South Beach Smoke burst on the e-cigarette scene with lots of hype and celebrity buzz, so we were a little skeptical when we first tried them. We quickly became believers, though; when you get past the publicity, there’s a nice, smooth taste and strong electronics in the their products.
Pleasant taste is the attribute that stands out most when we think about South Beach. In particular, we enjoyed the tobacco, menthol and peach flavors – but all of their selections are tasty and well calculated. There was a moderate throat hit – not too weak, not too strong – and a definite smoothness to the vapor. This was a well-built e-cig; the only complaint we had (other than the fact that we personally prefer stronger throat hits) was that batteries needed to be replaced a bit more often than our top-rated brand. On the other hand, the batteries charged a good deal quicker than most of the competition. Battery charge and cartridge life was right around average.
There are ten flavors of South Beach Smoke cartridges available: three tobacco flavors, menthol, vanilla, chocolate, peppermint, pina colada, peach and cherry. As with most top-line companies, the carts are sold in the full range of nicotine levels from extra strong to no nicotine. One distinction that may be important to note is that all of the e-liquid in their cartridges is made in America; most of the e-liquid sold worldwide is manufactured in China. Battery selection isn’t as great as flavor choices, with just white and black batteries available in two lengths, short and 100mm. Manual (with a push button to control the inhale) and automatic batteries are both available.
Our testers had the Deluxe Ultimate starter kit to play with. It’s extremely well-equipped, with three batteries, 20 cartridges, USB and AC chargers (and it’s unusual to see a full wall charger in a starter kit, instead of an adapter for the USB charger), a car adapter, a portable charging case, a carrying case, a lanyard, and a power e-cig that attaches directly to a USB port without needing to be recharged. This kit retails for $159.95. There are a number of South Beach starter kits that come with a lot fewer accessories and a much lower price tag, like the Deluxe starter kit for $59.95.
South Beach didn’t quite make it to the top of our list of electronic cigarette brands, but it came close by virtue of its taste. It’s in our regular ecig rotation.
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