Drake’s Kentucky – The Ghillie’s Reviews
Price: £5.99 or 3x10ml £15.99
NB: This review was based on a pre-production sample.
This review began with a bit of a shock – but in a good way. Alex from Drake’s very kindly sent me a sample of his new Drakes London liquid that was marked Burley. Yummy, thought I, since the Black Note Forte (Burley) is my favourite in that range and I was keen to make the comparison. So I loaded up with a brand new 1.8Ω coil and waited 5 minutes to let everything settle before taking a long draw at 13W.
Holy Cow – this wasn’t what I expected at all!! Yes, it gave a real mouthful of big, chunky smoke, but what was that flavour? Certainly not any Burley I recognised. So I gave Alex a call. Oooops, he said – apparently, in the excitement of the results with the new Drakes liquids, someone had marked Burley on a sample bottle of Flue-Dried Kentucky and that is what I had been sent. I had never smoked this leaf and so I thought I would give it a whirl, despite my prejudices against cigarette tobaccos.
And what a revelation it has been!! At this point, I should offer a note of caution, since your first few draws will come as a bit of surprise – but in a good way. If, like me, you take pleasure in winter bonfires and chestnuts on hot coals, think of them at your initial encounter with this juice since that is the first impression it is likely to give you. The leaves that have been used to make this NET juice have been flue dried to perfection and the process really comes through with with minimal modesty. Once I had got over the slight initial surprise, I settled into what was becoming a really pleasant encounter.
Soon, the powerful smoky first impression eased back and the other flavours and sensations came into balance – and what a revelation they were. First, a long draw rewarded me with a mouth full of really chunky and substantial smoke with really complex flavours – more like what I would expect from a sizeable cigar than a cigarette. Mixed with the now subdued smokiness lay subtle hints of herb, floral and citrus notes finishing with a slight sweetness on the tongue after exhaling, followed by an enduring, gentle smokiness that lasted for some minutes as a reminder of recent and imminent pleasures. And while it is a pretty substantial vape, it is not overwhelming or tiring; it is an experience of satisfying and luxuriant satisfaction that quickly becomes quite addictive as an all-day vape. I was also impressed that despite all the substance, there was no harshness or irritation in the vape; it was just smooth and rich.
Be in no doubt, while this juice has an abundance of subtleties and pleasures, is a full-on experience and not for the faint-hearted who may have dallied with Silk Cut and other pretend forms of smoking. No; this is a really grown-up experience that, I suspect, will be relished by those who have spent happy and intimate hours with pipes, cigars or the more robust American or Continental cigarettes. It is a particularly good companion to an Islay Malt or a glass of Port
To conclude, this Drakes Kentucky has just leapt into my top two all-time favourite vapes. Whether it stays there is up to the other Drakes e-liquids when they appear – if they are of this quality, its placing may become precarious. And right now, I’m deeply pissed off since the sample bottle has just run out. I want more!!