In a swerve away from the common brightly-coloured plastic disposable vapes, Gold Bars promise a product combining elegance and class. Read our review and find out if these vapes deliver on expectations...
Vape Gold, the brand behind the Gold Bar disposables range, currently have a somewhat elusive reputation. Rumoured to be based in the UAE, their recently released vape range has piqued the interest of curious UK vapers, with sales growing from those hoping to discover the next big thing in disposables.
Despite the secrecy, the Gold Bar range is approved and legally available for purchase in the UK, so we're taking a closer look to see how they compare against other disposables in the market.
Upon opening, the first impression is, as promised, of something different - classier, maybe. Inspired (as the name suggests) by bars of gold, the clever packaging is bullion-styled and angular, with a satin gold sleeve from which you slide out the main box. The internal packaging mirrors the ingot style in shape and features the necessary safety warnings, ingredients and a QR code to check authenticity. It features a black and gold colour scheme with just a pop of coloured text detailing the flavour on the side panel.
The Gold Bar itself is a cuboid pen-style device with a brushed metal feel and a satin gold colour. It has a contrasting black shiny mouthpiece and base and delicate detailing showing the brand logo and flavour/strength. It feels weighty in your hand and well-made.
The brushed gold look of the device is the same across the whole flavour range - there's none of the usual electric blue or candy pink plastics in evidence here. With this aesthetic, Vape Gold have chosen a more 'grown up' looking theme for their Gold Bar range.
This is a well-constructed, non-rechargeable disposable vape. Internally you find a standard-sized battery and a pre-filled tank containing 2ml of nic-salt-based e-liquid at a 20mg nicotine strength. As with most vapes, the device is sealed in a foil wrapper to preserve flavour and protect it from outside elements until used. The quoted specifications promise up to 600 puffs from each device, with 12 flavour options to choose from.
These options seem well thought out and tasteful, much like the Gold Bar's appearance. They include the up-market sounding Strawberry Parfait, Peach Pear, and one called Oasis, along with some staple favourites like Banana Ice, Spearmint and Pink Lemonade.
When testing the Gold Bars, I found they have quite a tight draw compared to other devices, which I prefer. Like any disposable, the first few puffs seem strong but then settle into a better taste and vapour production with continued use.
All 12 flavours are recognisable, and although I did not find them too overpowering, some may find them slightly too sweet (aside from the spearmint, which I found overly sweet).
Besides the Banana Ice, which I found lovely and nothing like I imagined, I did feel the flavours could have been a bit better. Maybe I'm comparing too harshly against alternatives like the Dragbar, where the flavour recipes are so well developed that they are super-realistic, but I don't feel that the best feature of Gold Bars is the taste.
Stylistically, there's a world of difference between them and competitor offerings from brands such as Elf, Geek and Voopoo. The latter's products shout loudly with garish colours and bold packaging, while the Gold Bars are understated and are the least 'disposable-looking' disposable I have come across.
These devices would be appropriate for vaping outside a wedding, a nice hotel, or whipping out at a garden party. They don't look like something you would purchase at 2 am from a nightclub.
If Vape Gold intended to create a product that outclasses the rest and appeals to adult smokers who don't fancy brandishing a luminous green plastic vape in public, they definitely achieved this with the Gold Bar.
From a performance perspective, a Gold Bar lasted me well over a day with fairly heavy usage. Each bar performed consistently, and the flavours did not fade too much with use. Of those I tried, the battery died before the e-liquid depleted, so I experienced no dry hits. Despite the battery's demise, they lasted the promised 600 puffs, if not more.
With all of the above in mind, the only comparable product on the market right now in terms of performance and appearance would be the Altisc NOTUS 600. Having said that, the up-market Altisc is crafted from natural recycled wood (and looks stunning), but it is far more expensive than the Gold Bar.