Alright, so the moment of truth for these 3 Liquids. Or as I'm now calling them, the Original and the Castle Long Replicas (High Five from Good Life Vapor and Gentleman's Reserve from The Steam Co.) I'm going to follow Coelli's more structured review criteria as I tend to stream of consciousness ramble on these things.
Some key factoids:
CLR = Castle Long Reserve @ 6mos steeped - 50/50 6mg
H5 = High Five @ 1.5mos steeped - high VG maybe 100% 6mg
GR = Gentleman's Reserve @ 1mos steeped (as indicated on new bottle) - 50/50 6mg
CLR is a really nice ruddy amber color. I think of fall when I see this liquid. I think of Whiskey or Bourbon. Mmmmmm.
H5 is an amber but tinged with a bit more yellow. If you've had GLV's Deadly Sin, they're nearly identical in color.
GR is nearly clear with a tiny pop of color. Initially disappointed by this, but I'm sure my coils will thank me.
CLR has a good flow. Drips wonderfully and *GASP* behaves well in a tank!
H5 is a high VG juice and flows like molasses. Great dripping, don't bother with a tank.
GR behaves well on the dripper and in the PT2 I'm trying it in.
Wow, CLR and GR are remarkably close in the bottle. GR has a pronounced coconut with a slight oakey/boozey top note.
H5 smells sweet with a vanilla overtone and cinnamon/baked goods top note. This one is rather different the the other two by my sniffer.
Here's where it gets interesting. CLR tastes soooo clean and harmonious. Dripping this brings out a genuine oak/booze flavor complimented from what I call a more vanilla bean essence than say garden variety vanilla extract. The exhale is more of the same, trailed by a lovely cinnamon note that lingers in the room. GR is so damn close but the flavors feel more dry in the mouth and not as well put together. The coconut and nutty/booziness dominate here, and if there's any vanilla going on it's just kind of adding a mild sweetness. There's a nice spice exhale with notes of cinnamon and coco. They work together really well, but they just don't blend as smoothly as CLR. H5 is something entirely different. Because of the high VG the mouthfeel is super creamy, almost wet feeling. The dominant flavor here is vanilla, almost too much, followed by a smattering of cinnamon/nutmeg and something oakey/boozey but in a more artificial way. The exhale and room note are very true to the initial flavors adding only a slight cake batter. Not as dry and savory as the other two. I'd say H5 has the most intense flavor profile of the 3, bordering on the sweetened.
CLR is a wonderfully blended juice. You can tell the individual flavors are unique and in my opinion well worth the expenditure. Like a good bourbon or whiskey it is to be savored and appreciated for it's complexities and and attention to detail. GR is so damn close to it's inspiration but feels fragmented in just a slight bit by comparison. Also the greater coconut presence over vanilla isn't my thing. Otherwise this is truly a remarkable juice. On it's own merits I'd highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys a complex and well nuanced vape. H5, while also a great juice, falls short if it was really meant to reference CLR. It's too creamy, sweet and just lacks the punch of savory the other two managed to achieve. I know it takes longer for flavors to gel in heavy VG juices, so maybe time will change this one some.
The biggest bummer for me however is with the GR. They must use real almond extract/flavoring because I'm allergic, and reacted immediately. Made it through a few good vapes to get a taste for it, but ultimately had to set it aside. This blows, because this is a damn good juice. If anyone has made it this far in my review, and is interested I have about 29ml to trade, maybe a swap for the Old English Orchard Reserve.