Four From AlternateCig
Four From AlternateCig
This review has been longer than I had intended in coming. Part of that is that I originally wrote it over a month ago, thought I’d posted it (I didn’t) and then was reminded of it and hoped I hadn’t lost it (I did).
Fortunately, I still had enough left of these liquids, and still had my initial tasting notes from the first time I composed this review, to redo it. So here we go! These liquids were provided for the purpose of review by James over at Vape-Resource.com.
AlternateCig sent me four liquids for review: two from their standard line, New York Cheesecake and Pleasant Pineapple, and two from their Vapors Anonymous line, 12 Steps and Relapse.
Based on quality, presentation, and price, I would describe these as budget eliquids — and that is by no means a knock. They are perfectly satisfactory offerings that give perfectly satisfactory performance at incredibly wallet friendly price points. But they’re by no means premium offerings, nor is there any kind of pretense on the part of AlternateCig to that effect.
These are, and are presented in every way as being, budget liquids with performance that rises far above their price point and placement. All four of these liquids were tested in the Infinite CLT Version 2 sporting a dual coil build reading at 0.7 ohms, powered at 35 watts by the Cloupor ZNA 50. Let us now dive in.
The presentation on all four of these liquids differs only in branding on the parts of two of them, and that difference in branding is so minimal as to be worth noting but not worth differentiating them too much.
All four liquids are presented in 10ml PET bottles with child-resistant caps. The differences between the house line and the Vapors Anonymous line are as follows:
The house line features an integrated dripper which is comparatively short and round-tipped, with a label in green and gold which features a green-and-gold label sporting an oval white-inset logo bearing the legend “ACig.”
The Vapors Anonymous line features an integrated dripper which is comparably longer and more pointed, which features a greenish-gold label likewise sporting an inset oval, but in this case a man’s shirt and tie in black and white occupy the oval.
Information on either version of the label is not thorough but is minimally adequate. This includes the name of the lineup from which the flavor comes, the name of the flavor itself, the nicotine strength, and a brief list of ingredients along with the nicotine exposure warning, the last two items in rather fine print.
In all, the presentation here is solid but unexceptional.
As is usually the case with multiple liquids from the same line or the same vendor, these four liquids have certain characteristics in common; primarily, visual vapor production, presence and persistence in the flavor carriage of the vapor, and throat hit.
All four produce above-part visual vapor output for budget-class eliquids, on par with premium brands like Johnson Creek and Rocket Fuel Vapes. The vapor is dense and full, though not overly big bodied. The vapor does carry the flavor into the room, but not with much potency and not for very long; this, in combination with the non-tobacco flavor profiles on offer, means that you could vape these liquids in the presence of nonsmokers without much worry of complaints.
While the PG/VG ratios of these eliquids aren’t disclosed, the visual vapor balanced against the throat hit leads me to guess that they rest anywhere between 50/50 and 60/40 favoring PG, because the throat hit is surprisingly solid for that much visual vapor production. It comes on with a pleasantly linear progression which allows the user to “dial in” the preferred level of throat hit by taking a shorter or longer hit, though I find that depending on the airflow of your AD, it can further be adjusted for either mouth to lung or straight lung hits, depending on your personal preference.
AlternateCig describes 12 Steps thus: Take those 12 steps. The first step may be the hardest. Accept a higher power into your life and let the vape choose you. 12 steps is a proven successful e liquid to feed your vaping needs.
Flavor: Peanut butter and Banana taste with hints of delicious milky horchata.
When I crack the lid on 12 Steps, I do get banana, but what I get with it is… well, not peanut butter, but hazelnut. The description actually surprised me on that score. Nevertheless, while I get hazelnut and banana rather than peanut butter and banana, it’s an amazingly pleasant combination, and my surprise was, if anything, that they hadn’t actually intended to nail that combination but were going for something else.
On the inhale, I get a sweetened hazelnut body, from the throat hit on into the exhale, the banana is more distinct as the full character of that initial sweetness blossoms and resolves through the medium finish. Overall, a very flavorful vape, whether it strictly matches its description or not.
Of Relapse, AlternateCig says: Vapors Anonymous encourages your vaping. We have given the title to this e liquid ‘Relapse’ as a reminder that vaping is a better life alternative. Live in the moment and enjoy yourself. Don’t relapse, just vape.
Flavor: passionfrut with delicious grapefrut taste.
Now, I’m by no means an expert on passionfruit flavored… anything, really. It’s not a flavor I have extensive experience with in any form. Grapefruit, though, now that’s a flavor I know and love. So on reading the description, my interest was piqued.
What I hate to tell you is this: I can’t see myself being a big fan of Relapse. Now, it could be the production technique behind this one, or it could be that the flavor combination is just not my cup of tea.
The nose on this one is, to me, less reminiscent of fruit and more reminiscent of fruit-scented dishwashing detergent. And again, I don’t know concretely why that is. I have another fruit flavor coming up in this very review where that effect wasn’t present, so it could be the combination of these two flavors, specifically.
On the other hand, the flavor — as opposed to the nose — is actually really good. The inhale gives me a bright and tangy fruit flavor which, honestly, I’m forced to merely guess is passionfruit — bordered by that sharp, almost-bitter bite of grapefruit, which really opens up on the exhale. So the flavor is awesome — there’s just a detergent-like astringency in the nose of this one that I found off-putting.
New York Cheesecake
Of New York Cheesecake, AlternateCig has this to say: Authentic creamy Chessecake taste from the streets of New York.
Being my most critical for just a moment, I would suggest that, while AlternateCig may be just a touch shaky on their fruit flavors, they absolutely nail desserts, and their New York Cheesecake is proof positive on that score.
From the nose through the last wisp of the exhale, this stuff is creamy, rich, and absolutely delicious. I’ve had perhaps half a dozen iterations of cheesecake flavors over the years, and this one stands shoulder to shoulder with offerings at twice the price.
On the subject of Pleasant Pineapple, AlternateCig relates the following description: A real pineapple taste.
That’s not a lot of description, but there’s not really much call for elaboration; this is as simple as it is well executed; it’s pineapple — plain, simple, nothing but. And this is what I was foreshadowing with my note on the nose of Relapse: the pineapple on the nose here is perfectly authentic and perfectly organic, without a hint of synthetic or astringent character.
The flavor is entirely one note — all pineapple from start to finish. No complexity, no subtlety — and neither is needed. This is a perfectly good, perfectly basic pineapple vape, perfectly executed.
Pricing and Availability
Now here’s where things get really good. As mentioned up front, these are budget eliquids. That’s how they’re presented, but more importantly, it’s how they’re priced. They’re available in nicotine strengths of 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, 18mg, and 24mg. Available sizes are 10ml ($4.95) and 30ml ($10.93) plus shipping.
Now, at just under fifty cents a ml for the 10ml bottle or around 36 cents a ml for the 30ml, those are some seriously budget-friendly prices.
Recommendation and Conclusion
Combine those very, very wallet-friendly prices with pocket-friendly PET bottling and flavors that are very well executed, and what you’re looking at is a vendor whose offerings are almost too good not to have on hand anywhere and everywhere you go.
Are these the liquids you’d get all indulgent and luxurious with? Nah. But not every vape has to be, do they? When you want to stock up on a really nicely done -but-still-everyday stash of juice that tastes great and satisfies just as well as the higher-priced stuff, I think you’ve got a winner right here.
You can scope out the four offerings reviewed here, along with a dozen and a half more, at AlternateCig’s site.
Thanks for reading, and as always: Do good work, and be good to yourselves and each other.