Husband and wife team of Andy Schuelein and Jennifer Zeares, two of the three founders of Vape Dudes, are out on their own as the owners and mixologists of Strix Elixirs. It is a new company, having opened for business in October of this year, and they bring with them some new and enticing eLiquid recipes plus mature, expert level mixing skills and a lot of creativity. And boy did we ever have fun reviewing these terrific flavors.
Strix Elixirs offers thirteen (13) eLiquid flavors plus one unflavored that cover the gamut of the most popular flavors of Vapers today. From the original Blue Honey, an eLiquid that helped put Vape Dudes on the map three years ago, (created by Andy, who still owns the recipe) , to the new and delicious flavors like Hazelnut Cookie, Espresso Dream, and Banana Slam.
Strix Elixirs sent all 13 flavors in 30ML bottles, all with 18mg nicotine. Because it was just the two of us we had the choice of vaping the 13 flavors in 72-96 hours, the usual time we spend exclusively vaping a brands eJuice, or to vape them until they were all vaped up. We chose the latter and vaped all 13, except for one, until there wasn’t a drop left.Here’s the list of the 13 flavors we are reviewing for you today:
- Banana Slam
- Black Honey Cream
- Blue Honey
- Espresso Dream
- Frozen Tundra
- Hazelnut Cookie
- Lychee Delight
- Pixie Dust
- The Bogart
- Vanilla Ice Cream
Strix Elixirs Particulars
Bottles – Strix Elixir comes in 10ML and 30ML plastic (food grade) bottles with long, thin, needle tips that make it easy to fill any cartomizer, clearomizer, or tank. Using a Texas Tuff Tank we purchased last year we were able to fill the tank in less than 3 seconds, the tip fit the drilled hole on the side of tank perfectly. The bottles are easily squeezable, but not so easy that you’ll wind up squeezing too hard and making a mess. To prevent tampering and to maintain freshness Strix Elixirs utilizes a plastic snap-band around the neck. You cannot open the bottle without breaking the plastic band that’s actually a part of the bottle cap.
Labels – The full color labels wrap nearly around the entire bottle, and along with the logo and custom graphics that identifies the flavor, it includes the standard warning verbiage, a “made in the US” logo, the size of the bottle and the strength of the nicotine. Unfortunately there is no ingredients list, D.O.B. or batch number on the bottle. While we would have liked to see them on the label we didn’t discount it that much, the use of the plastic snap band around the neck made up for most of it, though a date of birth is a glaring omission these days. Having said that, there might be a perfectly good reason for it, which we’ll get to shortly.
Cost – Unlike most brands we encounter Strix Elixirs has opted for a 10ML bottle as their “small”, instead of the usual 15ML, so the price of their 10ML bottle is just $5.00. That’s 50 cents per ML, which places them in the lower/middle of the pricing range. It’s certainly better than some others that charge upwards of 88 cents per ML (cough* Potion Vape *cough) for a 15ML bottle, but we would have rather seen a 15ML bottle offered by Strix Elixirs instead…10ML just goes too fast, although as a sampler bottle it’s a good choice.
The 30ML bottle, which sells for $14 is a very good price for the quality you get. 46 cents per ML with the 30ML size makes it affordable for most any Vapers’ budget.
Nicotine – The American-sourced nicotine is offered in the following strengths: 6mg, 12mg, 18mg, and 24mg. Naturally, all their eLiquids are also offered in nicotine-free versions. Spinfuel eMagazine staff always vapes in the18mg-24mg range. The eJuice submitted for review were all 18mg.
PG/VG – At this time all Strix Elixir recipes are 60% Propylene Glycol and 40% Vegetable Glycerin, usually stated as 60/40. We found 60/40 to be more than acceptable. Propylene Glycol is responsible for ‘flavor carrying’ and ‘throat hit’, while Vegetable Glycerin is the main indicator of the vapor production. That’s a simplified explanation of course, but for this review it serves its purpose. Strix Elixirs offers plenty of flavor, good throat hits (also helped by the 18mg nicotine strength) and they all deliver vapor production you won’t complain about. Some produce more vapor than others, as you’ll see, but vapor production overall was satisfying.
Pre-Steeped – Offering ‘pre-steeped’ eLiquid is kind of new for eLiquid brands, and we were very interested in learning about it. All eLiquids need to ‘steep’ or rather they need time for the ingredients to ‘marry’, to mingle together and form a product ‘sum’ that is better than its parts. That said some eLiquids need more time than others, so you really can’t say that any eLiquid after X number of days is at its peak flavor. Strix Elixirs understands this, so their ‘pre-steeped’ eLiquids are custom steeped. Custom steeped simply means that Flavor A needs X number of days to steep, Flavor B needs X number of days, and that time is spent there, at Strix Elixirs, before they are shipped to you.
Strix Elixirs tells its customers that their eJuice is ready to vape straight from the mailbox. In our case that was certainly true. Strix Elixir customers will no doubt love this aspect of buying eLiquids since we’ve all suffered the disappointment of vaping too early, and the anticipation of trying it again after it has sat in our closets for a week or more. That has now been taken out of the equation.
Shipping – Lastly, we come to shipping. The reason we are brining it up is because of what we’ve written above. Just because your eLiquids from Strix Elixirs will come to you pre-steeped it doesn’t mean you’ll place your order and then wait for a couple of weeks while they steep it there and then send it to you. That’s not how it works. Depending on a particular days orders Strix Elixirs tells us that orders go out either the same day you place you order (yay!) or the next day, if the order volume was particularly heavy. That is certainly welcome news for anyone that had been buying their eLiquids from Vape Dudes and had to suffer through two or more weeks until their order shipped. Strix Elixirs promises to be much, much faster. Hopefully they will be able to maintain that shipping time even after their number of flavors doubles or triples down the road.
Our Review Hardware and Methods
We set up several clearomizers, cartomizers, and tanks the day before our official review began so that we would be able to switch between flavors whenever we wanted to without losing too much time. We decided to extend our time with their eLiquids only after the initial 72 hours had lapsed. Each of the flavors was vaped with all three devices, but more than likely not evenly. Some flavors saw more clearomizers than cartomizers, some the opposite, but all flavors saw all three types. The only method we did not use was drip atomizers or other RBA’s.
Each flavor also saw different ‘ohms’ used throughout the review period. Most of the time we vaped with coils that were 1.8-2.4ohms, only on a few occasions did we go lower, or higher. Unless we state otherwise you can expect that any particular flavor was reviewed using 2.1-2.4 ohm coils in clearomizers.
Batteries ran the gamut as well. ProVape ProVari, Innokin iTaste SVD’s, iTaste 134, and MVP Rev 2. Also ZMAX, Halo Triton, Vision Spinners, and a Cool Fire 2 were used. Most of time it was evenly divided between ZMAX, ProVari and Halo Tritons. As far as an eLiquid review goes the battery used is the least important when it comes to knowing whether or not the eLiquid is bad, good or great.
And now, let’s talk some eJuice flavors…
Strix says: “A vape that makes you weak at the knees”
Julia: Before I could even register the flavor of Applegasm I was blown away by the amount of vapor produced with my first pull from my ZMAX/SMOK DCTank. Applegasm’s flavor does appear on the inhale, but it’s the exhale where it really comes alive. The incredible amount of vapor produced was impressive, really impressive, and then to follow that up with a blast of sweet green apple makes this one a prime all-day vape for Vapers that love apple-based eLiquids. The only downside to Applegasm is that if you’re looking for a big throat hit you won’t find one. But for many, including myself, I can forego the throat hit if the flavor and vapor make up for it, and Applegasm certainly does. If you’re a fan of green apple eJuice you need to give Applegasm a try, I’m betting you’ll be a fan. 4.50 Stars
John: When I saw that there was an apple flavor in the lineup I wasn’t all that thrilled about it. Apple is the one flavor I usually don’t bother with. I do enjoy the sweet red apple flavors, but still, I haven’t purchased any for personal use. When it came time for me to do some quality vaping with Applegasm I had planned on the minimum amount; about six hours. Then I forgot about the time and wound up vaping Applegasm all day. I really enjoyed the sweet apple flavor and the huge clouds of vapor it produced. As it turns out I learned that my issues with apple-flavored juice is the individual juice, not the flavor.
A characteristic of all Strix Elixirs is the excellent production of vapor the 60/40 PG/VG ratio is capable of. Some flavors are better at producing thick vapor than others, though they all get an A+ in my book. Applegasm is one of the higher vapor producers, with an almost scary amount of vapor coming from the juice in a X.Jet clearomizer (1.8ohms).
If you’ve been looking for a smooth, sweet green apple eLiquid that you can vape all day and not wind up with a raspy throat or taste buds that fail to work at the end of day Applegasm should be your next apple flavored juice. I decided to add this one to my rotation, the first apple that has made it. 5 Stars
Banana Slam –
Strix says: “Our proprietary banana cream is a slam dunk!”
A Spinfuel Choice Award winner!
Julia: When I think about what a ‘Banana Slam’ should taste like I imagine a hard-hitting banana flavor, with a secondary flavor added to deliver a knockout punch. Makes sense, right? But then Strix adds the description and you see that it is a banana cream flavor, and ‘slam’ and ‘cream’ just don’t go together. There is nothing slamming about cream. So, what is Banana Slam and what can you expect if you try it out?
Banana Slam is a truly delicious banana cream pie flavor that delivers a tremendously deep taste of sweet bananas with luscious cream pie flavor notes. Once I started vaping it I did not want to stop.