Made by half starved, blind, orphan puppies, working 24/7, at a concentration camp, in the deepest pits of Mordor? Actually as it turns out the truth is far worse, but as we are constantly told there is no such thing as bad publicity…
Throughout my life the toast amongst my friends and I had always been “Heaven for the view and Hell for the company” followed by the clinking of glasses. So you can imagine my surprise when I ended up alone, queuing for the ferry, silently thanking my undertaker for including the fare in a handy little change pocket on my shroud.
Unlike several poor souls before me I only paid Charon upon reaching terra incognita and saved myself an eternal membership of the Styx swimming club.
I inveigled my way into the middle of a large party from the Vatican who despite the absence of St Peter and those pearly gates seemed rather boisterous, gleefully recounting tales from the confession box and lamenting the fact that they were out of altar wine when Lucifer himself appeared in a flash of sulphurous smoke.
As my fellow travellers prostrated themselves and prayed with real conviction for the first time ever, I stood my ground, for I had… seen things… you people wouldn’t believe. Cargo ships brimming with grade A truffles on fire off the pillars of Hercules; I had watched a lorry load of the revered 1893 Veuve Cliquot drive off the road and over a cliff at the Tannhäuser pass… all those… moments… lost, in time, like tears… in… rain.
The father of lies stood with a knowing smirk on his face at the piteous priests wailing, ever the showman he employed a magician´s flourish of his cape to transport us to the head of the long snaking line where we were quickly ushered through soul control and down into his lair.
He gestured to a comfortable armchair while pouring us both some of Bushmill’s finest…
“Heaven for the view and Hell for the company… eh… Don?” said the horned one with a mocking tone as we knocked glasses and downed the whisky in one, he poured out another and I began to wonder just what in hell was going on? Nobody and I mean nobody is ever that generous with 200 year old Black bush.
I sipped this second glass slowly, savouring the unmistakable blend of sherry and Christmas cake, thinking sadly that this one could well be my last… ever… when my host cleared his throat and grabbed my attention.
“My son has a new line of e liquids and wondered if the great Gourmand would consent to writing a review?” asked Beelzebub in voice smoother than the aged whisky we were imbibing. “I am sure we could arrange a return trip across the Styx if you would but consent…”
Given my current circumstances, how could I possibly refuse… after all it would have been rude not too, not mention the myriad of unpleasant alternatives that awaited those that displeased the dark lord. Who knew just how many of the Gourmand family were already suffering in torment at his satanic majesty´s pleasure?
“I would be delighted” said I truthfully as the whole thing intrigued me, how would they bring it to market? Who would make it? Wouldn’t the fellow upstairs have something to say about all this?
All of these thoughts and many, many more crowded the dark canyons of my tiny mind as my host ushered me into the elevator and we descended to what he referred to as the factory floor.
“Look” said Satan “He’s a good kid and e cigs helped him to stop smoking after 20 years on the gaspers, the business started in 2011 in his bedroom selling ego kits and Chinese juices online, he then borrowed some cash off his… erm… God… father and expanded, he is now in the top 5 UK vendors list, selling in shops and online” He continued talking, but my attention was drawn to the ghastly scene framed by the opening of the elevator doors.
Imagine Dante’s inferno aided and abetted by 21st Century technology, the wailing and moaning were enough to send a soul deaf, the sheer horror of what lay before me found me actually wishing I was blind.
To make matters worse his son appeared and he looked suspiciously like Adam Sandler, the critics had been right! After all how else had the man’s career lasted so long? Little Nicky, the spawn of Satan indeed.
I stepped forward with a sickly smile on my face “Don Gourmand” I said extending my hand, “Brett” replied the doppelganger shattering my assumptions and surprising me by shaking my hand with a firm grip and grin.
“Thanks dad” he said to my host “I’ll take it from here”
The Devil looked deep into my eyes and without uttering a single word, I understood that I was to tell the truth or else… and then strode off into the gloom cracking a fiery whip at the gawkers and dawdlers who were unfortunate enough to impede his passage.
The handsome young devil smirked as I gaped at the dark lord’s violent departure explaining “He’s in a hurry today, He has a meeting with Hillary and Trump to sort out who will be the next president, a conference call with the FDA and Brussels followed by an offsite with Putin and Assad…no rest for the wicked… eh… Don?”
I could tell you about the table made from a human centipede of postal workers or the chairs made from real politicians but you simply could not imagine the horror, let alone the heartbreaking sounds, so without further ado let us talk about the flavours before I feel the need to describe the lawyers adorning the walls in what could only be a most dreadful homage to Jackson Pollock.
First up came Wrath:
The Spawn said: “A raspberry blend enraged with coconut for a furiously delicious vape.”
I said: “Coconut first followed by a realistic raspberry and a great cakey finish”… I chanced a glance at the demon who actually blushed at my succinct summation. He then explained, “I developed this to help overeaters deal with their cravings for cake, don’t tell my dad, he thinks we use it to torture their feeders, after all turnabout is fair play.” I smiled at his treachery and just vaped some more of that coil gunking juice, thinking it would be perfect for anything from elevenses or afternoon tea to a sneaky dessert.
The spawn said: A sweet rice and mango blend to have you hungry for more.
I said: Mango madness at first, the sweet terpene laden fruit almost overwhelms the sticky rice, but it peeps through towards the middle only to vanish again under the onslaught of more melodramatic mangoes. This one only gets better as you up the wattage, a deliciously odd, occasional treat. A trite phrase to be sure… yet it seemed to satisfy the son of Satan all the same.
The spawn said: This cooling butterscotch blend will result in pure gratification.
I said: Nice one, a nutty butterscotch with a lovely mint to boot but honestly I think Mecanica by Liquideo nails the Murray mint. This tastes more like the blasphemous union of a Glacier mint with a Werthers original. The mixologist from hell glared at me with eyes that promised an eternity of agony before he pulled out a little notebook and swore he would try this Mecanica to see what all the fuss was about.
The demon then pulled out two amber glass bottles from thin air and explained “that some people can be tempted in other ways so we make another 90% VG line called Pocket Fuel. Here… try these chocolate vapes, rumour has it that the Bishop of Canterbury drips nothing else.”
“This is called Gateaux Noir” said the spawn “it’s a delectable chocolate cake filled with jam, airy whipped cream, plump juicy cherries and topped off with melt-in-the-mouth chocolate shavings. It really is a gourmet hand-crafted e-liquid!”
I filled up my magma and inhaled a jammy cherry and cream filled sensation with hints of cocoa, it was good. Light cherry with nary a hint of cough medicine surfs throughout the inhale and exhale but never overwhelms. Perfectly good dessert vaping but somewhat lacking in the dark chocolate department : (
Brett groaned aloud and alarmingly some steam actually escaped from his ears upon my summation but agreed through gritted teeth that “dark chocolate was nice too and that it might possibly perhaps balance out the sweet jam and cherries in the mix.”
I did my best to ignore the increased trembling throughout my being, cautiously opened the Grand Cru chocolate and began to decant it into my dripper as the spawn calmed and started to wax lyrical about the complexity of this most decadent dessert vape… “A delightful blend of smooth, rich Peruvian and Belgian premium chocolate filled with sweet, creamy, caramel notes and a hint of nuttiness.”
One more to go and then I’m home free, I thought to myself as the drip tip rose to my lips for the final time, “tell the truth and shame the devil” as my old dear used to say while breaking wooden spoons across my backside. So I did…
“It’s good…but not great, it needs more dark chocolate”, I said wishing I was anywhere else but by Brett´s side.
I felt my left ear melt and slide off the side of my head at the spawn´s scream of rage, I risked a quick glance at his face and wished I hadn’t…
“Curse you Don Gourmand” he screamed as his wings flapped and fluttered causing my heart to behave in distressingly familiar fashion “may you be doomed to write verbose e liquid reviews forever… and a day!”
And that ladies and gentlemen is why this poor soul finds himself unable to stop writing.
All liquids (max VG) sampled under stress in a fibre freaks wicked magma at .8 ohms on a coolfire 4 firing between 20 and 30 watts.
Rating: Hieronymous Bosch – http://www.hieronymus-bosch.org/