I was excited to get the Esco Bars in and even more excited this morning to see the samples sitting on my desk for review. I had always heard good things about Esco Bar vape flavors and was eager to learn firsthand. They arrive in a small cardboard box like toothpaste comes in. The artwork on the box is colorful and sophisticated.  It reminded me of some 1970s hippy art or Tommy Bahama designs. They nailed their demographic.

Inside the box is a tube-shaped vape wrapped in a plastic sleeve.  Removing the wrapper left me holding a ¾” thick tube about 4 ½” tall.  It is a sturdy little device with no easily breakable parts.  It appears to be wrapped in a thin sheet of metal.  When I bang it on my desk and other vapes it doesn’t even scratch.  The mouthpiece is a cylindrical half-inch rigid plastic nipple.  

The thin metal wrapping over the tube gives the device some heft for its size.  It feels sturdy and slick in your hand. Each flavor comes in a different metallic tube.  It is small enough to hold and vape comfortably like a Cigarillo.  Instead of holding a fat vape in my hand like a little kid playing the kazoo, the Esco Bars are thin enough to fit and vape like a cigarillo.  

SPECS

  • Puffs: 2500
  • MAH (Battery): Integrated 1000mAh battery
  • Coil: Mesh
  • E-Liquid: 6ml.
  • Airflow Control: None
  • Charging: None
  • SALT NIC: 5% (50mg)

WHAT’S THAT MEAN TO ME, THE VAPER? 

The integrated 1000mAh battery is more than sufficient to use up all 6mls of 5% vape juice included in the device without recharging. That’s good because it is not rechargeable.  When it is empty, you recycle it.

The fact that it comes with a coil mesh means where the juice hits the heating element; there is more surface area to cook more juice, providing a more flavorful and powerful vape.  Pastel cartel was the first commercially available vape product to promote their mesh coils.  Other manufacturers quickly switched over after seeing Escobar’s initial success.  

For someone new to vaping, there is nothing to get wrong.  The Esco Bars are always on and waiting to be vaped.  Any beginner can pick it up, stick the small end in their mouth, and vape. There is no airflow adjustment for a more sophisticated vaper to accommodate their preferred vaping style (MTL (Mouth to Lung) vs. DTL (Device to Lung).  No on/off switch to save on battery or store more safely.  No stealth mode, no clicking for different heat options.  

As a veteran vaper, I am okay with a disposable that is not adjustable, and is easy to use, even if it is missing “features.” If they get everything right that I would have needed the features for then I don’t need the features.  I mean that if they get the juice to battery ratio right, you shouldn’t ever need to recharge a disposable.  In an ideal world, the juice and battery would run out simultaneously.  I think if a manufacturer wants to add more juice to one-up their competition as a marketing ploy, they should provide a battery that can use up all that juice without the need for recharging; not put me to work recharging it; I already have a device for that.  If the airflow mix is already perfect, I don’t need a slider to adjust it, If it shuts off automatically when I am not using it, it does not NEED an on/ off switch, and so on. 

If I am smoking a disposable, it should be easy to use. Pastel Cartel got everything pretty damn-near perfect in this respect. The flavor is excellent, and the draw is in a range I find acceptable for the way I vape. 

So, I notice I grab the Esco Bars just as often (or more often) as any of my other (more programmable) disposables from my desk when I want a puff, so it must not bother me that much.  I pick it up, I hit it if it tastes good “as is,” then I vape it.  These Esco Bars hit very well right out of the box “as is” so I am not as inclined to ding them for missing features other devices require that this device didn’t need to create a perfect puff.  

FLAVOR REVIEW

Esco Bars Mesh teamed up with RIPE Liquids to provide a line of authentic tasting fruit flavors.  Ripe Vapes is designed with the vape connoisseur in mind. Recognized as a premium brand of e-liquids, Ripe Vapes has earned national and international recognition by winning numerous prestigious awards.  RIPE has a sophisticated presentation, reminiscent of fine wine. 

When I first started drinking wine, I wanted something sweet and strong to get my buzz on asap.  As my reasons for drinking and my pallet changed over time, I began to taste the differences between assorted brands and flavors.  I started to take my time and appreciate the subtle flavors paired with a good dinner.  These flavors are a more mature flavor selection.  Where other brands may have a melon flavor that comes through sweet and icy, Ripe Vapes created a honeydew flavor that is authentic and tasty.  They didn’t take the easy route and call it melon, they nailed Honeydew melon flavors.  I like Honeydew so kudos for giving me something no one else could. 

Three parts to a good puff.  

  1. The Initial Puff is where you get your first taste and feel the Nic hit on your body. You will taste whatever is the most potent flavor initially, then the more subtle flavors in the mix.  With Ripe flavors, they are not insanely flavored with secondary flavors buried behind the strongest flavor in the mix.  The initial hit is mixed and subtle.
  2. The Exhale.  It’s where you see how much ice or how many subtle intentional or unintentional secondary flavors you can taste during the exhale.  I appreciated that on the exhale instead of unintentional errant flavors, you get the secondary flavors and a touch of coolness as is appropriate for that flavor recipe.  
  3. The Aftertaste.  Even a great-tasting juice that leaves a foul aftertaste gets low marks because that is how I will remember that flavor between puffs.  Some vapes taste great on the initial puff and even the exhale, but if it tastes good after puffing you will be inspired to hit it again soon.  If it leaves a nasty aftertaste, you will subconsciously grab something else.  

The name of the flavor listed on the Esco Bars provides a promising idea of what the flavor will be.  Unlike many brands, the Ripe flavors taste authentic to the name they give the flavor.  On the exhale you can taste whatever iciness they listed in the name.  People that do not care for ice have several alternatives without ice. The disposables are clearly labeled with ICE for the flavors with ice.  The flavor tastes the same on the exhale as on the inhale and there are no weird errant flavors between puffs.  

The flavor selection is more refined than most other brands.  Across their product line, they opt for interesting and well-thought-out flavor profiles and mixes and provide them with the best strength for flavor, not burying flavor behind one or two strong flavors.  Their mixes are true mixes from the first hit to the last.  Next, we will investigate the flavors of each device.

Blue Razzleberry Pomegranate:  I had been putting this one off to the end because I usually do not enjoy anything that starts with Blue and ends with Pomegranate.  Manufacturers add some unknown flavor in the mix that reminds me of rotten garbage. I was happy to taste a berry-like flavor mixed with Pomegranates and Ice, nothing else.  Light sweetness on the exhale, some light Koolada throat coolness and that’s all.  If this is what this flavor was supposed to taste like all along, why do some other brands get it so wrong? Esco bars have taken one of my least favorite memories of vaping and showed me how these flavors should taste together.  Not bad! 

Fiji Melons Ice:  Another great tasting flavor where I didn’t expect one!  The Fiji Melons Ice is honeydew melons.  There is enough Koolada to make the melon flavor pop a bit as was needed.  This flavor is sweet and delicious like honeydew melons.  No weird exhale or aftertaste. 

There are some good watermelon flavors out there, but this is the first authentic honeydew melon flavor I have come across.  Again, with the sophisticated flavor palate used by Ripe and their attention to flavor detail, they were able to pull it off.  Kudos Esco Bars for getting this flavor right!

Kiwi Dragon Berry:  I taste kiwi.  Again, with the Pastel cartel elevated flavor pallet that wouldn’t settle for some run-of-the-mill fruit flavor.  They took a hard flavor to recreate and nailed it.  I took a few puffs, closed my eyes, and thought about it, it was sweet kiwi mixed with berries.  I fully expected this to be yet another failed flavor experiment, but I am starting to trust that when Pastel Cartel lists a flavor, they are going to nail it.  

I know I like both Kiwi and berries, I just could not imagine that someone would ever get it right. Thank you for proving me wrong you tasty little Esco Bars!

Peachy Mango Pineapple Ice: Upon opening the package you receive a strong whiff of pineapple.  I was surprised again by how well-mixed the initial puff tasted.  I clearly taste equal amounts of peach, pineapple, and mango.  Seems like it wouldn’t be that hard to get the fruit flavor mixture right; but to date, this is one of the first Peach, Pineapple, and Mango mixtures where they go the blend right.  Now I know there is a Peachy Mango Pineapple flavor by Pastel Cartel that is a thoughtful mixture of these three flavors. 

It was refreshing, The Peach mixed with Pineapple flavor comes through first, followed by the Mango.  They got the mix right.  It is a sweet fruity Peach mix vape with a strong peach flavor on the inhale, followed by Mango and Pineapple.  

Peachy Mango Pineapple: This mix is the same as their Peachy Mango Pineapple Ice without the ice.  I prefer the iced version of the Peachy Mango Pineapple flavor.  My friend who can’t do any ice or Koolada (allergic and throat gets puffy) likes this flavor.  Without the ice, it is less sweet, less flavorful, and provides no icy throat hit on the exhale.  It tastes a little “darker” to me if that makes sense.  You still get the pineapple and a little peach, but without the ice none of the flavors actually “pops.”

Strawnanners Ice: I am always on the lookout for a decent-tasting banana flavor that does not leave an artificial flavoring aftertaste.  Strawnanners Ice exceeded my expectations!  

On the initial puff, you taste authentic bananas and strawberries with cool ice exhale. There is ice in it, but it is mixed in just under the strawnanna flavor where it belongs.  The Mint lightly accentuates the flavor profile and adds a touch of ice on the exhale but does not run away with the flavor or introduce any unexpected flavors.  This is a good all-day vape.  A few minutes after finishing a vape session I taste the strawnanna itself, and nothing else.  It’s a good aftertaste that makes me want to find and vape more Strawnanners Ice.  I bought two of these yesterday for myself. 

Tropical Rainbow Blast: I really enjoyed this flavor.  Many “Tropical” flavors are just pineapple/mango with a few other flavors and some ice thrown in for good measure.   Most are not that good or could have been more accurately named pineapple or papaya.  I expected Esco Bars Tropical Rainbow Blast to be some overwhelming pineapple mix like all the others.  That was not the case.

There are authentic tasting strawberries, blueberries, and a mixture of tropical fruits that do not overwhelm the flavor profile.  I keep going back for more and do not get bored with one or two overwhelming tropical flavors.  Instead, I get to think about that tasty puff I just took and what elements I can identify in the recipe.   Whatever the flavors are they are berry-based, understated, and include some tropical flavors in the mix, not in front of the mix.   

This is another good all-day vape.

IN SUMMARY

The Esco bars are well-made, great-tasting little vapes.  I love the flavors and understand the lack of features as they were needed in this case.  They have amazing flavors that would be appreciated by more discerning vapers.  Some of their flavors like Kiwi and Honeydew are perfect recreations of hard-to-find flavors.   I would ding the device itself for being such a newb device missing features and capabilities of every other disposable.  In fact, they have engineered out many of the reasons other devices need those features to pull off a good puff.  

I highly recommend the Esco Bars RIPE collection for its sturdy little device and its authentic flavors.  I have found three new favorite disposables to add to my mix: Strawnanna Ice, Tropical rainbow Blast, and Kiwi Dragon Berry.