Are they worth picking up?
The new and improved juices from Halo Vapour Co. keep all of the positives from the old recipes, but adjust the PG/VG ratio to be more in line with vapers’ preferences and add a touch more refinement and depth to the flavors that generally works well.
The juices I tried were all enjoyable – with Cherry Bakewell being especially delicious – but they admittedly fall short of some of the big-name “premium” juice brands when it comes to multi-tonal, complex flavor combinations. The result is still excellent, though, and Halo isn’t really competing with the Space Jam’s and Five Pawns’ of the vaping world: they’re for vapers wanting top-quality juice without paying the premium for pretentiousness.
They’re perfect for just-switching smokers or vapers who just want affordable, high-quality juice without the nonsense.
Good e-juice is hard to find. There are tons of e-juice companies peddling cut-price liquids and even more promising “premium” juice with the help of pretentious flavor descriptions and inflated price tags. Both of these strategies fall down spectacularly flat in most cases. What many vapers want are some no-nonsense e-liquids that taste delicious without leaving a big dent in their bank balance. UK-based E-Cigarette Direct aims to offer just that: delicious flavors without excess pomp and ceremony and all for an excellent price.
Their Halo brand has been a mainstay of the UK vaping industry since its infancy, having gotten started in 2008, and they’ve gained a loyal following of vapers for both their range of starter kits, tanks and other hardware, as well as their wide selection of e-liquids.
They’ve recently updated their image – trading the orange-and-white color scheme for a sleek, black design and improving the logo – and re-formulated many of their e-juice flavors, increasing the VG content and tweaking the flavors. The price is still great, though: you can pick up a 10 ml bottle for £3.99 (around $5.70).
We’ve tried out a few of the juices for our Halo Vapour Co. e-juice review to see if they truly offer amazing taste without the pretentiousness and without the premium price tag.
Packaging and Design
The updated design of the Halo juices is really excellent. Previously, the design was functional and simple, but was a little lacking on the style front, but the new labels maintain the same professional simplicity while boosting visual appeal. The black labels bear the new, cursive “Halo” logo (with the “Vapour Co.” part underneath) in white and add a touch of color with the juice’s name below. The colors are appropriate for the flavor, so Manic Mango is in orange, Vanilla Ice Cream is white and Cherry Bakewell is pink. This gives the design a sense of cohesion while still keeping the individual flavors distinct from each other at a glance.
Of course, all of the labels include the expected set of warnings, and the nicotine level is clearly displayed below the flavor’s name. They also have a unique batch number and a best before date, and on the website each juice has a viewable test report confirming the absence of diacetyl, acetyl propionyl and acetoin, as well as some other undesirables.
The new bottles from Halo Vapour Co. are still plastic, but come with the sort of heavy-duty child-proof caps European vapers are going to start seeing everywhere. The child-proof caps are high-quality without being hard to open when you know what you’re doing, and the dripper spouts underneath work as expected.
Overall, it’s a good offering on this front from Halo, with excellent design and solid bottles, with great quality control to boot.
The new formulations of Halo’s juices come in a 60/40 PG/VG ratio, shifting the balance more towards the VG end of the spectrum and bringing the company’s offerings closer in line with the trends in the industry. The ratio offers a great balance between vapor production and throat hit, offering a substantial amount of vapor while still giving a solid throat hit with each puff. The consistency is still fairly thin too, so there are no problems whatsoever with wicking.
The juices from Halo are available in five nicotine levels: 0, 6, 12, 18 and 24 mg/ml. This offers plenty of options for everyone from long-term vapers to just-switching smokers, so there are no major complaints here. 3 mg/ml options are becoming more common, but for most vapers, the absence of this level won’t be an issue at all.
Halo Vapour Co. Flavors
Cherry Bakewell – Rating 4.5/5
Accuracy: This is a juice styled after the marzipan-infused, icing-covered and cherry-topped bun it takes its name from, and the execution of the intended flavor is spot on. The sweet marzipan flavor comes through immediately, with a sweet, amaretto-like edge hitting you right away and being followed up by notes of cherry that come through strongly on the exhale. If you’ve ever tried a cherry bakewell, you know exactly what you’re getting here: it’s an amazingly accurate replication.
Overall: With a constant thread of sweetness, the well-captured almond of the marzipan and the mouth-watering juiciness of the cherry, this is an excellent juice, overall. Every element is well-balanced and the tastes blend together perfectly: nothing is overpowering and the sweetness just reaches the optimum level. The marzipan does come with a slightly alcohol-y taste, but it works well in terms of accuracy and it’s not so overwhelming as to ruin the flavor. It’s an all-day vape for me, and my favorite from Halo Vapour Co., evoking childhood memories and being unbeatably delicious at the same time.
Manic Mango – Rating 4/5
Accuracy: This is described as a mellow, smooth and creamy mango flavor, without the sharpness of many fruity liquids. The mango comes through clearly, with an authentic flavor with all the sharper edges pleasingly rounded out, leaving a soft, sweet fruity flavor. There is a slight chemical taste to the fruit, and it doesn’t gel with the mix quite as well as the alcohol-like tones in the Cherry Bakewell, but it’s not overpowering. The creaminess isn’t easy to detect, but there’s a very gentle, velvety undercurrent to the flavor throughout your draw.
Overall: This is a fantastic fruity juice, on the whole, packing enough of the genuine taste of the fruit to remain delicious even when you’re vaping it for a long time, but with the rounded edges giving it a smooth quality and upping it’s all-day vape potential. It could be better if the cream was dialed up a little more in the mix and the chemical element reduced, but as it stands it’s still a very enjoyable juice. If you’re a fan of tropical fruits, it’s definitely one to try.
Vanilla Ice Cream – Rating 4/5
Accuracy: This is a self-explanatory juice flavor, with notes of a biscuit-y wafer topping it off. The execution is excellent, with the vanilla hitting you at the start of your draw – particularly in the nose – and being bathed in the rich, smooth sweetness of the ice cream throughout. The wafer is subtle, and blends in with the vanilla, but it’s detectable towards the start of your puff and on the exhale, riding in gently on top of the mix. In short, the flavor matches the description well here.
Overall: There’s really nothing to dislike about this juice. The vanilla is well-executed and soft in flavor, the sweetness and creaminess of the ice cream backs it up beautifully and the notes of wafer pull the whole thing together nicely. The subtlety of the flavor is both a plus-point and a bit of a negative, though: it keeps the juice pleasant to vape and prevents it from becoming sickly over time, but in some ways the flavor could also do with just a little more sweetness. As it stands, it’s a flavor you’ll happily vape your way through a bottle of, but not one you’ll be enthusiastically recommending to other vapers. A touch of caramel or maple syrup would really take it to the next level, at least for sweet-toothed vapers like me.
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