Halo Short Fill E-Liquid Review
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Price:£14.99 / $19
- Four delicious flavors: tobacco, menthol, berry and vanilla custard
- All 70/30 (VG/PG)
- Short-fills so you can buy bigger bottles within the EU
- Cream Custard in particular is awesome
- Gorilla bottles are child-proof and easy to fill with
- Priced at £14.99 each (about $19)
- Not many flavors available in short-fill form
- Tobacco Gold is tasty but the base tobacco flavor is a bit generic.
- You’ll need to buy nicotine from outside the EU to mix to more than 3 mg/ml
Halo Short Fill E-Liquid Review
E-Cigarette Direct’s Halo brand has been around since the very early days of the vaping industry – back in 2008 – and they’ve been putting out great devices and e-liquids from the beginning. Since the TPD took effect in Europe, you can only sell big bottles of e-juice within the EU if they’re nicotine-free, with 10 ml being the maximum size for nicotine-containing juice. However, “short fill” e-liquid has effectively solved that issue, offering 50 ml of nicotine-free e-liquid in 60 ml bottles so you can fill it up with a “nicotine shot” (a 10 ml bottle of 18 mg/ml) and still comply with the regulations. Halo offers 10 ml bottles of all its juices, but they’ve chosen four flavors to offer in short fill form to meet the needs of vapers. But how are the juices? Are they worth the £14.99 price tag? We’ve taste-tested the juices for our Halo Short Fill E-liquid review to find out.
Packaging and Design
Halo’s Short Fill range has effectively the same design as their standard juices, with an all-black label beside the “Halo Vapour Co” logo on the front, “Short fill” written underneath and some basic information like the name of the flavor, the nicotine level and the size. They also feature the standard set of warnings and an ingredient listing on the back. The design sounds pretty simple – and in a way it is – but the appearance is really stylish and the whole thing works really well.
The bottles themselves are Gorilla bottles, tall, cylindrical plastic offerings with child-proof caps and long, thin spouts that are perfect for dripping and refilling tanks. There isn’t much to add about the bottles themselves because Gorilla bottles are quickly becoming the standard in the industry, and for good reason: they look cool, hold a lot of juice and work just as you’d want. The bottles from Halo are shipped out in individual boxes, which don’t do much practically but do add to the high-end feel portrayed by the design.
Since they’re short-fill e-liquids, they’re only sold in 0 mg of nicotine, and you have to add nicotine to bring them up to your desired level. If you’re in the EU and stuck with nicotine shots, this means you’ll be able to bring it up to 3 mg/ml. However, if you’re outside the EU or are willing to order stronger nicotine e-juice from outside, then you can pretty much mix it to whatever nicotine level you want.
The e-juices in the Halo Short Fill line have a fixed 70/30 VG/PG ratio. This means you don’t have a choice of ratio, but realistically, 70/30 is the standard for the industry now, and fits most vapers’ purposes. Unless you’re using a fairly basic tank or really like the scratchy, harsh PG throat hit, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with the nice balance of clouds and throat hit they offer.
Halo Short Fill E-Liquid Review – The Flavors
Tobacco Gold – Rating 3.5/5
Accuracy: This is described as a “fresh and slightly sweet tobacco rounded off with a subtle hint of citrus fruits,” separating it from a standard offering immediately. The result is definitely intriguing. On the most basic level, you have a fairly standard tobacco e-juice flavor – one that’s not quite in line with real tobacco but has enough of the flavor that you know what it’s supposed to be. The sweetness is probably the overriding element, though, adding a layer to the tobacco that helps it go down easier and gives just a hint of a bakery-type flavor. The citrus is definitely subtle but you do pick it up, and it fits in well with the unique flavor of the juice.
Overall: Tobacco Gold is a hard flavor to rate. On the one hand, the fairly generic tobacco taste isn’t particularly mind-blowing, and in some ways it reminds you of the poor-quality tobaccos that were common when vaping first got started. But on the other hand, the sweetness and citrus notes that come through with the tobacco make it strangely enjoyable, and you find yourself quickly going back for another puff as the unique aftertaste lingers in your mouth. It’s not the best in the line-up, but it’s definitely worth trying if you want an interesting take on tobacco e-juice.
Menthol Blend – Rating 4/5
Accuracy: This is described as being like Halo’s Menthol Blast – which is quite a powerful menthol offering – with a lighter and sweeter finish. The punch from the menthol is still there, but it is definitely a lighter menthol offering. It won’t absolutely blow your head off, but you won’t have any doubts about what you’re vaping. The menthol itself is very clean and well-captured, and there is definitely a hint of sweetness and lightness to help it go down smoothly.
Overall: Menthol Blend is a great option for people used to smoking menthol cigarettes. It might not be quite as punchy as a fresh menthol smoke, but you still get a cooling sensation at the back of your throat and it won’t be difficult to adjust to. The sweetness is what really takes the juice to the next level from a vaper’s perspective – I used to smoke menthols, but that was a long time ago now – it helps the juice go down easily and keeps you coming back for more.
Forest Berry – Rating 4/5
Accuracy: This is described as a “medley of sweet purple berries,” and even though that’s a fairly broad target it does hit the mark really well. The berry flavor is unmistakable, coming through strongly throughout your draw and offering a combination of light, fruity sweetness and a slightly tart bite. While I can’t personally pick out any individual berries from the blend, the taste is still very well-captured and authentic – you definitely get what you’re looking for from the flavor.
Overall: This is a delicious e-juice. The fruit is well-captured and the flavor is pretty much impossible to dislike. The subtlety of the sweetness to the flavor is its main draw: its understated nature adds to the realism of the flavor and means it’s a juice you can happily vape all day. The main criticism I’d have of this juice is that it’s fairly straightforward – it’s fruit and nothing else – but when it’s pulled off this well that doesn’t even matter.
Cream Custard – Rating 4.5/5
Accuracy: This is a creamy vanilla custard e-juice, and the only dessert offering in the line-up of four short-fills. The juice does a great job of capturing the intended flavor. The custard dominates the flavor on the inhale – and it’s impressively realistic too – and the vanilla really shines through on the exhale, with the pleasant flavor still playing on your tastebuds for a few seconds after your draw. The custard is quite light and manages to be realistic without developing an unpleasant, eggy undertone.
Overall: This is my favorite of the bunch from Halo: the flavor is rich and sweet, but has enough character and nuance to keep you interested after you’ve been vaping it for a while. The custard is well executed without being overpowering, and the vanilla on the exhale adds another dimension to the taste. It’s definitely the sweetest of all the options in the short-fill line, and even though they’ve only included one dessert option they’ve done a great job with it.