ – it was a dream!
In between a constant stream of customers Ross was able to explain the hardships faced by smaller e-liquid companies in a post Brexit world:
“It costs us between £3,500 and £5,000 per e-liquid per strength to get them approved and that’s by far the cheapest we’ve found. Like I said it could kill us off.
Maybe the only way forward is to go 0mg nicotine on everything – but that’s not what our customers want and it’s not what we’re about.”
I feel for Ross and Rosanna and of course the 100’s of companies similar to there’s out there.
Good luck guys and let’s hope there’s light at the end of this crazy TPD tunnel.
It’s Getting Hot In Here
Midday and temperature was hotter than a 2500mAh Battery in a microwave (not recommended lol).
It might have been a mirage but I swear I could see an igloo in the distance and indeed it was.
The blast of air-con had vapers diving inside to cool off and of course sample the premium wares – nice touch Purity.
Refreshed I headed off to the ‘rainbow tent’ where inside I felt for the vendors – it was sweltering!!!
However wonderful couple Ian and Heather Hartley along with son Reece were as cool as their Champagne infused Apple flavoured e-liquid called ‘Eves Seduction’.
It is as gorgeous as the name suggests and one of the standout flavours I tasted all day.
Despite the sauna like conditions the rainbow vaping tent had some amazing vendors including the awesome Chris Scott Mods.
This guy has only been vaping a year or so and produces the most amazing custom made wooden mods that not only look stunning but work beautifully.
I can tell you his stall was rammed every single time I tried to get near him for a chat!
Other stalls in the by now steaming hot rainbow tent were Colonel Boom’s ‘Military Grade ‘ Bang Bang Juice – B Juice nice orange suits guys lol and the delicious FallStreak e-liquids – a must try 80% VG with a gentle throat hit – looks like the dog had been in the reggae beach tent too lol.
DIY E-Liquids by Emporium Vapour
By the time I came out of the rainbow tent I felt as if I’d been in a sauna for an hour so a pint of crisp cider was much appreciated.
I chatted with a lovely young couple from North Wales who believe it or not hailed from my home town – small world.
He was a wealth of knowledge on vaping and as a DIY mixer he reckoned that could be the future for some vapers to get around TPD rules and regs.
Interesting then that I got into a chat with Emporium Vapour’s Richard Travers.
The Scottish based family run company were there selling a wide range of e-liquids and also their own brand of DIY e-liquid kits and flavours.
“It’s going well” said Richard “DIY e-liquid is still regarded by some as ‘low class’ in fact at other shows and events we’ve had people look down their noses at us’ he joked!
Thanks for your patience Richard – your extremely heavy Scottish accent made it difficult for this deaf old fellah – at least you saw the funny side – thanks mate 😉
Vaping Politics at VapeFest
I was lucky enough to meet the guys and girls from both Vapers in Power and the New Nicotine Alliance.
Lookout for an article on these interviews later in the week – they had some very interesting things to say especially Liam Bryan from V.I.P!
I was also extremely pleased to meet Richard Hyslop the CEO of IBVTA (Independent British Vape Trade Association).
This new body is doing sterling work and he’s holding regular meetings with both the UK Treasury and Department of Health.
I was so impressed with his organization I pretty much acted as his PR guy for the rest of the day urging vendors to go see him!
I’ll get the article up later in the week.
Once You’ve Dripped You’ll Never Look Back!!!
That’s what they tell me and I can honestly say it’s true!!!
Big Ray is one of the nicest blokes I met at VapeFest.
Representing the absolutely awesome Philippine based mech mods After Kicks he allowed this old vaper a blast on his top of the range device.
All I can say is WOW!!!
The taste was exquisite and the vapour production on the coil was incredible – it just kept coming…and coming!!!
He’s another guy I could have chatted more to but his custom made brass and stabwood mods were selling like hotcakes – despite the price – and I had to make a hasty retreat as I was holding up the queue (again lol).
After Kicks are the exclusive UK distributor of these amazing mods – sadly Ray didn’t have any links to offer but did manage to shout over the crowd that they were only on Facebook due to TPD – sadly I can’t find them anywhere – maybe you’ll have better luck!
Crystal Clouds E-Liquids
By far the most helpful – friendly and engaging couple at VapeFest were husband and wife dynamic duo Kay Russell Iliffe and her partner John.
As a reiki master and lover of the power of crystals it’s little wonder Kay has named her e-liquids after those most magical stones.
The flavours are her idea however she was more than happy for me to call hubby John ‘the brains behind the business’ lol as he has a knack of mixing e-juices second to none.
Asked about the future of their business in the shadow of TPD she said:
“We have decided to concentrate for now on our four best sellers. They are now produced in a state of the art lab using our recipes and to our exact specifications so none of the quality or flavour is lost.”
These really are artisan e-liquids and they are as you would expect absolutely delicious.
I came away with the four flavours so expect a full review very soon.
The current flavours are:
- Red Sardony – a refreshing mango and passion fruit ice cream
- Kyanite – blueberry raspberry and peppermint
- Spinel – grapefruit
- Dragon’s Egg – dragon fruit pear and orange cream – stunning!!!
It was great fun chatting with these guys and as I said do look out for the Crystal Cloudz e-liquid review coming soon.
VapeFest 2016 Highlights
There were many juices available at the event, and unfortunately I couldn’t physically try each and every one.
For those I did manage to try, here is a run down of my five stand-out e-liquids at the event.
I would also liked to have added 5 brand new mods however to be honest there didn’t seem to be any but then I may have been sun-blind!
I’d done some research beforehand and of the flavours I was most looking forward to trying the lemon meringue by Juice Sauz was one I had eagerly anticipated.
Sadly it didn’t even make my top 5 let alone ten.
So here’s my Vapefest Top 5 E-liquids – in no particular order 😉
Goblin Juice – 70% VG – DRIZLIK
An extremely moorish fusion of sweet blackcurrant a ‘secret’ fruit’ washed over with tangy yoghurt – awesome vape.
Bumble Bee E-Liquids – Lemon Refresher
A tangy refreshing lemony sweet sensation like vaping home-made lemonade – yummy.
Entourage Vape – Both of Them!!!
The Entourage team used VapeFest to launch their new e-liquids and how good are these!!!
Samurai Man is a sweet zingy lemon flavour and Ninja Man is a chocoholics dream without the heaviness – vaping gold!
Crystal Cloudz – Dragons Egg
That dragon fruit really gives this awesome e-liquid an incredible exhale – fruit lovers rejoice this is delicious!
Vape Chase – Popsicle
The cool dudes at VapeChase were doing a roaring trade and given the queues for the ice-cream was never ending a blast on their Popsicle e-liquid went down like a dream.
We’re all kids at heart and this iced lolly flavour took me back to rocket lollies – refreshing sweet and moorish!
Special mention to Spa Vapes who blew me away with Wick Liquor’s Boulevard and definitely a massive shout-out to Token Vape’s Coil Nut Flakes.
To be honest there was barely a handful of juices that I didn’t enjoy and it was great to see the very first sauce I ever tasted – Vampire Vapes – doing so well.
What a Day VapeFest 2016 Was
I had an absolutely fantastic time – made all the better by the sunshine – I was struck by just how friendly everyone was.
I could have written a ton more however I’m in dire need of after-sun cream on my head – did I mention how hot is was!!!
I’ve made some great contacts and was impressed with a very hush hush vaping product known as MEDUZA – expect to see this in a vape shop near you from September.
Exclusively distributed by Purple Brain Ltd – this looks to revolutionize in-store vape tasting – very cool piece of kit.
It was tricky getting to interview many of the vendors such was the demand on the stalls from ‘proper shoppers’ and not nosy writers like me lol.
However to a man and a woman where possible they were more than helpful and despite the heat extremely cheerful.
The mix of ages and sexes was refreshing to see and the barman on one of the beer tents was delighted with the custom:
‘Gotta love vapers’ he said ‘they’re a thirsty bunch!’
Indeed we are and judging by the turnout on day one of VapeFest 2016 – vaping far from being broken by TPD is if anything growing.
Thank you for a fantastic day – can’t wait until next year!
Vape Fest 2016 Photos