Disclaimer: I received this e-liquid for free, minus the cost of shipping, from the manufacturer. This was a personal purchase, however, and not sent to me for review.
A little known secret, due in part most likely to the efforts of our lovely southern neighbor Georgia, is that South Carolina produces more peaches (bringing to market literally double the amount Georgia did in 2018), and has done so for over 35 years. Peaches are also the state fruit of South Carolina, despite Georgia being called "The peach state." It's a friendly rivalry, I assure you--but we don't let them forget, either.
Three Dukes describes their e-liquid Empress with the line, "Deep, sweet stone fruits are blended with bright berries to create a luxurious vape." And while most people (and reviewers) will immediately have their minds jump to the idea that it is a primarily peach-flavored juice, I would like to offer a counter argument to that by saying the predominant flavor of Empress isn't peach...but ripe, juicy plums.
Now, that isn't to say that there isn't peach flavor in Empress, no sir; but while others have only been able to pick up on that lovely fruit's aggressive diva act, I sat back, contemplatively, and ran through a good 10 mils in one sitting to put a pin in the actual flavor that this complex juice provides.
Upon opening the bottle (120ml clear Chubby Gorilla, with a lovely royal blue label adorned simply with flowers and leaves) and taking a deep inhale of the aroma, I get the note that almost says blueberry or perhaps tart strawberry to me. This makes sense as per the description from Three Dukes, but from all the reviews I'd read saying it was a predominantly peach juice, I was surprised at the scent. Taking a drop or two on the back of my hand and tasting it, that dark, rich sweetness of blueberries again came forward and rested on the back of my tongue, along with the normal pepperiness that nicotine imparts. Again, not what I was expecting, but not an unpleasant surprise, either.
Saturating the wicks on my Dead Rabbit RDA and vaping it at a comfortable 60 watts, I finally find the promised stone fruits on the inhale. But not peach. Not as the predominant flavor. I'm immediately struck by the round taste of plums (Specifically Satsuma, the plum with the deep red flesh) and the bright twinkling fruitiness of apricots. Rounding it out was the sweet, rich taste of the promised peaches, combining in a harmonious chord of stone fruits that lingered briefly on the palate. But where did the berries go?
To the back end of the flavor is where they went, that lovely blueberry depth combined with just a subtle sweet-sour tingle of strawberry. As you exhale, the one last little surprise awaiting you is the peppery-spicy note that comes rolling off the back of your tongue, just like at the end of a sip of good peach brandy.
Altogether, the simple description Three Dukes uses for Empress belies a really complex, delightful fruit-flavored e-liquid that bucks the trend of cloyingly sweet fruit juices that taste more like candy than the actual produce they're meant to represent. Would I consider this a candidate for an all-day vape? If it keeps my interest like it has thus far, I will definitely put it into my rotation and would not hesitate to order more. My only complaint, and it is exceedingly minor, is that it came to me without any sort of box or packaging material; just the bottle in a Mylar bag. I'm not sure if Three Dukes uses boxes, so I'll only deduct a quarter of a point for it.
Reviewed using: Teslacigs Invader IV, Dead Rabbit RDA, Dual Micro Coils, 60-75W