A lot of vapers have strong opinions on expensive e-juice. Because you can pick up passable, or even delicious, e-liquids for very little money, why would you pay more? What’s the use for a $30 e-liquid when you can get something you enjoy for $15? The thing is, not everyone agrees. Like those who opt for a top-shelf, expensive whisky instead of an affordable blended variety, or those who choose vintage wines instead of the standard stuff, there is a subset of vapers happy to pay more if it means getting some top-notch e-juice.
So if you class yourself as a lover of the finer things, regardless of price, how far down the expensive e-juice rabbit-hole can you go? What’s the most expensive e-liquid on the market?
We’ve tried to find out.
What We Did – Looking for Expensive 30 ml Bottles of E-Juice
The immediate problem with trying to do something like this is that there’s a lot of e-juice on the market, and no central database of all the juices with prices to use to compare them (at least not one we came across). So we’ve browsed the e-juices available on popular online vape shops such as Giant Vapes, MyVaporStore, My Freedom Smokes, DirectVapor, VaporDNA, Element Vape, Ejuices.com and other sites to find the most expensive individual liquids or line-ups on the market.
We’ve based the list on prices for a 30 ml bottle. For one, most companies offer 30 ml bottles, but the most important reason is that it’s an amount you’d realistically pick up if you liked the flavor. If the list was based on smaller quantities, you’d generally pay a bit more per ml, but if it was based on larger bottles – while you’d save more – the likelihood you’d actually buy a bottle decreases.
The Top 10 Most Expensive E-Juice Brands and Flavors
10 – Ronin – $22.50
In at 10th place, and just a touch more expensive than a multitude of other e-juices on the market – with $22 being the upper end of normal in terms of pricing – Ronin offers a line up of five juices that have been extensively tested and crafted to stand out from the crowd. The flavors include the strawberry, peach and menthol blend Banzai, the cereal, marshmallow and milk Dojo, the cereal milk, blueberry, raspberry and strawberry Emperor’s Krunch, the baked apple, vanilla bean ice cream, crumb cake crumbles and sea salted caramel Mt. Fuji and the citrus, Baja berries and blue raspberry ripple Tsunami. Although it’s still hovering around the upper end of normal, at 75 cents per ml, trying the juices is still a substantial investment.
9 – Boss Reserve by Cuttwood / Elixir Vape / Savage High VG – $24
There’s a three-way tie for 9th place, with Cuttwood’s Boss Reserve and the juices from Elixir Vape costing $24, and the juices in the Savage High VG line running you $24.13 (yes, Savage is technically more expensive, but for the purposes of covering more juices on the list, the 13 cents don’t matter so much).
Cuttwood’s Boss Reserve is their highest-end option, a honey graham cracker cereal vape topped off with nuts and banana and draped in creamy milk. The flavors from Cuttwood are all pretty expensive, but this is their top shelf flavor, taking the basic “premium juice” formula and gold-plating it. Although Boss Reserve is $24 at most, it must be added that it's currently available for $21.99 at VaporDNA.
Elixir Vape (or Epothecary Elixirs) has a range of five flavors, but isn’t an ordinary juice company. Their e-liquids are only available in 0 or 3 mg/ml of nicotine (with the exception of Calm, which is only sold nicotine-free) – but they’re loaded full of herbs and vitamins and promoted in the manner of an alternative medicine, with lofty promises of “promoting vitality” or “natural energy.” They contain things like St. John’s Wort, for example, which you’ll find peddled by herbalists as a depression treatment but won’t be recommended by a doctor. No prizes for guessing why.
Finally, Savage is a premium e-liquid mixer with a range of 8 high-VG juices on offer, including the key lime pie Untamed, the peanut butter rum Uncultivated, the fudge brownie and whipped cream Villain and others. The juices are only available in low nicotine levels (0, 3 or 6 mg/ml), but it will undoubtedly suit most vapers who are interested in high VG juices.
All of these juices will run you around 80 cents per ml, which is pretty expensive already, and we’re only towards the start of the list…
8 – Crème de la Crème by Phillip Rocke Grand Reserve – $24.99
As the name suggests, this is their top-shelf, highest-quality vape juice, and it comes in “vintages” just like a fine wine. The juice is a hazelnut cream and coffee e-juice, with the coffee flavor naturally extracted from Arabica beans and the whole thing being aged in brandy barrels for 10 weeks before bottling. This gives it some oaky and brandy notes, as well as a definitive air of class. It’s an 80 % VG blend, with only lower nicotine levels available and stocks generally limited. At 83 cents per ml, it’s definitely one to keep aside for special occasions, and comfortably ranks among the most expensive e-liquid flavors on the market.
7 – Mystique – $25.99
Mystique is a line of e-liquids that scream quality. The line-up of five flavors is designed to offer something in all five of the base tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory – and each flavor contains a minimum of 11 separate flavor notes. Every single bottle has a unique serial number, and comes with a signed note from the mixologist. Cronos is a mixture of over a dozen different candies, Asteria contains over 28 different fruits, Hyperion is a savory blend of 13 tobaccos with a dessert finish, Prometheus is a mixture of 15 desserts with cream and custard notes, and Oceanus blends six fruits with five menthols. They’re all 50/50 PG/VG blends, and are available in the standard selection of nicotine levels. The price works out to 87 cents per ml.
Ripe Vapes’ vanilla-custard-tobacco blend (VCT) is a fan favorite, and the Private Reserve version has been aged for two months in oak barrels to set it apart from the standard version. The juice, as you would expect, has a lot in common with the original, but the barrel-aging allows the juice to steep to perfection and draws out additional flavor notes. The result is a more refined flavor, and it’s adorned with a unique black and gold version of the Ripe Vapes labels to give it an added air of class. The juice costs 90 cents per ml at the cheapest, but may increase to around $1 per ml depending on where you buy it.
5 – Five Pawns – $27.50
Five Pawns, appropriately enough, takes fifth place in our list of the most expensive e-juice brands and flavors, and it’s not much a surprise to see them here. They’re one of the brands you think of first when it comes to expensive e-liquid, with their focus on prestige and selection of admittedly delicious but pretentiously-described e-juices, they’re like the archetypal expensive juice company. The original line-up of flavors includes the chocolate and mint Bowden’s Mate, the apple pie, caramel and ice cream Gambit, the peanut butter, banana cream and caramel Grandmaster, the blood orange and vanilla Queenside and the bourbon, coconut, almond, vanilla and brown sugar Castle Long. They’ve also added the sugared rhubarb and strawberry Symmetry Six and the cappuccino, light truffle cream and mocha dusted black walnut Black Flag Risen (which replaces Black Flag Fallen).
Although they’re priced at about 92 cents per ml, it must be said that the flavors are a step above much of what’s on the market. We’ve got a full review if you want more info on what Five Pawns has to offer.
4 – Black Note – $29
Black Note is a tobacco specialist mixer, and their cold macerated NET (naturally extracted tobacco) blends are produced by carefully selecting high-quality tobaccos and leaving them to steep in PG and VG for six to eight weeks. The whole process takes two to three years, including the time to grow the tobacco, and Black Note’s core ethos is summed up in a quote from Fridtjof Nansen, “The difficult is what takes a little time, the impossible is what takes a little longer.” They add that “Black Note just took a little longer.”
The original line-up consists of eight flavors, including the Havana tobacco Adagio, the Virginia blend Prelude, the burley blend Forte, the perique Bravura, the Basma tobacco Cadenza, the Cavendish blend Sonata, the Kentucky tobacco Legato and the menthol option Solo. We have a review of Black Note’s juices if you want more information, but suffice it to say that if you’re looking for the most authentic-tasting tobaccos on the market, Black Note is for you. The juices cost 97 cents per ml.
3 – Castle Long Reserve by Five Pawns – $37.50
A huge leap up in price takes us to the top-shelf e-juice from the archetypal top-shelf brand – Castle Long Reserve by Five Pawns. Released periodically in unique batches, Castle Long Reserve takes the core formula for Castle Long and ages it in an oak barrel, adding to the core flavor notes of vanilla (from both Madagascan and French varieties), toasted coconut, roasted almond, brown sugar and Kentucky bourbon with the oaky notes from the barrel. The current run – Edition V – uses two different oaks in the production (it’s called “double barrel” for that reason), and will cost you a substantial $1.25 per ml, or $37.50 for the 30 ml bottle. It’s only available in limited supplies, too, so if you want to try it you’ve got to be quick on the mark.
2 – Quartet by Black Note – $39
Quartet is Black Note’s magnum opus, a limited edition e-juice made from a beautiful version of a rare tobacco. The juice is a Syrian Latakia blend, a peppery, smoky, flavorful and spicy tobacco, made from sun-cured tobacco that’s smoked to perfection using Valonia oak, Aleppo pine, Lebanon Cedar, Greek juniper and indigenous herbs. Latakia tobacco from Syria is very hard to find, because the government banned drying crops with wood smoke after World War II, but Black Note’s batch is an authentic crop from before the war. The blend has also been specifically aged for eight years prior to going through Black Note’s steeping process. In short, this is a premium, rare and lovingly prepared tobacco, patiently and expertly turned into a top-notch e-liquid.
The resulting juice is robust and flavorful, with the smokiness coming through strongly and being accompanied by peppery notes and numerous complex undertones. We have a full review of Quartet – and the juice was the main inspiration for this post – but overall it’s an impressively authentic-tasting, multi-tonal tobacco e-juice. The price is the only real sticking-point, with the $39 bottle equating to $1.30 per ml, but for a limited edition juice that may never see production again, it’s worth considering if you’re looking for a high-end tobacco juice.
1 – Wisdom – $39.98
With how the list has been going, you may have been expecting the most expensive vape juice on the market to have been a special edition blend, but you’d be wrong. Wisdom is a unique line of juice, with the tagline “Mastering the Craft Since 2008” and quoting poet William Blake, who said “The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.” This understated air of quality carries through into the design of the juice, with the bottles coming in a wooden container and having a multi-colored label and an eye logo.
There are five juices on offer from the company in total, the lime, subtropical fruit and ginger Inteiro, the peach, pastry, cinnamon and cream Olio, the spiced rum, vanilla, clove, ginger and cinnamon Agua do Pirata, the citrus and vanilla blend Crème de Laranja and the lemon, vanilla, honey, almond and meringue Rei. The descriptions all have the sort of flowery description you’d expect from such an expensive juice, with Rei’s 25-year aged “luxurious” lemony extract being a perfect example, which is so limited in supply that only a small number of bottles of Rei will ever be produced.
It’s priced at $1.33 per ml, or $39.98 for a 30 ml bottle, putting it way ahead of other standard line-ups of juices on the market.
Conclusion – How Much Would You Pay?
The inevitable question from all of this is: how much is too much for a bottle of e-juice? How much would you pay to find your new favorite e-juice? There aren’t any easy answers, but as this list shows – and as the popularity of high-end wines and whiskies suggests – some people will always be happy to pay a little more for something that’s truly a step above. The issue of where vapers – and the vendors selling the juices should draw the line – is key, but at root it’s highly subjective: one vaper’s disappointing juice is another vaper’s ADV. One thing is for sure, though, some other juice will come and take Wisdom’s “most expensive e-juice” crown at some point.