I've had a few people ask me ( once they find out I have a Vape Blog ), "So....how do you go about reviewing them there E-liquids then?"
A simple question, but when I really think about it, it's actually a very good question indeed. So I thought I'd put together my ruminations on what makes for a good review and what to avoid, aimed at anyone who is looking to create their own blog, or even just posting a small review for a juice they've just bought on an e-liquid website.
1) ENSURE STEEP TIMES HAVE BEEN OBSERVED!
Ready mixed E liquids in shortfills etc often come ready steeped. You're good to go... onto step 2!
BUT, most one-shot concentrates need days or even weeks to steep before you get to pass judgement on them.
If the manufacturer suggests a two weeks steep, then give it two weeks. Flavours DO change in the steep ( initially by principle of Brownian Motion taking effect over time, allowing all components to mix and completely blend ) and then by maturation and oxidisation ( similar to wine in a barrel or bottle )
If in doubt, go with -
Fruity / menthol - 2-7 days
Cakes - 2 weeks
Creams - 3 Weeks
Custards / Tobacco - 4 Weeks
Stow it away somewhere dark and cool ( a sock drawer for example! ) and wait for the magic to happen.
If you shake, vape then review a custard oneshot, you are likely going to be doing the creator a huge disservice. Respect the juice. STEEP!
2) CLEAN COILS AND WICKS
Yup, it's a bind. But for obvious reasons, to accurately gauge the flavours and nuances of a juice, it's gotta be on clean wick and coil in a clean RDA/RTA/RDTA. Every time you change flavours. Squonking a vanilla custard you're reviewing onto an RDA that still has your favourite Grape and Menthol mix saturated into the wick is just asking for trouble!
Oh, and try and use several different atomisers if you can. It's surprising what difference facets of a juice can be revealed, depending on setups and coil types.
3) TASTE, RE-TASTE and BE TRUE TO YOUR TASTE-BUDS
Sample the e liquid you are reviewing over several days, ideally a week or so. It'll give you that chance to get used to the key flavours in there, but also allow you to start to notice any subtle notes in there too. And try not to be led by what it is supposed to taste like! Try and ignore the flowery flavour descriptions on their packaging. Go with your own senses. If you taste liquorice in a Jam Roly Poly ( Yup I once did ) then that's what you have to go with.
4) BE HONEST
When writing the review, be as honest as you can. I know it's hard to resist bigging-up your favourite manufacturer, or conversely slating a huge manufacture because it's "cool 'cos the other kids do", but at the end of the day you shouldn't be misleading. Enthusiasm is great. Lies will just catch up with you eventually and bite you on the arse. In fact I've had several one-shot companies praise my critical feedback... they really do appreciate knowing what people truly think, and often do want to improve on their own creations based on real-world taste testing.
Basically, I try to be positively critical. I rarely "lay-into" a manufacturer, trashing their work. Most of the time I describe what I taste and that's that. That's what I'm here to do. My own personal preference for the juice is more reflected in a little "Smiley" rating I give at the end. Also, If anything, I try not to review flavours I don't like. What's the point? I'd be biased from the outset, and I'd not be giving a useful review to those that do like the flavours I personally dislike.
Remember taste is VERY subjective.
5) WRITE WITH YOUR OWN FLAIR
Be wordy. Be Funny. Be Succinct. Just be you! People who know me and read my blog say they enjoy it because I write how I speak in "Real Life". Find your own style and enjoy yourself.
6) YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY REVIEWER OUT THERE!
Don't feel the pressure to be 'right', and don't be upset or offended if every now and then someone doesn't agree with what you think.
When I research something I want to buy, I will read several reviews. It's just common sense. I get a consensus. Others should really do the same! I always assume I am going to be just one of a handful of reviewers they will check out before committing money to a purchase. If not, then that's their short-sightedness, not yours!
So get those keyboard fingers tapping, and happy reviewing!