Tobacco Eliquid, The Role of Tobacco Flavourings in the E-liquid Industry

Tobacco Eliquids, and the use of tobacco style flavourings in E-liquid

Ahhh .. tobacco flavour Eliquids! Tobacco is surely one of the most maligned flavouring compounds in the industry.

Some (probably the larger percentage) of people will not touch tobacco Eliquids, either because they do not want to associate with anything tobacco related after swapping out smoking or due to the early days of single tobacco flavoured e-liquid sometimes tasting a bit .. special.

While some people won’t touch Eliquid that does NOT offer some tobacco flavour - often citing they were smokers they LIKE tobacco vape juice, or people genuinely like the depth of flavour that only a well thought out tobacco vape juice base can offer.

Misconceptions about tobacco flavourings in vape juice.

There are a number of misconceptions about the role tobacco flavours can take in the production of good e-liquid flavouring. In our experience both from users and manufacturers.

No Tobacco vape juice is ever going to taste like a lit burning cigarette, Rollie, pipe or cigar. It is not being burnt.

When you take away that perception of burning what you are left with is the aroma of the base tobacco before it is burnt, and this makes a tobacco flavouring nothing more than another flavouring compound. This is the same for synthetic tobaccos and NETS (naturally extracted tobacco flavourings) - You do not see people getting all antsy about the use of Oak Aged barrel flavourings or cactus flavourings or black pepper etc, so it always confuses me a little why people get upset at the thought of a tobacco aroma (unburned!) being used as a part of a vape juice to create depth and flavour. It is my personal opinion that people can be far too standoffish at merely the mention of a Virginia or Burley! 

That said I do understand the wish to distance oneself from a habit they have kicked - and at the end of the day .. each to their own.

Tobacco flavours and Aromas are used outside of the traditional tobacco smoking industry to flavour Spirits, some food items food items, perfumes and Cologne - again not something you see people getting upset about (if you ever get a chance to try Spanish Tobacco Rum ( I recommend it - My mate Lee from Prime Vapes bought me some back from a visit to Spain, and its outstanding!

Application is the key to good tobacco flavours.

I hear a lot of people saying tobacco flavours they have tried etc are too chemical tasting or harsh .. or generally just unpalatable. I personally believe this is just down to application. Tobacco flavouring compounds are just like any other flavouring compound, for example : anyone who can taste a quality e-liquid or DIYs or makes their own vape juice will know that simply jamming whatever strawberry flavour you have into whatever cream flavour you have does not make a good Strawberry and cream Eliquid. Rather a good mixer will balance different strawberries, all of which will have aspects of strawberry flavour that are desirable and non-desirable to create a good layered overall strawberry, the same goes for the cream - only in my experience .. even more so - in a good cream you want to bring out mouth feel and a feeling of general creaminess (example : Very Vanilla Cream) that is mostly simply not available in a single flavouring. Too many of todays mass flavours seem to be mixed by having an overly sweetened base to which basic flavours are added - I feel for me personally this is especially true in the disposable market.

So it is the same with tobaccos - no one tobacco flavour is going to cover every base you want to gain from a good tobacco juice, experimentation and blending to take off harsh edges and blend flavours is the key to good tobacco flavours.

And thats only talking about straight tobaccos! - which in my mind are far far harder to get right than a tobacco and something blend.

Tobacco and Somethings … Start here if you are a DIYer!

This brings us onto the use of tobacco in non straight tobacco vape juices - and the possibilities are endless, far more than the scope of this article. 

Tobacco flavourings (when properly balanced and corrected for your tastes) can add a depth to bakery, custards, creams and many other flavour bases - and can be used without ANY mention of the term tobacco in it. You have probably vaped some tobacco flavourings without even knowing it.

And Tobacco blends - lets take tobacco and custard as an example, these days a huge staple and popular choice of many vapers and many vape companies to make.

Im actually 80% certain we at Manabush created the first Tobacco Custard with Powwow Sauce E-liquid (first mixed in 2012 - kind of as a bit of a jokey experiment) - or at least the first one commercially available in the UK.

Nokomis Eliquid was actually the second e-liquid I ever created (that worked!) and it was an extension of my first tobacco e-liquid experiment that just didn’t have enough depth for me.

At that time I was also mad keen on Grants Vanilla Custard (as many of us were!) and Powwow Sauce was originally me messing about to see if I could get custards to work with tobacco. Ultimately It created a multi-award winning juice, much to my surprise, and since then tobacco and custards and tobacco and creams have appeared all over the UK Market.

When creating this juice it was not just a case of adding a random tobacco into a custard mix, the tobacco had already been refined flavour wise and only required a little more balancing to sit with the custard flavour. Ultimately this led to us as a company using this same modular approach to e-liquid creation we still use today.

It enables us to create finely balanced flavouring bases that can be reused in multiple scenarios. But has taken us many years to create those bases.

However .. creating a tobacco blend Eliquid like Powwow Sauce or Chiricahua Sun is a lot easier than creating a straight tobacco. This is why I recommend that all mixers and DIYers wanting to mess around with tobacco flavours start with tobacco and something blends .. the availability of flavourings when you are not just limited to tobacco flavourings that you can use to counteract harsh edges or add depth and sweetness is just so much bigger and easier with a tobacco blend.

Our Foray into Straight Tobacco Eliquids - The Leaf Tobacco Range

We are in terms of the vape industry now an old company (small .. but old) - and it has taken us until this last year to dare messing around with straight tobaccos. There are already a handful of companies out there as old or older than us that have been doing it with great success for years. 

We wanted to see if it was possible to create good tobacco juices that 

  • A : are not NETs (we could never touch El Toro, House of Liquids or Drakes on NETs - see those guys if you want NETs they rock).
  • B: are coil kind, the most popular vape systems today are POD systems, so we wanted to create juices that didn’t kill a POD in three days. For us .. this means synthetic flavours.

So our challenge was - can we create convincing appealing straight tobacco flavours, NOT using Nets and that didn’t kill coils

So enter the Leaf Tobacco Eliquid Range - we spent many months with ‘a wailing and a gnashing of teeth’ trying to perfect this range. Making a non coil killing tobacco vape juice it turns out can be quite difficult! Even though most tobacco flavouring compounds are used in very tiny quantities .. they tend to be very strong.

We feel we have managed it though - and have had several users tell us how they thought they were NETs and show some surprise to be told they are not.

The point of this range for us over time is to create a series of different tobacco styles (Cigars, Virginias etc) that are as close as they can be to a NET, do not kill coils and that we can use in our Manabush Modular way as bases to make more “Manabushy” tobacco blends, a project we have already started with the “Twisted Leaf Tobacco Blends Range”.

We are extremely happy with the range so far - and will attempt to make any further additions to it of the same quality.

Conclusion : 

Tobacco is just another flavour compound that doesn’t have to be used purely in tobacco E-liquid, don’t be afraid of it as a Vaper or DIYer - but be prepared to work at it to get it right. Not all tobaccos are equal, and a quality designed tobacco flavour can be outstanding.

1 comment

  • Linda Hall

    I found a little bottle, amongst a small collection of old bottles, with a label that identifies its former contents as ‘Tobacco Flavouring Compound’ (made in Liverpool).
    I have bee n trying to find what it might have been used for. This is from long before vaping.

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