Did you know that the vaping market has introduced all kinds of new flavor combinations into our everyday vape-filled lives? Well, now you do. We mean, after all, where else would you find a flavor profile consisting of cured tobacco and vanilla custard? – and some of the terminology can be a bit more confusing than others. Still, one thing that trips up a good majority of vapers out there is the difference between menthol and ice.
How Do Menthol and Ice Flavors Differ?
Before going into more detail, let’s break down the key difference between ice flavors and menthol flavors. As it turns out, they’re actually the same thing. Menthol is a natural compound that comes from the mint plant. When it’s isolated, it doesn’t actually have any flavor. So, all that you’re getting is a cooling sensation, as the menthol is actually attaching to the neurons in your mouth, allowing the ions to open up and experience the sensation of something cool passing through them. That’s also the reason why drinking something after inhaling menthol makes your brain think that the drink is colder than it is.
So, why is there a distinction between ice vape and menthol vape? There are a few reasons. One is that “ice” is a “cooler-sounding” word than menthol in a lot of cases, and allows for snappier vape juice flavor names. But, another reason is because the term “menthol” is often confused with mint. So, to make it clear to customers that there isn’t any minty taste in an e-liquid, they use the term “ice” instead.
Now, a lot of menthol flavors do contain mint, and that’s also part of why we associate menthol flavors with mint. Think of, say, a flavor that’s based on a peppermint patty, in which both mint flavoring and flavorless menthol are added, to provide both the taste and sensation you’d get from eating one. Also, menthol is a common additive in cigarettes, so a lot of tobacco-flavored vapes will use the term “menthol” to make it clear that the product is intended to taste like a menthol cigarette.
Then, compare that to, say, ice cream flavors, beverage flavors, and any other kind of flavor that would benefit from ice, but not necessarily a taste of mint.
What is Ice in Vape Flavors?
Again, when you see the word “ice” in an e-liquid flavor profile description, it’s safe to assume that you’re going to be getting menthol, which again, is not a flavor, but a sensation that feels icy when you inhale and exhale.
What is Menthol in Vape Flavors?
Menthol and ice are synonymous, so if “menthol” is in the name of the e-liquid, then it’s no different than what you’d get with an “ice” flavor. But, again, menthol flavors are more likely to also have mint flavoring added to them, so that’s something you’ll want to check. And, there are a lot of e-juice flavors that advertise themselves as “menthol” flavors, which are simply menthol and mint combined with one another, and no additional flavoring.
So, what does menthol taste like? In the world of vaping, menthol flavor is synonymous with a refreshing and invigorating experience.
Some Exceptions to the Rule
Now that we have established that menthol and ice are the same thing, we want to make some distinctions as there are always exceptions to the rule.
Alternative Forms of Ice
Some “ice” e-liquids don’t actually contain menthol, but cheaper and more subdued cooling agents, like WS23. People say that this commonly utilized ingredient is less potent than pure menthol, but at the same time, that’s also hard to quantify, since some companies use higher amounts of WS23 than they would menthol, meaning that the iciness is more forward.
Mint + Menthol
Another thing is that some companies automatically use a blend of mint flavor and pure menthol when crafting any of their menthol e-liquids, despite not advertising the presence of any mint in there. So, in that sense, the term “menthol” could be misleading, since it makes the customers assume that menthol inherently has a minty taste, when it doesn’t. This is just generally less likely to happen when you’re vaping an e-liquid with “ice” in the name, again due to the different associations we have with each term.
Ice vs. Menthol: No Real Difference After All
Basically, whether you’re vaping a menthol flavor or an ice flavor, you’re inhaling menthol – with the exception of cheaper alternatives that work similarly to menthol to produce a cooling sensation. So, if you do enjoy that cooling sensation on every draw when you vape, the good news is that both “menthol” and “ice” flavors will satisfy you just the same. Of course, there’s also the matter that different e-liquids have different amounts of menthol, but that’s beside the point.
To really sum everything up for you:
Menthol will have that up-front “menthol” sensation, a nice throat hit (regardless of VG/PG ratio for the most part), and the cooling sensation on the back (as menthol does in most other applications, too (vapor rubs, menthol analogs etc.).
Ice or Koolada is just the backend brisk hit minus the mintiness. The proper dose of iciness smooths the e-liquid out, allowing for a wonderful throat hit when inhaling.
Mints just depend on the type:
- Peppermint will hit like menthol but taste better.
- Spearmint similar but sweeter.
- Wintergreen is even sweeter.
Vape Juice Depot carries a nice variety of “ice” and “menthol” flavors, in bottled form and disposable form, all from reputable vape brands, so you can explore different levels of iciness while you enjoy your favorite e-juice flavors and disposable devices. So, explore the different flavor combos out there, and find what suits your vaping preferences, knowing you’ll be treated to only top-quality ingredients, including some of the purest menthol that you can find.