Cactus Vapor Supply — Five Liquids Reviewed

CVS



Introduction

This morning, I’m pleased once again to bring you another review for an eliquid company local to me here in the Valley of the Sun. This time, I’ll be looking at five liquids from Cactus Vapor Supply, graciously provided for review. Cactus Vapor Supply not only manufactures two labels of their own, but also bottles liquids for another label, Big Daddy Vape.

This week, I’ll be reviewing offerings from all three lines. Today, we begin with Cactus Vapor Supply’s signature lineup:

 

  • Cactus Juice
  • Espresso
  • Icy Razz
  • Mint Chip
  • Silver Blend

 

Testing Setup & Common Characteristics

 

 

All five liquids up for review today are available in nicotine strengths of zero mg, 6 mg, 12 mg, 18 mg, and 24 mg. Additionally, each of these liquids features a ratio of 40% PG to 60% VG.

Joe Bradley of Cactus Vape Supply advised me that each of the liquids in their signature lineup is pre-steeped for between 30-45 days, meaning that they’re ready to vape as soon as you receive them.

Finally — and I’ll remind you of this at the end of the review — each of these flavors comes in at an extremely light asking price of $10 for 15ml, or about $0.66 cents per milliliter. That’s a hell of a bargain, and by the end of this review, I think you’ll understand why it’s one I won’t be passing up on.

The liquids I’m testing, in 6mg nicotine strength, were tested in a variety of atomizers powered by the Kamry K100 mechanical mod outputting an unregulated 3.7 volts of power. Additional testing was conducted concurrently by an associate of mine who used a Patriot rebuildable dripping atomizer powered by a Panzer mechanical mod also outputting an unregulated 3.7 volts.

These liquids have some common performance characteristics: the throat hit on each and every one of them is potent, even at 6mg strength, but the “feel” of that throat hit is slightly different with each flavor.

Additionally, each of these liquids is a visual vapor monster. On the exhale, it is initially all core, and it’s a big core so dense it’s opaque. After that first couple of milliseconds, though, that big core dissipates very rapidly into a huge cloud of lace that lingers for nearly half a minute. Very impressive visual vapor, and that’s not even from a fancy cloud-chasing build.

This seems to be a signature of Valley liquids — both Friend or Faux and EMS Vapes also made strong showings in this arena. What this tells me is that the Valley has a strong cloud chasing contingent. Digression aside, I’ll be focusing primarily on flavor carriage when I describe each flavor’s vapor output.

 

Presentation

The bottling of Cactus Vapor Supply liquids is professional but not flashy. Each liquid arrives in a clear glass bottle, which is tamper-proofed by a shrink-wrap cellophane collar. The caps are child-resistant and incorporate a pipette (or “dripper”) mechanism for ease in dispensing the liquid to your atomizer of choice.

The labeling is also good, with one exception that I’ll get to in a moment. Front and center on the label is Cactus Vapor Supply’s logo (seen above). It’s directly beneath that logo that we run into the one element I have to object to:

The PG/VG ratio is listed beneath the company logo — which is great — but it is written in white text on a green rectangular inset — which is not great. Due to the extremely small size of the text, and the color choices of white text on a medium-light green background, this particular piece of information is very close to unreadable for all but those with extremely acute eyesight — and even then it has to be under the most optimal of lighting conditions.

This is something that can — and I hope will — be fixed easily enough, by removing the green rectangular inset and changing this information to slightly larger black text.

Moving on! Rotating the bottle clockwise reveals the name of the liquid in the bottle as well as a small icon individualized to each specific flavor. For example, “Cactus Juice” bears an icon of a glass with a frosty tropical beverage inside.

Rotating the bottle back the other way, to the opposite margin of the label, reveals a series of checkboxes, with your nicotine selection checked. Additionally, there appears a warning regarding the risks of nicotine to children and pets; below that, a warning against underage consumption.

Overall, a very professional and pleasing presentation is what I see here. Let’s move on to the individual liquids.

 

(Extry! Extry! Joe Bradley has just informed me that he also thought of the same fix for the label that I laid out just a little way back — and those fixes are already at the printers!)

 

Cactus Juice

Cactus Vapor Supply says: “It’s our special juice!!! We just can’t seem to put this blend of pineapple, Valencia orange and coconut away. Seriously, it’s so good! What are you waiting for?”

 

Appearance

The hue of Cactus Juice is one I can only describe as mostly clear with an almost undetectable strawberry tint. You’ll want to keep a hawk eye on your fill line when dispensing this liquid into clearomizers.

This liquid is somewhat cloudy, but without any patches or particles, which leads me to believe that any cloudiness results from the high-VG content. Also speaking to the high-VG content is the rotational test, which has the liquid maintaining a solid, even horizon which leaves a strong but relatively smooth ripple pattern in its wake.

 

Nose

The nose on Cactus Juice is potent. Maybe that’s simply in comparison to most liquids I’ve been trying from national rather than local vendors — most stuff seems to have a very subtle, hard to read nose on it. Not this stuff.

Everything the description tells us to expect is right there, in my face. The pineapple, the orange (though I’m not sure I could tell you a Valencia orange from Mandarin orange if my life depended on it), and even the Coconut, which has always been an incredibly difficult flavor component for me to detect, all of them are right there, loud and clear.

 

Vapor

Commensurate with that big, brassy scent, flavor carriage in this vapor is outstandingly potent. You won’t have to chain vape this for twenty minutes to impart a tropical citrus scent to your environment, and as most of us know, that has an up-side and a down-side.

If you like the flavor and scent of this liquid, and if you’re vaping it in your own private space, you’re going to love the way the scent fills a room and lingers for about five minutes after you’ve finished vaping it.

On the other hand, if you’re vaping someplace you shouldn’t oughta be vaping, you are going to get noticed if you’re vaping this. On the other hand, because this is the pure scent of citrus and coconut, the odds that anyone is going to complain about it are slim to nil.

 

Throat Hit

The throat hit on Cactus Juice, as with all four of its siblings, is outstanding, not least of all because it’s in spite of a VG-leaning mixture and a mere 6mg of nicotine per ml. But, as I said in the Common Characteristics section above, the flavor itself has a hand in that.

I’ve found, and this liquid reinforces my finding, that there are three flavor profiles that can enhance even a sub-standard throat hit: Mint/menthol, Citrus, and Cinnamon (of the Red Hots type, not the bakery type.)

What I’m getting here, though, is not a sub-par-but-enhanced throat hit. The throat hit here is a solid thump, if not a crisp smack, at the back of the throat. Very, very satisfying.

 

Flavor

The flavor here is precisely in keeping with the nose — big, bold, vivid pineapple and orange, evenly balanced, with an undertone of coconut that comes on the finish more so than in the body.

 

Recommendation

Overall, this is a very, very satisfying summer-time vape. I don’t know about you, but I will definitely have this on hand for the remainder of the summer.

 

Espresso

Cactus Vapor Supply says: “A splash of coffee, vanilla cream and dark chocolate offer an eye opening moment of pleasure that delights the palate.”

 

Appearance

In hue, Espresso is close to peach, so dispensing this liquid is a piece of cake and won’t strain your eyes. Rotational and shake tests reveal no surprises.

 

Nose

The nose here is in keeping with the description of this liquid, but not with the name. This is definitely coffee with cream, not the hardcore bitterness of Espresso.

 

Vapor

Flavor carriage here is quite potent but does fade quickly, lingering only as a barely-perceptible coffee note. This could easily be vaped in a coffee shop without even being detected. (Bear in mind, I’m not advising you to break any establishment’s rules on vaping.)

 

Throat Hit

The flavor of coffee and cream really lends the throat hit of this liquid a sensation of warmth that, while it may or may not be an illusion depending on the atomizing device you’re using, is very pleasant and contributes well to that wake-up feeling this vape provides overall.

 

Flavor

Once again, we have a liquid the flavor of which is well telegraphed by the nose. And yet, the flavor comes through as a beautiful morning wake-up vape. On the right setup, the dark roast coffee, sweet cream, and that hint of dark chocolate hits the taste buds, then the throat, warm and strong.

 

 

Recommendation

It’s hard to do coffee wrong, but it’s equally hard to do it really, really well. With this flavor, Cactus Vapor Supply does it really, really well. This is another one I’ll be keeping on hand, myself, and I can’t think of any reason why any vaper who is also a coffee lover wouldn’t want to do the same.

 

Icy Razz

Cactus Vapor Supply says: “It’s so good! Where do we start? A splash of menthol a smidgen of mint and a big ol’ heap of raspberry make this flavor bad-azz!”

 

Appearance

Icy Razz is as clear as glass — you will definitely want to watch your fill line closely in clearomizers with this one.

 

Nose

The nose on Icy Razz, I hate to say it, just isn’t my thing, which told me early on that, sadly, the flavor probably wasn’t going to be, either. Now, what I’m about to say with this liquid should not be taken as negative when it comes to the quality of the liquid or the skill of the mixologists who created it:

It’s simply this particular combination of flavors — mint and raspberry — that just doesn’t work out for me. In my brain, they intersect at the word ‘medicinal.’ That’s not the part of my brain that I like to have light up when I inhale the nose of a liquid.

 

Vapor

The visual output of this vape is equal to that of its peers, so let’s talk about the flavor carriage: Also potent, as with its siblings, but the flavor that’s being carried is what makes the difference:

And this is where this vape surprised me — while the nose is medicinal, it may be so purely due to its potency. When it’s coming through as the lingering scent left by vapor, it’s more… relaxed. Not as bad. And because there’s no tobacco component to it, you’re unlikely to hear a solitary complaint from nonsmokers.

 

Throat Hit

As mentioned, mint/menthol vapes tend to have the most pronounced throat hits. Icy Razz is no exception to the rule on that score. The throat hit is hard, abrupt, and really delivers that cooling sensation that people really, in my opinion, tend to gravitate toward menthol vapes for.

 

Flavor

And then we get to the flavor of Icy Razz. I hate to be negative in a review, but when I have to be, I have to be. Subjectively, I just don’t like the combination of menthol and raspberry. That’s just me — it isn’t a fusion I like.

With that said, Cactus Vapor Supply has done a really excellent job of blending it. That puts me in a weird position, as a reviewer — it’s like being a taste tester and someone hands you a synthetically created replication of a food you really hate. How do you react to that?

“Here, try this blood orange flavor I created!”

“I hate blood orange!”

“Okay, well just try this and tell me what you think.”

*taste* “Ugh! Oh, augh! Oh, my god, I hate this!”

“So I did it right, then?”

“Yes! That’s absolutely authentic! Gah! Ugh!”

 

That’s sort of the position I’m in with the flavor on this one, if that makes any sense. Cactus Vapor Supply has done an absolutely masterful job… of replicating a flavor that, it turns out, I just really do not like.

But if menthol and raspberry is a flavor combination you do like, this just might be your next all-day vape.

 

Recommendation

I can’t really recommend or disrecommend this one. I can’t recommend it because this isn’t a flavor combination I am even remotely fond of. I can’t disrecommend it because it is, in fact, very well executed. This is one that you, Dear Reader, are just going to have to try for yourself if menthol and raspberry appeals to you. And at $10 for a 15ml, the potential reward far outweighs the risk.

 

Mint Chip

Cactus Vapor Supply says: “Peppermint, vanilla cream and dark chocolate, come together to make this delicious treat. We should include free ice cream with this one…..”

 

Appearance

Of the five liquids being reviewed today, Mint Chip is the darkest in hue; even at that, it’s only a “shiny new penny” copper. Very light, but shouldn’t give you any trouble while filling a clearomizer with it.

 

Nose

The nose of Mint Chip starts to tell me that something very rare and very pleasant is up with this mint/chocolate chip fusion. On most renditions of this flavor combination — for example, Five Pawns’ “Bowden’s Mate” — the mint just drowns the chocolate, so much so that you have to almost take their word for it when they say there’s chocolate in there.

But on the nose of Mint Chip, the mint only barely edges out the chocolate and the vanilla, leaving them easily detectable on the nose. I like where this one is going.

 

Vapor

Because of how well blended each of the three flavor components on this vape are, none of them dominates in the flavor carriage of the vapor itself. Owing to that, said flavor carriage is actually quite minimal, lingering only as a fresh, sweet scent that can’t quite be identified for just a matter of minutes even after heavy vaping.

 

Throat Hit

Mint Chip brings to the table one of the smoothest throat hits of the lineup, thanks to the mild cooling effect of the mint and the gentleness of the sweet components. Don’t get me wrong — you definitely feel the throat hit on this one, just as with all the others. It’s just soft and smooth. Definitely an all-day vape candidate.

 

Flavor

Mmmm, that flavor. The nose told me I was gonna like this one, and the nose didn’t lie. On the inhale, it’s softly cooling mint and dark, rich chocolate. The exhale is where the vanilla cream comes out from the background and speaks more clearly alongside the dark chocolate, while the mint remains behind to cool the throat.

 

Recommendation

One of my least favorite times to vape is after I’ve just sat down at my desk in the morning, because my throat tends to feel a little irritated from the hardcore pipe tobacco I like to vape at night.

So my two favorite kinds of morning vape are coffee with cream… and now Mint Chip. It’s just so soft and smooth on the throat hit, and that mint, chocolate and vanilla go so well with that first cup of coffee in the morning, that I find myself dripping this one for that still-groggy-but-coming-around time every morning.

 

Silver Blend

Cactus Vapor Supply says: “A warm and creamy tobacco blend that is sure to make you want more. Blended with a bit of caramel and a hint of vanilla cream.”

 

(Author’s note: Without wanting to give too much away too soon, this is the one I’ve been vaping steadily ever since I got these. While making notes after having tested each of the other flavors, this is the one I vaped on between “test runs.” It’s the one I’ve been vaping while I do the layout and editing pass on this entire document.)

 

Appearance

The hue of Silver Blend is medium gold, which makes it easy enough to dispense into a clearomizer.

 

Nose

The nose speaks of that classic RY4 profile the description promises — a light, sweet tobacco experience that’s mellow enough for an all day vape.

 

Vapor

The flavor carriage of Silver Blend is unlikely to draw any complaints from nonsmokers, even if they do detect the tobacco basis of what they’re smelling. The sweet side of the scent can even be mistaken for a bakery flavor by nonsmokers who haven’t been exposed to it before, due to its gentle presence and quick dissipation.

 

Throat Hit

Of the five of these flavors I’ve tried, only Silver Blend comes close to Mint Chip for gentleness in the throat hit — yet its sensation is a gentle thump where Mint Chip’s is a firm caress. Like Mint Chip, it’s gentle enough to be your first vape of the day.

 

Flavor

Following on from that last thought: “…but its robust yet sweetened tobacco profile means the flavor is good all day long.”

And it really is. Silver Blend is, bar none, one of the best synthetic tobaccos I’ve tried — and I’m stacking it against industry heavy hitters like Halo and Johnson Creek. And here in a second, I’m going to tell you why that actually puts this one ahead of that rather illustrious pack…

 

Recommendation

It’s because, while delivering a tobacco flavor as good as the big names, Cactus Vapor Supply is doing it for 2/3rds their asking prices, at most.

 

Recommendation & Conclusion

My overall recommendation for this line of liquids is: Get you some! These flavors are all extremely well blended and well executed, and for the very reasonable asking price, you just can’t go wrong.

As for where to get them: If you’re here in the Phoenix metro area, you can get them retail at 

 

Big Daddy Vape in Gilbert: 18256 E. Williams Field Rd., #3

Gilbert, 85295 (At the north west corner of Williams field and power) 

 

And 

 

Big Daddy Vape in Mesa: 4446 E. University, #3

Mesa, AZ 85205 (At the North East corner of University and Greenfield)

 

Online sales are coming within the next couple of months, even as retail sales expand to new stores. So I’ll be keeping an eye out, and will keep you up to date.

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