E-Liquid Reviews

Phileas Fogg Handcrafted E-Liquids

Manabush are taking us on a trip with Phileas Fogg for some old school vaping goodness

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Are you sick of the same old over sweetened, repetitive, interchangeable flavours that have taken over vaping in recent times? Are you someone who appreciates carefully crafted flavours made with thought, love, and a deep appreciation of flavour? Are you a vaper who appreciates the finer things in life? If you said yes to any of these questions, stick around as we have a real treat for you thanks to the wonderful Manabush Vape Store who have taken it upon themselves to bring back so much loved e-liquids from times gone buy, and we are kicking off the celebrations by revisiting the Phileas Fogg range.

Before we get stuck in, I think we should have a quick history lesson as context is everything, and this will explain why so many of us are genuinely really excited to see some old friends return to our tanks. We need to roll the clocks back ten years (god, that makes me feel old!), back to a time before the nanny state stuck its beak into our beloved vaping. It was a golden age of small mixologists who were really experimenting with the potential of the craft of flavours, and let me tell you, there were some absolute geniuses there, leasing the way and providing us with some spectacular e-liquids. It was a time of great community too, and these master mixers quickly gained a well-deserved rich reputation organically by word of mouth rather than flashy ad campaigns and TikTok targeting. Not only were they an integral part of the general vaping community, but they also felt like a band of brothers and sisters all joined by a passion for what they were doing. You just had to visit Vapefest, that wonderfully British vaping get together, and pop into the big top to see this in action. It was truly a golden age.

But then it all changed, suddenly vaping was under the spotlight and despite the fact that the UK vaping scene had already done a stellar job of self-regulating with great success, the global squeeze was on and the first wave of regulation, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) cast its black shadow over life as we knew it. It became harder and harder for small juice makers to be able to stay running, and one by one we lost so many iconic brands. Of course, the TPD was only the start of the decline, there were other reasons for our juice makers to shut up shop, and the next couple of years saw a big shift in the market. It was a very sad time, but a few brave souls fought on and managed to keep their heads above water. 

One of the survivors was Manabush, and now eight years after Phileas Fogg closed its doors for the last time, they are back as part of the Old School E-liquid Collection, and I for one, couldn’t be happier to see an old friend return.

Phileas Fogg were one of the great successes of the vaping scene and Stu, the man behind the juice, was a much loved part of the Planet of the Vapes community. I can still remember getting my first bundle of e-liquids through the post, the anticipation of filling up that first tank. There had been so much buzz about his three flavours, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. All these years later, I got the same buzz when I opened up the box Manabush sent over.

Presentation wise, the logo is still the same, but the branding has been given new facelift. Looking a bit closer and you will see that they are now presented under the BUNKR by Manabush label, and this is a great fit as they are a grown up take on “sweet” flavours, and by that I mean they are not sweet for the sake of it. Keep reading and it will all make sense. They come in 100ml bottles with space to add your nicotine, and they are 60VG/40PG, so you can either mix it to be 70VG/30PG or 50/50 depending on whether you are a mouth to lung or a direct to lung vaper. I’m an old school mtl girl, so I added in PG for my final mix.

For the bottle connoisseurs out there, Manabush use my all-time favourite bottles with the nibs that unscrew so filling your nic shots is effortless and completely mess free. I am always going to love anything that makes life easier!

The Flavours

I think that’s enough preamble, it’s time to get into the flavours. There are only three juices in the range, which proves you don’t need a gazillion flavours if you just focus on making your juices the best they can be, sometimes less is more.

Lemon Grab

Lemon Grab - A buttery biscuit base topped with a creamy citrus emulsion for a decadent vape with a crisp, Lemon edge”

This does exactly what it says on the tin. You get a wonderful butter rich crumbly biscuit, seriously good for your tastebuds but thankfully not bad for your waistline. If this was a real biscuit, you’d be able to see the pounds piling on, there is so much buttery creaminess in the base. On top of this, you get a thick, rich lemon curd which has a natural sweetness, but the star is the zestiness. This is as real as lemon gets and it just pairs so well with the biscuit. I always loved it back in the day, but one thing that has changed for the better is the hardware, and this just sings with mesh coils. I used both a rebuildable tank and my favourite pod kit, and it was great in both, but modern coils really bring out the detail in the recipe. There have been plenty of lemon cookie juices out there, but this is the original and the best.

Etons Mess

Etons Mess - A delicate combination of fresh strawberry, sweetened whipped cream and caramelized meringue”

On paper, this sounds like it is going to be very sweet, but by modern standards, it is quite mild in the sugar department. It is sweet, but in all the right ways and only where it is appropriate. This was my favourite when it originally released, it has all the elements I looked for in my e-liquid. I love pudding, it’s the best part of any meal, and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees! Once again, mesh coils really elevate this e-liquid, and you can clearly define the layers, especially between the natural strawberry and the decadent cream. It has that comforting warmth you get from properly whipped cream, and the strawberry compliments this well. The strawberry is brought forward with mesh, and this adds little burst of juiciness. The meringue is more of a highlighting component, but the caramelised hints bring a distinctive feel. What I really love is the layering effect which replicates the lucky dip feel you get with a bowl of Eton Mess, every puff seems to taste slightly different, it is a fun e-liquid.

Baykwell

Baykwell - Classic Almond sponge in a shortcrust pastry case, stuffed with Black & Morello cherries”

It’s weird, I never used to like bakewell tarts, even though I have a big sweet tooth, I always found they were too sweet. But I blame Mr Kipling as I also discovered that those little pie things they sell is a total bastardisation of the real thing. Thankfully this e-liquid goes down a more tradition route and really favours the cherry side of things which can only be a good thing as cherry is my jam. It is the fruit that hits hard and fast, and the mix of rich black cherry with the lighter, brighter morello is inspired. You can clearly taste them both too, but they also blend perfectly. The almond sponge brings a lightness, and a subtle flavour accentuates the cherries. The shortcrust pastry brings it all together but still remains light and crumbly. I’d be delighted to get a plate of this after my dinner!

Final Thoughts

With all the darkness that is around these days, it was a very welcome blast from the past revisiting these wonderful Phileas Fogg flavours again. They were always top tier juices, but what really surprised me was just how well they work with modern hardware. All three seem to have developed great depth and more detail which really did surprise me, especially when you consider that these are faithful to the original recipes. 

If you would like to try the Phileas Fogg range for yourself, head over to Manabush where you can pick them up for £19.99 a bottle. For the bargain hunters among us, you can also pick up two different bundles, a MTL one and a DTL one, and they contain all three flavours and enough nic shots to make them up to 3mg.

Many thanks to Manabush for sending in the superb Phileas Fogg e-liquids in for review. It’s been a real pleasure.

Pros
  • Old school flavours
  • Brilliant bottles
  • A welcome return of an old favourite
Cons
  • None
Michelle (Purplefowler) avatar

When her usual forum closed, Michelle found herself in a brave new world full of excitement that something fresh and new was happening. A few days later she somehow found herself on the moderating team and is still not really sure how that happened. Even stranger, she slowly worked her way up to admin and now helps behind the scenes, liasing with vendors and coordinating social media but she can still be found making smutty comments on the forum. If all that wasn't enough, she also is a proud member of the Potv review team specialising in E-liquid reviews for the discerning vaper.

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